A prevalent question we often encounter is whether Cheetos is haram or halal to consume. You may feel slightly disappointed to hear me say this, but unfortunately, Cheetos are haram. These Cheetos are made of whey, often coming from pork, a giant red flag for Muslims and the shariah law applied. It is popularly known that pork is very much haram to eat. And food that includes pork or pork-related ingredients is prohibited from consumption.
In this article, we will explore every unturned stone on what Cheetos are, what is haram and halal, are Cheetos haram, and what Muslims should look for when choosing snacks.
What is Cheetos?
The infamous Cheetos is a snack, a crunchy corn puff made by the brand Frito-Lay. This company is a subsidiary of PepsiCo.
The Cheetos that was introduced in 1948 became the top-selling snack in 2010. Today there are more than 21 types of Cheetos produced by the company.
These crunchy puffs are sold in over 36 countries, with different flavors matching regional preferences and cultural tastes and trends.
The first type of Cheetos was named the Crunchy Cheetos, and it remained popular for nearly 23 years; then came Cheetos puff and other baked varieties. Popcorn, MAC’N Cheese, Flamin’Hot, Fantastix, baked, and variety packs are the most popular favorites of Cheetos today.
What Does “Haram” Mean?
Haram, the last of Islamic jurisprudence’s five human action categories, is the Arabic term for forbidden.
According to shariah Islamic law, certain activities, practices, and food are unlawful or haram, which means doing something haram is punished, and abstaining from the prohibition is considered rewarding.
It is a crucial concept that every Muslim should follow regardless of where they live.
The significance of practicing Islam by strictly following the haram rule includes finance, investment, acquisition, and other types of trade and transaction involving unlawful activities and products such as alcohol, pork, pornography, gambling, etc.
Are Cheetos Halal?
Cheetos are not halal. This tasty and tempting snack is not permissible for Muslims to consume, especially due to the ingredients. Here are some of the factors that make Cheetos a non-halal food.
Certain ingredients in Cheetos are not halal or halal-certified anywhere. The main reason is the rennet or enzyme used for flavoring the Cheetos. This enzyme is extracted from pork or pork-related chemical processes.
This makes Cheetos a haram food to consume. How the animal is slaughtered and the animal itself being pork is a major red flag for consumption.
Another red flag to avoid Cheetos is its cheese, which contains enzymes taken from pork and other animals that aren’t halal slaughtered. The Cheetos also contain pork fat, making it a big no to consuming.
But the Cheetos found in Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries sells Cheetos and similar snacks that do not contain any digestive enzymes extracted from pork, porcine, or non-Islamically slaughtered meat.
This is halal to consume as the country strictly follows the shariah rules and regulations, avoiding anything unlawful in the country. And many Muslims check for the halal certification or label on Cheetos packs before buying them. For example, the Cheetos in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are said to be 100% halal and are certified by a government-approved certification organization called SANHA.
Are Cheetos Haram?
Cheetos are haram to consume, especially the cheese-flavored ones. The reason for this is the cheese used is made with rennet or an enzyme taken from pork.
Even if the rennet used in the cheese is not pork, the cheese still becomes haram if the animal is not slaughtered in a halal way or according to sharia principles. Before buying it as a Muslim, one should also look for the artificial colors and flavors, sometimes derived from genetically modified contents and insects, which are considered unlawful in Islamic shariah.
The manufacturing process of Cheetos is also a contributing factor to why it is considered haram. The process has a lot of elements included as unacceptable in Islamic law.
There aren’t any controversies that are too serious to consider. It is simply what the Islamic jurisprudence allows and disallows based on the ingredient list.
One can simply become aware by checking the ingredient list and halal label on the packs.
What Should Muslims Look for When Choosing Snacks?
Regarding health and cleanliness, Muslims are required to follow what sharia has guided them to follow. There are certain snacks and beverages that Islam allows, while others Islam prohibits consumption. Make sure as a Muslim not to consume any snacks that contain ingredients related to the following;
- Blood, pork, bacon, ham, or anything related to pork.
- Alcoholic drinks, beverages, and other food like cakes, sweets, and snacks are made using wine or other alcohol.
- Animal meat, fat, or other rennet of animals not slaughtered Islamically. And meat is taken from dead carcasses.
Here are some guidelines Muslims can follow when picking a halal snack from supermarket shelves.
- Many foods and snacks that are halal to eat come with a halal certification or label certifying that the food is halal to consume. So, choose the snack that is certified.
- Some snacks do not have any certifications yet are halal to consume. Especially pure vegetarian snacks. As such, check for the ingredients mentioned on the snack’s packaging. You are safe to use if the ingredients do not include any of the above-mentioned haram ingredients.
- If the food packaging label is halal, ensure the certification is provided by a registered and authentic certification body. One can google and check their website for double confirmation.
- Suppose you cannot determine whether the product is halal through the ingredients or package label. Google for relevant halal certification websites and pro-halal apps available to guide you.
- Suppose the product includes ingredients like gelatin, vanilla extract, animal fat or blood, animal rennet, diglycerides and mono taken from animals, whey powder, pepsin, lipase, etc., L-cysteine, and SSL. Avoid them, as these are some of the common haram ingredients included in snacks.
- Instead, go for halal snacks. For example, you can enjoy eating, Halal crispy treats, Sakura box Japanese vegetarian snacks, Monori Larb flavored crisps squid, quinoa barbeque flavored chips, Calbee snow cheese flavored potato chips, Cresc bites sweet pandan coconut, etc. are popular halal snacks one can feast on.
We can conclude that Cheetos are haram for Muslims to consume due to the ingredients like porcine rennet, artificial flavors, additives, and coloring that include GMOs. So, to be safe, make sure to consume products that are halal-certified by an authentic body before consuming. And if you cannot find any halal label look for ingredients that are purely halal to consume. This way, you will not get in trouble for eating anything haram.
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Video Credits – Iqra’s lifestyle
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