Can Muslims safely consider all vegetarian products as Halal?
If not then what are the things that are required to be looked at carefully before purchasing such products?
No, all vegetarian products need not be halal.
For example, Vanilla in liquid form may contain alcohol. It is vegetarian but not halal.
No, not all vegetarian products are Halal. Some vegetarian products have alcohol, and alcohol itself is mostly vegetarian in nature. It can be made out of grapes, apples etc etc. In Islam it is Haram to consume alcohol:
You must try to avoid all Haram things in vegetarian products, the only thing I can think of that would be in the products is Alcohol. There might be other things, but I do not have the knowledge of it. Examples of products that sometimes have alcohol is vanilla extract and soy sauce.
I believe the question is about vegetarian food which is halal or not.
Currently halal diet has been removed from the menu of most institutions who offer vegetarian diet as a substitute/alternative. But the fact stands, that not all vegetarian diet is halal.
Even most sweets contain alcohol. Chewy sweets contain gelatine and are not all halal based as the source is suspect as gelatine is animal based. One big sweet company answered my query as ff; "I can confirm that most of our products contain pig gelatine and are therefore unsuitable for a halal diet. We use ethanol and ethyl alcohol in our production process as carrier for the flavouring, but this constitutes less than 0.05% of the recipe and is flashed off during the process and not present in the final product.
I believe that even the "flashing" of the alcohol does not make this sweet halal. Any amount of alcohol is haram. But I would give exceptions on natural occurring molasses in food like corn dough which is actually not alcohol? Please correct me if I am wrong.
Examples Examples of products that sometimes have alcohol is vanilla extract and soy sauce.
Chips is "vegetarian" food but not halal if fried with lard. Lard is made from animal fat.
Surprisingly Muslims are unduly asked to sacrifice from eating any meat and are not offered other proper alternatives such as fish (which are all halal as they are not required to be slaughtered).
I was shocked to know that even some cheese are also not halal as in some of them animal fat is added.
Can someone give me some more from the list of "vegetarian" food that is not halal, please.
Chips fried in lard, and sweets with gelatine in them, are not vegetarian either. Vegetarians do not eat products from dead animals, so they would be unacceptable in both vegetarian and Halal diets. Vanilla extract and soy sauce are acceptable for a vegetarian diet though, regardless of alcohol content, so that would be a conflict I hadn't thought of before.
Look out for rennet in cheese. Non vegetarian cheese uses rennet made from newborn calf stomachs. Vegetarian cheeses should be Halal.