Subways Chicken Teriyaki contains alcohol?

Now this is something I didn't expect to encounter - when subways states that their meats in the store are halaal, that is precisely what they mean - the stuff on them might not be.

Someone at work mentioned that Subways Chicken Teriyaki ay not be halaal due to the addition of alcohol. A quick google search leads to with an email from subways that contains the following:

In response to your specific enquiry about the Teriyaki glazing: there is indeed a small dose of Sake used during the production. However, the product was approved for consumption at our Halal locations because the cooking process reduced the alcohol content to a negligible level. Nonetheless, we are in the process of testing a new recipe for Teriyaki chicken that will eliminate the use of alcohol in the process.

Now I did not expect this - Subways had gone out of their ways to prevent non halaal meats, but not extending this to the whole product is really bad IMO.

I thought if it is largely evaporated or only exists as natural traces of fermentation in eg fruit, it is not deemed haraam. Using rice wines to get a better glaze won't make much difference to alcohol content. Any bread traditionally made with non-commercial yeast, and any bread that has had a good rise, will contain some alcohol. Same with a kefir or similar dairy culture, same with vinegar. Fermentation allows for a number of other ingredients that aren't all about the hooch. I have a source: 

  • It can never be satisfied, the mind, never. -- Wallace Stevens

When you get into the small scale chemistry of it all, it gets very complicated as alcohol on small scales is a naturally occurring substance.

I would personally prefer to avoid products where it is added, even if it evaporates away, as I am more comfortable with that.

For other processes where a small amount will be created or exist naturally, that is IMO different and the example used in the Qur'an of not asking too many questions would be one to follow.

"For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens 'as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone'" - David Cameron, UK Prime Minister. 13 May 2015.