Several food companies offer halal processed foods and products, including halal foie grass, spring rolls, chicken nuggets, ravioli, lasagna, pizza, and baby food. Halal ready meals are a growing consumer market for Muslims in Britain and America and are offered by an increasing number of retailers. Vegetarian cuisine is halal if it does not contain alcohol.
The most common example of non-halal (or haram) food is pork (pig meat products). While pork is the only meat that categorically may not be consumed by Muslims, other foods not in a state of purity are also considered haram. The criteria for non-pork items include their source, the cause of the animal’s death, and how it was processed. It also depends on the Muslim’s madhab.
Muslims must also ensure that all foods (particularly processed foods), as well as non-food items like cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, are halal. Frequently, these products contain animal by-products or other ingredients that are not permissible for Muslims to eat or use on their bodies. Foods which are not considered halal for Muslims to consume include blood and intoxicants such as alcoholic beverages. A Muslim who would otherwise starve to death is allowed to eat non-halal food if there is no halal food available.
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