What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Chick-fil-A?
For some, it's their freshly squeezed lemonade-flavoured ice cream and aromatic peach shakes. For others, it's the restaurant's simple fried chicken sandwich and famous Polynesian sauce.
Whatever it is, it's not much of an argument to say Chick-fil-A is one of the best places to grab a bite. But before you do that, you should first ask yourself; would you rather have a yummy and delicious meal or a halal diet? If you are like us at Chewwies, you will pick both! Read on to find out if you, as a Muslim following a halal diet, can eat guilt-free at Chick-fil-A.
Quick Answer: Is Chick-fil-A Halal? Unfortunately, No; Chick-fil-A is not halal! Here's why.
Chick-fil-A is a 75-year-old family-owned fast food brand specialising in poultry foods. The restaurant started in Atlanta and has grown to over 47 states with over 2600 restaurants in different countries. To gain a clearer insight into the brand's halal status, let's look at some items on their menu, the ingredients used, and the preparation methods.
The simplicity of Chick-fil-A is in its appeal. The restaurant's primary focus is chicken.
A typical Chick-fil-A restaurant serves:
- Grilled nuggets
- Spicy deluxe
- Salads, amongst others.
All these meals could be halal or not, depending on the ingredients used and the process involved!
Ingredients used in Chick-fil-A
Chick-fil-A prides itself in using only natural ingredients and chicken from certified and standard farms around the states. While they avoid antibiotics, steroids, and hormones, these don't make all their meals halal. Let's take an even closer look.
According to their website, you can't get it wrong with Chick-fil-A chickens. And while this might be true health-wise, it doesn't make their chickens halal. The reason is that while some chickens are halal, others aren't, and Chick-fil-A doesn't keep tabs on the halal ones. So if you're looking for halal chicken, Chick-fil-A might not be your go-to place for now!
Enriched bleached flour
Bleach whitens heavily processed flour. It is then enriched with synthetic vitamins that are not derived from nature. These are often artificial and have no nutritional value, and the artificial flavours make them non-halal!
Chick-fil-A uses soybean oil in place of vegetable oil. The soybeans are often genetically modified but are still halal since they are obtained from plants, Except contaminated in the process.
Refined sugars are raw sugars that have been acted upon to remove their pigment and impurities. They are used to give a sweet taste to some of the items on the menu. Sugars from this method might not be halal, making whatever is added non-halal.
Chick-fil-A uses gluten to improve the texture of some of its treats. All gluten obtained from plant origins is halal. Hence this is halal.
Chick-fil-A uses yeast extract in baking a couple of the company's treats. Baker's yeast is halal, while brewers' yeast is not, as they are a by-product of beer/alcohol.
Chick-fil-A uses cheese in their most popular treats, including Mac & Cheese. Most cheeses are non-halal as they contain rennet, an animal enzyme from either pigs or the stomach of cows. You should avoid any diet that shows cheese as one of its ingredients, except proven to be halal.
Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
Ever wondered the reason Chick-fil-A sandwiches are so addictive? The biggest offender is this ingredient!
MSG is a flavour enhancer stimulating food craving, causing you to munch an entire sandwich and not get satisfied. This additive is considered halal!
Margarine is used as an ingredient in several Chick-fil-A menu items and as a topping for various foods, including bread, crackers, baked goods, veggies, and snacks.
Margarine could be halal or haram, depending on its source of origin. Once gotten, margarine is of animal - it is haram, but halal is of plant origin.
Potatoes are the main ingredient in Chick-fil-A waffles fries, consumed all over the states. The company prides itself on getting these potatoes straight from the farm. Potatoes are one of nature's gifts, hence wholly halal!
Broccoli is the leading ingredient in Chick-fil-A superfood's production. Just like all vegetables, broccoli is halal.
Fruits and vegetables
Chick-fil-A serves a trunk load of fruits and veggies, like lettuce, cabbage, carrots, lemons and a host of others. Fruits and vegetables are unquestionably halal.
Chick-fil-A Manufacturing Process
Slaughtering the chicken is stunning, a method slowly accepted in the past few decades. The slaughtering process could have made the chicken halal. Still, the company's inability to separate halal chickens from haram ones makes the whole process questionable and more of a misfit for devout Muslims.
Not very much is known about the processes behind cooking the company's treats. Still, since the two essential items on the restaurant's menu are non-halal, it doesn't mean much. If you happen to find yourself in a Chick-fil-A restaurant, here are some treats that are considered halal;
- Fruit Cup
- Side Salad
- Waffle Potato Chips
- Hash browns
- English muffin
Generally speaking, it is advisable to avoid something if you are unsure whether it is halal.