Kosher for Consumers

Recent Articles

The Kashrus of Potato Products

Can you imagine having made Pesach without potatoes? What would you have eaten? How about Chanukah without latkes or a Shabbos Kiddush without potato kugel? Without a doubt, potatoes have been a staple of a Jewish diet for a long time.

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Vegetable Checking

In today’s modern society, food science has become highly complex. For the average consumer, attempting to read and understand ingredient labels has become a daunting task. For many, fresh or frozen vegetables remain a safe haven within the grasp of the consumer’s understanding, and are considered innocuous. Unfortunately, this perception is inaccurate and is predicated…

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Margarine

When, over a hundred years ago, margarine was first introduced as a cheap alternative to butter, it was so threatening to butter’s prized place on the kitchen table that federal regulations in the United States, influenced by a powerful U.S. dairy industry, prohibited margarine makers from adding colorants to margarine, condemning the new spread to remain pale and whitish.

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Franchising the Kosher Way

Franchising accounts for almost 50% of all retail business done in America and kosher consumers too are eager to literally take a bite into this boon. Notwithstanding for reasons soon to be outlined, these same consumers should know to proceed with caution before indulging. Most assuredly, there is indeed a kosher acceptable way to reap the benefits of the franchise business, but kosher consumers need to be aware of the nature of the industry and the consequent halachic considerations that must be met.

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Beverages

Companies all over the United States have been seeking kosher certification to provide kosher certified non-carbonated beverages to the large growing market of consumers who have asked for them. The growth of kosher certification for the beverage industry has provided a unique challenge to kashrus agencies, because beverage companies require a significant amount of involvement and scrutiny. Kashering demands a level of cooperation between the company, its workers and the kosher supervising staff because of an ongoing necessity to kasher between kosher and non-kosher products.

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Cooked or not? Spicing foods on Shabbos and related issues

Many questions regarding bishul on Shabbos are dependent on how the food was produced and due to modern production methods, in many cases the people with the most technical information on the topic are the kashrus professionals. Thus, consumers who want to know if they can put salt, spices or ketchup into their cholent, croutons into their soup, and similar questions will from time to time call the hashgachah agency that supervises those products – and this week’s column will discuss a number of those questions.

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Pareve Natural Cheese Flavor

How can you have a pareve garlic and cheese flavored melba toast with natural cheese flavor?

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The Unauthorized Kosher Symbol

The world of kosher certified food has and continues to experience tremendous expansion. Many food products that were never before kosher certified are now appearing with kosher symbols. While such proliferation is generally a good thing for the kosher consumer, an unfortunate side effect of this proliferation has been an increase in the number of products that are misrepresented to the public as being kosher certified.

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Rabbi Yerachmiel Morrison: A Rabbinical Coordinator with All the Right Ingredients

Rabbi Morrison began his work at the OU over a decade ago. Before entering the field of kashrut, he served for seven years as Rav of the Springs Hebrew Congregation, a suburb of Johannesburg and for six in South Africa’s Port Elizabeth community. Among his other varied rabbinical responsibilities, he oversaw both areas’ kashrut needs. This wealth of experience proved invaluable for the formidable demands placed on the Rabbinical Coordinator (a.k.a. RC) at the helm of the OU’s ingredients registry.

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OU Announces Changes in Administrative Titles in Kosher Division

OU Announces that Rabbi Menachem Genack Will Assume the Additional Title of CEO of Kosher Division, with Rabbi Moshe Elefant Becoming COO.

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