Authorities in the UAE have issued a clarification after a social media claim about Oreo biscuits being a non-halal product went viral.
“It has been circulated recently that Oreo biscuits are not halal, because they contain pork and alcohol. We inform you … that this is incorrect,” the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MoCCAE) said.
The ministry said Oreo biscuits do not contain any animal-origin ingredients or derivatives such as grease and fat. A laboratory examination of the product confirmed that it conformed to what was mentioned on the food label.
When it comes to the claim that the biscuits contain alcoholic substances, the authority said this is “not true due to the dry nature of the product’s composition, in addition to the results of laboratory tests”. “The ministry confirms that all imported and traded foods are subject to an integrated system of procedures and programmes that ensure the highest safety standards and conformity with the approved specifications in the country,” the ministry said.
The MoCCAE called on the public to avoid circulating any news without verifying its credibility.
Meanwhile, the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (Adafsa) took note of the post circulating on social media about the biscuits containing alcohol and lard (pig fat) derivatives. There is no evidence that substantiates the claim, Adafsa said. The authority confirmed that all Oreo biscuit consignments imported into the country are inspected and their documents checked. “Regarding the first claim that Oreo biscuit products contain a percentage of alcohol, there are many food products that contain small percentages of ethanol, resulting from natural fermentation that occurs during the processing steps. This is normal … in food products,” the authority said.
The authority said the viral claim about Oreo biscuits containing lard is unsubstantiated. The biscuit contains emulsifiers such as lecithin, which can be extracted from plant or animal sources.