BRITISH Muslims are furious with Walkers after it was revealed that many of the company's crisps are laced with alcohol, which is forbidden under Islam.
The revelation has caused dismay among many Muslims who assumed that the food was halal because it is branded as 'suitable for vegetarians'.
The alcohol content is very minute, and is used as a chemical agent to extract the flavour in some crisps.
But some in the community are angered by the food giant's refusal to make the exact amount clear on all its packaging in the future.
The furore may threaten sales of Walkers' crisps.
Besharat Rehman is the owner of Haqs halal supermarket in Bradford, who found out about the alcohol content last week.
Rehman told Eastern Eye: "A customer had came with a list of products and informed us that Sensations Thai Sweet Chilli, Doritos Chilli Heat Wave and Quavers Cheese are not on Walkers' alcohol-free list. Our suppliers were unaware of this. Even if it is a trace amount of alcohol, Walkers should make it clear on the packaging so that the customer can make an informed choice. I feel frustrated and angry. I have let my customers down simply because such a big company like Walkers is not sensitive to Muslim needs. Many of them were my daughter's favourite crisps. As soon as I found out about the alcohol in them, I called home to ask my wife to throw out all the packets."
The Halal Food Authority (HFA) works with different organisations to set the guidelines for halal food.
HFA president Masood Khawaja said: "They should have looked into the matter and solved it by now instead of hiding behind labelling regulations. It does not matter what percentage of alcohol is involved.
Besides Muslims, there are a lot of teetotal people who would not like to consume alcohol in any form. As far as possible we try and lobby for halal symbols on popular products like Kellogg's cereals.
But we have always told Muslims to check the contents list even if a product is marked suitable for vegetarians. But to not mention it on the packaging is unfair."
Walkers claim that there is not enough room on the packaging to list things beyond allergy causing ingredients.
An official statement added: "Consistent with industry practice, we readily provide information as to which products are suitable for those with different dietary concerns. Consumers can contact our consumer care team to obtain detailed information about all of our products."