A popular brand of tomato sauce from the UK has been recalled from supermarket shelves in Qatar over concerns that it contains red wine.
In a tweet yesterday, the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning (MMUP) said the product – Loyd Grossman Bolognese sauce – was removed from a store here before reaching consumers.
مفتشو #البلدية وحماية المستهلك يسحبون كامل كمية معجون طماطم به خمر بأحد المجعمات قبل وصوله للمستهلك#قطر #Qatar pic.twitter.com/r7xViemFfZ
— وزارة البلدية | Ministry Of Municipality (@albaladiya) December 24, 2014
Al Watan reported today that the entire stock of the sauce was removed from a store and some of it was being taken to a laboratory to assess whether it actually contains any alcohol.
The newspaper quoted Magdi Burhan, director of health inspection at Al Rayyan municipality, as saying the product’s label stated it contained red wine in English, but did not say so in Arabic.
Speaking to Doha News, a manager at Lulu Hypermarket in Al Gharafa said the product was removed yesterday following complaints.
And a representative of Spinney’s supermarket confirmed that a tomato sauce was taken off shelves at its Pearl-Medina Centrale location last week “due to municipal issues.”
Other grocery chains reached by Doha News, including MegaMart, said they did not carry the product.
Loyd Grossman offices were closed today for Christmas, but on its website, the company said its sauces are not halal-certified or suitable for kosher diets.
Any alcohol that was within the product would have been cooked out during production, as alcohol has a low evaporation temperature and the sauce has to be cooked during manufacture. It is highly unlikely that any trace of alcohol remains in the product. However, I can understand why this is a concern for those who do not touch alcohol for religious reasons.
The label says “red wine” in English… The translation to Arabic omits it.
I’m sure a suitably qualified bio-chemist would contradict me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t the average piece of fresh fruit contain trace amounts of alcohol?
That should be fine. Most fruits contain a tiny amount of alcohol but that is natural and wouldn’t make you drunk even if you eat a ton of it. The prophet used to put dates into water and leave them fermenting for up to 3 days then eat them and drink their water. He though said clearly that after 3 days you should not eat them. Most scholars understood that after 3 days dates and the water in which they are put will start to acquire alcohol-like characteristics, hence the prohibition.
You miss my point? There is even less likelihood of background alcohol in pasta sauce.
I’m not a home-brew expert – I always was happier to pay for other peoples efforts in KSA – but at standard ME temperatures I would imagine that fruit in water, within 3 days, would start to become reasonably alcoholic? Without an air-trap, it would start to turn foul thereafter?
I think for the dates it would take much longer (about two weeks), but the prophet fixed it at 3 days just to be on the safe side. Who knows, may be some types of dates become alcoholic faster than others.
This is the explanation I have read from a book. But I myself I am not a home-brew expert 😛
It would appear 3 days is plenty for alcoholic dates.
Islam was always very flexible in the early days, coffee was even banned by the mayor of Mecca as it is a stimulant and does alter brain chemistry, but after huge protests it was out back on the menu.
In the early days of Islam, there was no such thing as ethanol and methanol and all that scientific terminology and details about alcohol. Alcohol at that time was defined as “any substance that might make you drunk, whether taken in small or large quantities”. That’s it.
Today there are different types of alcohols with different concentrations and usages. It is therefore the role of scholars to update our knowledge of religion with the new scientific developments. This explains why there are different fatwas for the same thing, as each fatwa is based on the effort of the scholar, who might be right or wrong.
The coffee thing is a different story, but it shows you how a scholar had the wrong fatwa on it, and other scholars rectified it. 🙂
however, even a tomato sauce won’t make you drunk…..just saying
Yeah even a glass of wine won’t make you drunk. Still, you are not allowed to drink that glass of wine in Islam 🙂
Except when you get to heaven and then it’s rivers of wine….
A special divine type, only for those going to heaven 🙂
Does it make you drunk?
I haven’t been there yet to tell you
Depends how big the glass is, mate.
there is no glass of wine in a sauce can like that….the amount left is a very very small percentage of what has not evaporated. I understand and know very well about the Islam. However, it makes me laugh a bit! Sorry!
