OU Kosher Staff

Shechita

A review of the laws of the proper slaughter of Kosher animals and how they are applied in an industrial setting.

Separating Terumah and Maaser

Terumah and Maaser: Halacha requires the separation of terumah and maaser from Israeli produce. When the Temple was extant, these separated portions were distributed in a specified manner to the Kohanim (Priests), Leviim (Levites) and the poor, or eaten in Jerusalem. While terumah and maaser are no longer distributed or eaten in Jerusalem, the requirement […]

Playing With Fire

Thousands of years ago, the Rabbis of old recognized that Jewish identity is the key to the survival of Klal Yisrael. To this end, they enacted three sets of food laws to limit socialization: bishul akum, pas akum, and stam yainom (cooked food, bread, and wine prepared by gentiles). This was based on the realization […]

A Biochemist Takes A Second Look At “Natural” Foods

Consumer demand for all-natural foods began to, skyrocket about ten years ago. The outcome today is very apparent: an increasing availability of natural foods in supermarkets and a proliferation of health foods stores. In the mind of many kosher-minded consumers, this move to natural foods is all for the good. They believe that wholesome equals natural, […]

Explaining Unauthorized OU Symbols

As the largest kosher certifying agency in the world, the OU is deeply concerned about protecting the integrity of our kosher symbol.

Fraudulent Claims! How To Be Your Own Detective

Here is an interesting question worth pondering. A supermarket displays a large sign which reads: “Super Sale! Kosher Chickens — Tzippor Tohor Brand — 79 cents/lb.”

Emulsifiers

We are experiencing a “new age” of technological advancement in the food industry. This unique technology has ramifications throughout food production from the very inception and creation of the product until its final packaging and sale. Tremendous gains have been made in improving the nutritional quality, taste, texture, and appearance of food products. The importance […]

The Saga Of The Dixie Belle Artificial Cheese Flavored Moon Cookie

You have just arrived at the San Juan airport in Puerto Rico after a long day of business negotiations. Famished, you are looking forward to the kosher meal that will be served on the plane, only to discover that your flight has been delayed for five hours. You search the snack area desperately for some […]

Sweet-Talk: Inside The Kosher Bakery

Certificating an industrial bakery is a complicated matter. Here are some of the issues involved in making supervising bakeries.

Salmon Colored With Astaxanthin

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 has a reddish-pinkish […]