Ben & Jerry's - Halal or not?
I really enjoy Ben and Jerry's ice creams but today read the ingredients and noticed that the ice cream contains vanilla extract, and this ithe case for most of their ice cream flavours. Normally i always check the ingredients on anything that could be dubious (e.g., jellies, certain desserts, thorntons chocolates and ice creams as i have been told they have a lot of non-halal stuff) but i have never thought to question ben and jerry's before. They also say they are vegetarian friendly (though of course this does not include alcohol).
Anyway vanilla extract almost always contains alcohol. So i have done a little bit of research and i am even more confused.
On the one hand there is a fatwa saying it is not permissible, on the basis that vanilla comes into contact with ethanol and therefore makes it filth:
However, i went more direct and simply asked is Ben and Jerry's halal and this hala foodguide says yes for pretty much all the flavours:
The HFA website (I know they are not the most strict) says certain flavours are, but does not specify any criteria and also looks like it hasn't been updated in a while.
It also says, for example, 'Ben & Jerry’s 500 ml Caramel Chew Chew' is halal despite it containing vanilla extract, yet 'Chocolate Fudge Brownie' contains very similar ingredients (inc vanilla extract) but is not on it.
Anyone have any help or advice?