So much fuss over some minimal % of wine (not alcohol) and that’s against religion. You’re surrounded by poisoning food, junk food, chemical stuff, additives, colorants, GMOs, etc etc…..and that’s all right! I don’t eat at least, at least, 50% of the items on supermarket shelves here…
Sorry it is hilarious!
Don’t try to be logical with religions. There are plenty of things that, in appearance look weird, but in reality are important. Allah does not have to justify everything so that you little human finally accept him. Our slogan in Islam is “We listen and we obey” 🙂
however, modernity has also changed so many things….that some of the things today should be updated/adapted
Sounds like “most scholars” should have studied some science as well, as alcohol begins forming the moment fermentation starts, as in immediate. It may take weeks for it to get to very strong levels, but in a few days, something with as much sugar as dates would easily have a 3-4% ABV. I am quite certain that in the time of the Prophet that there was no hydrometer or means of measuring specific gravity, so this was all just a big guess. Which is fine…..as to tomato sauce with alcohol in it, there might be some still there as it would require the sauce to have been heat to 78.5° C (alcohol boiling point) then retained at that temp for a sufficient amount of time to allow the alcohol to evaporate. So, science might be on the side of the Qatari food police I am afraid.
Many things contain ethanol the member of the alcohol group that has a dubious banning in Islam. However they are in such small quantities it makes no difference. It is virtually impossible to avoid ethanol in your diet and every Muslim will have consumed it in their life.
The point is not to consumed too much it interferes with higher brain functions.
Oxtail soup from the UK is also banned here as it contains red wine.
As is vanilla extract. Whoever could drink enough of THAT to get drunk deserves a medal.
Sounds delicious…..or I could just wander into Tom Ford and start gulping down pefumes
If they don’t want the sauce I’ll by all the stock for 50 QR. Don’t like to see huge waste
When you cook with wine the alcohol just evaporates..
Contrary to popular beliefs, it does NOT. Although it has low melting point, when using in cooking, it does not evaporate even after HOURS of cooking. Check-out the many studies conducted on that (non-Muslim studies).
Remarkable, hundreds of years of distillation knowledge have just been evaporated? Pun intended!
Actually it does. The boiling point of ethanol is around 78 Celsius, 22 degrees lower than water boiling at sea level, so if you bring what you’re cooking to a boil, the ethanol evaporates. Please give sources to a few of these many “non-Muslim” studies. This sounds interesting! I’d love to learn what the actual “melting point” of ethanol really is (hint: it’s somewhere around -117 to -114 Celsius depending on the working pressure, so you’re absolutely right that it’s low!) and what kinds of food are cooked at such low cryogenic temperatures.
Here is one: http://www.ochef.com/165.htm
You could find bazillion article/study by using Google.
Are you a scientist? If not, then you shouldn’t comment on the article assuming a scientist.
You don’t really know what interaction exists between the food and the alcohol and what impact it have on the evaporation temperature.
Are YOU a scientist Ibrahim?? I doubt it, and reading the article you linked I can tell they are definitely NOT a scientist; if they are even a high school graduate I would be embarrassed for the institution that allowed them to walk across the stage to receive their diploma.
As a Chemisty major, specifically in Biomedical Science, I can tell you this sauce is harmless unless the company filled the jar with red wine for immediate consumer consumption.
No, I’m not a scientist but an engineer. Stop trying to look smart, you’re definitely NOT.
The website OBVIOUSLY didn’t conduct the study but referring to a one conduct by the US government. You can Google it and will find multiple articles/news website relating to it and perhaps you might find the actual study paper/results.
Also, we weren’t discussing harmfulness here, we were discussing whether all alcohol would simply burn-off when cooking or not…
As a chemistry major you should know that a chemical reaction (boiling) of alcohol is not instantaneous and does take into account a factor of time, just like all chemical reactions do….please tell me where you got your degree so I don’t send my kids there. While the amount of alcohol used to make the sauce is relatively low by volume, even prior to cooking, there is still likely trace amounts left. That’s just science, and the article is quoting a government and academic research study, something I am sure you would have referenced if you ever wrote an academic paper as it is a Peer Reviewed source, unlike your comments.
His language is wrong, but Ibrahim is correct. Not all alcohol evaporates and your assertion is that the food is all cooked to the boiling point of alcohol and stays there long enough for the alcohol to evaporate. It would be as if you boiled water and it suddenly all evaporated from the pan….think on that a moment, use some logic, then I don’t know….take 10 seconds and Google it before trying to teach a science course and telling people to quote their sources. If you did you would find that anywhere between 40%-80% of the alcohol people use in cooking often is left behind (hint: its something you can google called research).
