@Oreo The biscuits made by you are made from pig’s milk and your products are not halal?
Halal certification of cookies and chocolates is questioned often and the trend has revived again now with the claim that Oreo biscuits contain pork fat, pork milk, and alcohol and are not halal-certified. It is also shared that the Oreo company officially announced that their biscuits are forbidden for Muslims as it is made from fat and pork milk. Posts with a similar claim can be seen here, here, and here.
Twitter users seem to comment on the tweets of ‘Oreo Cookie’ about their Halal certification. A few users also posted their questions by tagging Oreo’s Twitter account.
What is the truth?
When searching the Twitter account of ‘Oreo Cookie’ we found that the product’s Halal certification varies for each country.
Oreo Cookie replied on 15, January 2023 to a question by a Twitter user Shazia about their halal certification and if their products in the USA contain pig fats. The reply tweet clarified that the Halal certification depends on the country one lives in. And Oreo cookies in the US and Canada are not Halal certified. Regarding the question on pig fats in their products, the reply tweet recommended the user to check the ingredients and label of the product package. The same was replied to similar questions by other Twitter users.
Oreo replied to a question on 29, December 2022 by another Twitter user ‘Ahmed Ewies’ on their products’ halal certification in Egypt. The reply tweet mentioned that their products in Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan are alcohol free, and compliant with local regulatory requirements in the region and are Halal certified.
The tweet also mentioned that their manufacturing facilities from the mentioned regions Middle East, North Africa, and Pakistan have obtained the Hala certification accreditation from concerned authorities and the Oreo cookies we make for the region are compliant with Islamic Sharia dietary laws.
The UK Oreo website mentions that “Oreo biscuits produced in Europe are not Halal certified but their composition or production process does not make them unsuitable for Muslim diet. The exceptions to this are Oreo Strawberry Cheesecake, Oreo Choc’o Brownie, Oreo Enrobed Milk & White, Oreo Cadbury Coated and Oreo Crunchy Bites Dipped.”
Mondelez International, an American International company that owns the Oreo brand mentions that their products’ halal requirements are country-specific and recommends that consumers check the ingredients and product label. As mentioned, Oreo is halal-certified in the Middle East, North Africa, and Pakistan, and is not halal-certified in the US and Canada. In Europe, the products are not halal-certified, but that does not mean it is unsuitable for Muslim diet except for some of their products. In India, Oreo products are sold with a green dot denoting that they contain vegetarian ingredients only.
On 20, January 2023, Oreo India replied to a question on Oreo’s halal certification in India by a Twitter user. The reply tweet did not mention anything about halal certification, rather it mentioned that the ingredients used in the products manufactured by Mondelez India are of vegetarian origin. The tweet goes on to say that the vegetarian origin of the products can be seen from the ‘green dot’ on the product wrappers. The same was also replied to a few other users. This proves that oreo products do not contain pig fat or pig milk in it.
What does a ‘green dot’ on a package denote?
As per the Food Safety and Standards Regulation, 2020 mentioned on the FSSAI website, packages with vegetarian ingredients are to be marked with green colour filled circle inside a square with a green outline having a diameter as listed in the table given on the document, and packages with non-vegetarian ingredients with brown colour filled triangle inside a brown coloured square as an outline.
A similar claim on Cadbury products’ halal certification was circulated earlier and Youturn fact-checked and published an article on it.
It is found that Halal certification of Oreo products varies according to the country one lives in. In India the oreo products contain vegetarian ingredients only proving that they do not contain pig fat or pig milk.