Kosher for Consumers

Recent Articles

From the Plate of Caesar: The Kosher Status of the Flamingo

The flamingo is one of the most remarkable of the aquatic birds. There are five recognized species of flamingo, ranging in size from three to five feet tall. They are heavy for aquatic birds, some tipping the scales at nine pounds. While they are able to fly, they must be able to run a bit to gain the momentum to take to the air. Flamingos congregate in huge flocks, often comprised of thousands of individual birds, preferring to live in the shallow mudflats where algae and shrimp abound.

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Encyclopedia of Jewish Food: Matzah, Rugelach and a Whole Lot More

Communities can be defined by their food. American food — reflecting a penchant for accessibility, convenience, versatility, and portability -— reveals much about who we are and how we got here. Waves of various immigrants brought new dishes and ways of thinking about food to the repertoire.

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Editor’s Letter – Pareve: Neutral in Content, But Not on The Bottom Line

Pareve means that the food is “neutral,” neither dairy nor meat, which makes it that much more desirable. Kosher law allows for pareve foods to be consumed with all foods, whether meat, dairy or fish. Pareve salad dressing, frozen sorbet, chocolate mints, jams, grains, juices, soft drinks, or confectionary delicacies can be enjoyed with both a sumptuous steak dinner as well as with a refreshing dairy lunch. Essentially, pareve is the universal kosher category.

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Ask the Rabbi

Question:A customer has called us and would like us to run a new beverage product as OU, but without the D. Our plant is currently only approved for OUD usage. Is it possible for us to accommodate this customer and remove the D designation? How may it be done?

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ASKOU 10 Seminars on Kosher Law and Practice Draw Participants from Near and Far

Those who know OU Kosher only for its visits to its facilities and its certification of their products may be both surprised and intrigued to learn that the OU is also the leading purveyor of practical and comprehensive kosher education in the world, dispatching its rabbis all over North America to provide kashrut (kosher) knowledge to audiences ranging from small children to distinguished rabbis; using schools and synagogues as their classrooms; producing CD’s, broadcasts and webcasts on the finer points of kosher practice; and in the process translating centuries old kosher law into a “how to do” it for the modern world.

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The OU: Mastering the Challenges of Producing Kosher Wine

Over the last ten years there has been a veritable explosion in the certification of kosher wine. Kosher wine is now produced on every continent and in most of the world’s premier wine regions. While the manufacture and handling of kosher wines (and grape juice) involves certain unique challenges, with the OU’s experience and expertise these have been met and overcome, providing consumers an ever- increasing variety of kosher wine products.

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United – The Pickle that Made New York Great

Mention pickles in a conversation and the talk naturally turns to New York City and how the pickles there are just plain better than any place else on the planet. It is said that United Pickle, the oldest continually operating pickle company in the city, is responsible.
Since 1897, United has made the pickles that make New York City the pickle capital of the world.

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Dream Team: Company Kosher Contacts Are an Important Component of the OU Team

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines teamwork as “work performed by several associates, each doing a part but all subordinating personal prominence to the efficiency of the whole.” At the OU, we try to work together as a team to come up with unique solutions to the unique challenges that kosher certification presents. But before one can talk about teamwork, one must first define the team. The OU team is not only comprised of the Rabbinic Field Representatives (RFRs), Rabbinic Coordinators (RCs), Kosher Law Advisory Board and support staff, but also includes a key component, our partners at the various companies; specifically our kosher contacts. It is often their experience and ingenuity that overcomes the challenges to create the solutions.

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Your RFR – Your OU Kosher Customer Service Agent

As an OU certified company, the primary contact you have with the OU, besides your rabbinic coordinator (RC) at OU headquarters, is your RFR (rabbinic field representative). Out in the field, the RFR is the face of the OU, and you may not be aware that your RFR is both a valuable source of information and can provide service that you should be aware of — and avail yourself of.
Many company reps who are assigned to work with the OU Kosher program are not fully aware of the tools that are at their disposal or what assistance can be obtained from their friendly visiting RFR. You are no doubt familiar with organic certifiers, government agencies (FDA, USDA, etc.), as well as third-party auditors like SQF, BRA and AIB. Kosher certification is a very different program, and your RFR also has a very different role compared to other auditors.

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Reitzel International Spans the Globe with Gherkins

As one of the largest producers of gherkins in the world, Reitzel International is well entrenched in markets throughout the globe and its delicious pickles and other food items can be found in many of the major supermarkets under private label brands. With more than 65 percent of the gherkins private label market in France, 85 percent in Switzerland, and a very sizeable presence in Russia, Germany and the United States, all of it products are certified kosher by the Orthodox Union.

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