Beech's packaging shows the allergens in Bold Text in the list of Ingredients.

All Beech's products are suitable for VEGETARIANS and many of our dark chocolates are suitable for VEGANS. Some of our dark chocolate products have centres that include milk in the recipe but ALL the products on the Vegan Section are milk free and registered with the Vegan Society. All Beech's products are GLUTEN FREE, including those with "inclusions" and complex centre recipes. We regularly lab test our suppliers' and our own products to ensure that they are gluten free as stated.

Vegan Society

Our products are all suitable for Vegetarians and many of our dark chocolates are suitable for Vegans and are endorsed by the Vegan Society. The Vegan Society is an educational charity that promotes and supports the Vegan lifestyle. The Society aims to make Veganism an easily adopted and widely recognised approach to reducing animal and human suffering and environmental damage via meaningful, peaceful and factual dialogue with individuals and organisations. The Vegan Logo helps Vegans to recognise Vegan products instantly and to support this cause we have designated an area of our online shop to show the products which are registered with the Vegan Society as suitable for Vegans to consume.

Vegan Society advice

Regarding the very small possibility of cross contamination with milk anywhere in the manufacturing process it advises:

'Allergen labelling has caused lots of confusion over whether some products can be classed as vegan. The ingredients list provides details of substances that have been deliberately added while the 'may contain' list gives details of allergens that could be present at a low level due to cross-contamination.

We accept that some accidental contamination from animal substances is likely in many situations. Low levels of dairy contamination are likely if a vegan chocolate is manufactured after a milk chocolate. We accept manufacturers cannot claim their product contains zero animal cross-contamination, as to make such a claim would require the manufacturer to test every batch of every ingredient for animal contamination. A further problem is that the detection levels for the test methods do not go as low as zero. For example, the detection limit for lactose is 70 parts per million (ppm) and so if this test produces a negative result a manufacturer can claim only that the product is known to contain less than 70 ppm of lactose.

We also accept that some products may carry warning labels such as 'may contain milk' because this refers to accidental low-level cross-contamination.

We aim at encouraging manufacturers to produce more foods that do not contain deliberately added animal ingredients and so reduce the exploitation of animals. If our demands are unrealistic many manufacturers will not be able to provide vegan products at all.

As the demand for vegan products grows we will be in a stronger position to request dedicated vegan production lines and then purely vegan factories'.

Comment from the Food Standards Agency

'As you are aware, there is no legal definition of the term vegan, but the Agency's voluntary guidance on use of the terms vegetarian and vegan in food labelling advises that foods labelled as vegan should not contain milk and contains some advice on cross contamination.

Although the Agency advice suggests that "Manufacturers, retailers and caterers should be able to demonstrate that foods presented as 'vegetarian' or 'vegan' have not been contaminated with non-vegetarian or non-vegan foods during storage, preparation, cooking or display." we would not be against a food that is labelled as vegan carrying a warning on the label that it is produced in a factory or on a line where certain dairy products or allergenic foods are also handled and used. We would also not be against a 'may contain....' warning. In fact we would consider it to be advantageous. It is important for safety reasons for consumers to know that possible allergens may be present'.

For more information click this link to the Vegan Society.

Beech's manufacturing methods

At Beech's we take great care to minimise any potential cross-contamination of milk or any flavour. As often as possible we run milk and dark chocolate products for a whole week at a time to remove the chance of cross-contamination from change overs. All equipment is thoroughly cleaned down after every production run. We respect the views and values of all our customers and we make every effort to minimise or remove the potential for any cross contamination.

Alcohol and religious belief

Whether or not alcohol is permitted for consumption by individual customers is down to personal belief and practice. We provide information on each pack where any alcohol was used as part of the recipe and again we ensure there is no cross-contamination possible by carrying out a thorough clean down of all equipment used in the making of a batch containing alcohol. We therefore provide our customers will all the information required to make an informed choice regarding alcohol consumption.

In summary we would say that that all our products are suitable for Muslims apart from those containing traces of alcohol as an ingredient (listed on the pack). These products are clearly marked on the box and we provide the back of pack information on the website. If you click on a product, you will then see more of the ingredient detail, including the section marked 'Allergen information'. Here you can check that alcohol is not listed and the product will therefore be suitable for Muslims to eat. We only use alcohol in a very small number of our chocolates and the alcohol content is very small and could not be considered an "intoxicant" at the levels involved. However, the vast majority of the Beech's range is alcohol free.

Here is some helpful advice from the GMWA Foodguide Website, run by Muslim Scholars.

'Most food products nowadays contain some type of flavouring - natural, artificial, or a combination of both. Many of these flavourings contain alcohol, which is used as a carrier or solvent for the flavouring.

The actual amount of alcohol in the finished food product may vary, but it is usually around 0.5% or less, as the alcohol evaporates during the production process. Items such as drinks and ice creams can contain a bit more, since no evaporation takes place. Such a small amount of alcohol is not required to be declared on the ingredients declaration on the packaging of the product.

The Foodguide follows the opinion of major contemporary Hanafi scholars including the venerable Mufti Yusuf Sacha of the UK (highly acclaimed foods expert) and Mufti Ashraf Usmani of Pakistan. The fatwa in our times is that synthetic alcohols (and all alcohol not sourced from dates and grapes) in foods and otherwise is pure (tahir), and permitted to use and consume on the conditions that:

  1. it is not used as an intoxicant;
  2. it is not used as intoxicants are used (i.e. for alcoholic consumption, even a little);
  3. it is not used in an amount that intoxicates;
  4. it is not used in vain (lahw).

Courtesy: Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

This verdict applies to alcoholic flavourings only (based on need and necessity and common predicament) and not where alcohol is added as an ingredient in a product. In that case, regardless what the source of the alcohol is, it is not permissible'.

For more information click on the link to the GMWA Food guide Website which is run by is run by Muslim Scholars

Product information and allergens

Beech's provides product information about each product we make. On each product detail page you can can see the full list of ingredients and nutritional information. An allergen statement is also given on each pack so you can make an informed choice about a product before making a purchase online.

All Beech's products are suitable for Vegetarians and many of our dark chocolate products are also suitable for Vegans, as listed on the dedicated Vegan page. All Beech's products are totally GLUTEN FREE.

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