So You Hate Regulatory Paperwork? The OU Comes To The Rescue

January 17, 2006

Everyone, it seems, hates regulatory paperwork. So here is some good news: the Orthodox Union is now available to help your company comply with the Kosher laws of New York State and New Jersey.

In New Jersey, the Consumer Affairs/Kosher Enforcement Bureau conducts an annual audit of supermarket brands. An inspector will randomly select 25 store brand products with a kosher symbol and request a valid Letter of Certification (LOC) for those products. The product and brand name on the LOC must match exactly what is written on the label. (An LOC for mustard, for example, will not be acceptable for Honey Dijon Mustard.) Since the audits were regarded as being too easy in past years, this year the Bureau required a single item LOC. (If BBQ Potato Chips were audited, the LOC could not include other varieties of potato chips.) The LOC also had to be valid when the audit was conducted, December 2004.

The Orthodox Union was eager to help manufacturers and supermarkets comply with the audits. The OU even reached out to supermarkets saying,“Give us your audited OU products and we’ll give you LOC’s.” Most requests for LOC’s were turned around in four hours or less, if the OU was provided with the proper information. Some products required changes in our database. (It is always helpful to supply the OU with copies of the labels. It is also advisable to check that the product registration matches the product label.)

Also in December 2004, New York State enacted a new kosher law requiring all food items (both retail and industrial) that bear a kosher symbol to be registered. The purpose is to make information available to the public regarding who is certifying a product. This is really only helpful for products with “no-name” kosher symbols or the generic “K”. For those companies whose products proudly bear the world renowned OU, the symbol speaks for itself!

Once again the OU was ready to help. Working closely with the New York State computer programmers, the OU devised a download program for product registration. Confidentiality, as always, was built into the program so that the identity of who is co-packing or private labeling for whom, would not be revealed. The OU sent out a mailing to its certified clients offering to register in-house products, all private labels and/or selected private labels. Almost 1,000 companies were thrilled not to have to deal with government paperwork. Many were surprised to learn that there was no charge. If the products you manufacture are sold in New York State, it is still not too late to have the OU register them. (Sorry, we won’t do your taxes or fight your parking tickets.)

If your products are being exported to Israel, make sure that you are in compliance with Israel’s laws before a product being represented as kosher is imported there. A permit must be obtained from the Chief Rabbinate. Failure to do so can result in the product’s withdrawal. As you might imagine, given the OU’s prominence in kosher certification, both the New York and New Jersey kosher agencies were grateful for the OU’s assistance to its clients in complying with the laws. When your products are OU obtained from the Chief Rabbinate. Failure to do so can result in the product’s withdrawal.

As you might imagine, given the OU’s prominence in kosher certification, both the New York and New Jersey kosher agencies were grateful for the OU’s assistance to its clients. When your products are OU certified, not only do you have the most recognized and respected kosher symbol on their labels, but you also have a full service kosher agency behind you.

If you need information or help on any of these issues, please contact Rabbi Howard
Katzenstein, at 212.613.8169, via fax at 212.613.0679 or e-mail at .


Ask a Kosher Question

Become OU Certified

Just fill out a simple form, and we’ll personally contact you to guide you through the entire certification process.

Download the new company application form

Why Go Kosher