” It would be as if you boiled water and it suddenly all evaporated from the pan….think on that a moment, use some logic, then I don’t know….take 10 seconds and Google it before trying to teach a science course and telling people to quote their sources.”
Food is cooked above the boiling point of alcohol, not ‘to’ it. Using your logic, should you ever have an oil pan fire in your kitchen, it would make good sense to put it out with water (DO NOT!!) because, according to your logic, there is no way all the water would evaporate (IT WILL – and with spectacular results)!
Food is not cooked to the boiling point of alcohol, you boil all your food to death? Then keep it there for sufficient time to evaporate all the liquid? ….you actually end of defending what I said….that alcohol does not evaporate simply because the contents of the pan reached 74 degrees. So thanks for proving my point again….seriously, where do you guys go to school, I NEED to know as not to send my children there. And please, if you ever encounter me in the real world, I will pass on the dinner invitation as you seem to overcook all your food and dry out the meat.
You do understand….I was saying that its “AS IF” the water suddenly evaporated right? Did you read it, or just start typing….??? Now you just look foolish.
Everyone should have the right to have clear and accurate information regarding what they’re eating. If it is not clear or accurate it shouldn’t be on the shelves.
Absolutely, because everybody should be aware that they are buying food containing Hydroxypropyl distarch phosphate.
Is this harmful?
Not a clue?
Sod it! It tasted good last time.
Perhaps they want to keep the guys without a QDC liquor permit far away from the alcohol and spirits in this Tomato sauce so as not to get them addicted to the tomato sauce
That’s not the case, Any amount of alcohol is haram.
..by that same logic.. what about QDC.. or is it okay for some selectively but not for the others.
Only non-Muslim expatriates are allowed to apply for a liquor license. So yes it is haram.
Sit near the QDC parking entrance for 15 minutes and then try to tell me with a straight face that only non-Muslim expats procure alcohol there. Yes, I know Muslims believe it’s haram, but don’t be naive about reality.
Well reality is that it’s illegal for muslims to obtain the permit, yes lets stick to the facts shall we.
I agree that it’s a fact that it’s against the law for Muslims to have a permit, just as its illegal for them to consume alcohol regardless of having a permit or not, but sadly this seems to be yet another example of where the laws of Qatar are irrelevant for people who have enough money or influence to not abide by them.
If people don’t abide by the law, and no one enforces the law (uniformly, and without bias) then I beg to know the purpose of the law?
And bringing it back to the subject of this article, why enforce the law now with harmless pasta sauce, but not with hard liquor?! Anyway, I’m drinking my adult beverage not too concerned, but just find the hypocrisy amusing.
It’s not against the law for muslims to get a QDC Licence.
How do you expect them to enforce the law against those who use “friends with permits” to get them their supply? Conduct raids at the end of the road to make sure alcohol stays within the non-muslims?
Everywhere around the world laws don’t apply equally to everyone, that is just an idealistic theory, reality is judges will have their own biases, rich people can afford better attorneys, ethnic background can influence a jury’s opinions, etc.
Why would this sort of state-sponsored evangelism even be a law though? Why do you need a permit in the first place?
Surely there don’t need to be any alcohol laws here – if you are a “good Muslim” you would not be in QDC even if they were giving crates of bacon-filtered vodka away, since almost everything in there is haram?
Religion is a personal thing between you and your god. Or fate, or Gaia, or
quantum causality, or whatever you may or may not believe in. Keep the government out of it.
I agree. I guess it is there to show the conservative section of the society that they are not losing their values while simultaneously attempting to make things more tolerable for the international crowd.
For this to be hypocrisy then the assumption is that all Qataris and Muslims are getting alcohol from the QDC. Otherwise, its just that the ingredients said red wine and the religion says no alcohol….seems pretty straight forward to me. Don’t drink it don’t cook with it. Then there is no question. In this case, it was not labeled properly, which gets more into who sidestepped the rules around this more than anything and has me questioning food safety more than uninformed opinions about alcohol in food.
