Kosher for Consumers

Recent Articles

About ASK OU

As the leader in worldwide kosher certification, the Orthodox Union takes additional steps to serve as a leader in educating the public in matters of kosher law. Over the past several years, OU Kosher, in partnership with the Harry H. Beren Foundation of New Jersey, has developed numerous kashrus educational programs for the benefit of…

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Is this Olive Oil Permitted for Use for the Chanukah Menorah?

by Rabbi Akiva Tendler, RC Dressings, Emulsifier, Oil With Chanukah quickly approaching our thoughts turn to olive oil used for the Menorah. Many people are confused with the various types of olive oil and those which can be used to fulfill the Hiddur Mitzvah of lighting with שמן זית. In this article we will attempt…

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OU Kosher Halacha Yomis: Chanukah

Which comes first on motza’ai shabbos, Chanukah lights or havdala? There is a dispute among the poskim concerning this question. Normally, in selecting the sequence of two mitzvos we are guided by the principle of tadir v’she’eino tadir – tadir kodem (the more frequent mitzvah is performed first). As such, the Taz (681:1) rules that…

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Hi-tech Kitchen Appliances: Navigating their use on Shabbos: OU Certifies Plug-in Device by Zman Technologies…

Technology has changed drastically over the last 30 years and with that, its application in home appliances, such as refrigerators. What was once merely a question of indirectly activating a compressor on Shabbos, which many leading poskim permitted, is now considerably more complex. Activating the automatic defrost system, which is controlled by microprocessors and door sensors, can involve…

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Summary of OU Insect Checking Policies

Fruits, vegetables or berries that are expected to possibly contain insects must be checked prior to use. The minimum rate of infestation that requires checking is 10%. Magnification is not required when checking, although it may be used as an aid for training purposes or to help check faster. Insects that cannot be properly identified…

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Can skinless salmon be assumed to be kosher?

Although kosher fish are usually identified only by the presence of scales [1] , the Orthodox Union has a long standing policy of accepting as kosher all reddish-pinkish fillets, even without a piece of skin by which the fillet can be identified. The basis for this policy is that there is no fish [2] that…

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Color Additives and Kashrus

The following article is an overview of colorants used in the food industry. Kashrus considerations for colorants focus not only on the manufacture of colorants themselves but on any ingredients that may be used with colorants to help make them compatible in a given food system. The first part of the article will survey natural…

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Preparing for Sukkot 5777 – Q&A

SUKKAH Q & A Are there any rules as to where a sukkah may or may not be located? The sukkah should not be located in an area that has a bad smell.1 It cannot be placed under a tree or awning. It should preferably be built on a patio, deck or driveway and not on…

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Yom Kippur: A Halachic Guide

The following is meant as a convenient review of Halachos pertaining to Yom Kippur. The Piskei Din for the most part are based purely on the Sugyos, Shulchan Aruch and Rama, and the Mishna Berura, unless stated otherwise. They are based on my understanding of the aforementioned texts through the teachings of my Rebbeim. As…

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OU Kosher Q&A For Rosh Hashana

OU Kosher presents popular Q&As in preparation for Rosh Hashana. Additional questions can be asked by contacting the OU Kosher Hotline (212-613-8241) or by submitting them tokosherq@ou.org.  Alternatively, CHAT LIVE with an OU Kosher expert on http://www.oukosher.org via the chat icon located at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. Honey Q: There is a long-established minhag (custom) on Rosh Hashana…

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Pas Yisroel List – 5777

The Tur (Orach Chaim, Siman 603), based upon the Talmud Yerushalmi, cites the custom for Jews to be stringent during the Aseres Yimei Teshuva to eat exclusively ‘Pas Yisroel’ bread. Even those Jews who generally do not exclusively eat ‘Pas Yisroel’ are encouraged to accept this practice during the period between Rosh Ha-Shanah and Yom…

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