All amount of alcohol is haram for all muslims, It’s not okay for any muslims, What do you mean what about QDC?
It’s only “haram” if you can’t afford the alcohol permit or you don’t have a friend who buy at the QDC for you. Otherwise it is not. It’s like bringing alcohol from abroad. Absolutelly not allowed, however you can buy it here at double price. I presume it’s a measure to project the local economy. 😉
Now seriously. I think it’s easier than that. Someone read the “red wine” part, freaked out not even thinking and informed the authorities about it.
It clearly says “Red Wine,” what else is there to think about?!
You should go study some more about that funny thing called science. Here is a place to start (yes this is from Chemistry.com) but gives you an idea as to just how complicated it is to prove the amount of time needed to evaporate the alcohol in a dish…which as you may have guessed is not based on your mom told you it cooks out, but chemistry, physics, and really hard math….
the Boltzmann constant
The ideal gas constant
the free energy change of vaporization of ethanol (not actually constant, but it varies only slightly over the temperature range)
the vapor pressure of ethanol as a function of temperature
the mass of an ethanol molecule
the heat capacity of the surface
temperature of the air
volume of ethanol
temperature of the surface
atmospheric pressure (needed for mean free path corrections)
velocity of air currents
So also keep in mind that the alcohol molecules don’t disappear, they also don’t mutate into some other form of matter….no they just change states from liquid to gas (this is how distillation works). So now if you “boil” your food the steam rises and goes where before condensing again? So if you cook in an oven, or with a lid on…..guess where the alcohol goes….dang this science stuff is hurting my brain! So…..science guy…..what’s the alcohol content of the pasta sauce?
Alcohol is haram,
Meaning drinking it is prohibited to muslims,
So if i have a friend to buy me alcohol it’s not haram?
I don’t get it 🙁
Basically, someone screwed up when they ordered this stuff. The company website is up front about not being halal.
It doesn’t matter what you eat or drink. Everything (!) is made up from protons, neutrons, and electrons. And protons and neutrons are made up from quarks. Ban them and you ban the universe and yourself.
You raise an important point. How can we make sure quarks are halal? Maybe Up and Down are ok, but what about strange quarks, I’m sure they are haram. We are breathing in this stuff all the time, we demand to know answers!
Probably depends on how the quarks are slaughtered, no? Some are halal, some haram, and some are purchased at double markup to then be loaded into a Qatari friend’s LC in the QDC parking lot.
Absolute genius! You should strive for funding to prove your hypothesis!! Convince the halal quacks (er… quarks) to pay some western neutral third party consultant haram quarks to perform studies to test the hypothesis. The results on the haram quarks study will support the hypothesis but will not be released to the public and the halal quarks will proceed as though the entire event never happened.
Ethanol is harmless. There are 6 hydrogen atoms, each with a proton and an electron which yields 6 protons and six electrons, or 18 quarks of which 12 are up-quarks and 6 are down quarks. Then there are 2 carbon atoms with 12 protons, neutrons, and electrons each and 1 oxygen atom with 8 protons and 8 neutrons and 8 electrons. If you swallow an ethanol atom you swallow exactly 72 up-quarks, 66 down-quarks and 78 electrons. I can’t see any harm in that.
‘Quark’ is the sound made by a posh duck!
However by denying low income workers QDC permits or access to the bars they have to brew their own using unsuitable equipment. This can lead to a drink containing high levels of methanol which is dangerous. Islam shoudl know its alcohols!
I once got intoxicated after eating a Steak and Ale Pie.
The copious amounts of actual ale, I consumed, might have contributed though?
I buy my pork and red wine from Qatar Distribution Company (QDC).
Can we get this sauce there?
Oh dear, such a thundery storm in a jar of pasta sauce… Don’t buy or use it if it’s against your values or not to your taste or standards. What’s the big deal?
Lets add the facts…….I know…..those things……the internet hates facts.
Amount of Alcohol Retained During Cooking
Source: USDA (United States Department of Agriculture)
Alcohol added to boiling liquid, then removed from heat – Evaporation 85% Retention 15%
Alcohol flamed Evaporation 70% Retention 30%
No heat, stored overnight – Evaporation 75% Retention 25%
I’m sure someone is reading your comments about illegal alcohol sales with interest. There have been audits and cancellation of QDC permits in the past. It can happen again.