Consumer Kosher Articles

The Catered Affair On Shabbos

Taking Responsibility It goes without saying, but unfortunately needs repeating, that in preparing a catered kiddush, not only must someone be responsible to oversee the kashrus of the food, but someone must insure that the halachos of Shabbos are adhered to. Who will accept this responsibility? The baalei simcha are preoccupied with other things. The […]

Warming Food On Shabbos

In warming food on Shabbos, there are three issues to consider – the first is potentially d’oraita and the latter two are d’rabbanan – bishul, hatmana and chazara. Bishul/cooking includes, but is not limited to, finishing off the cooking/baking of a food (e.g. baking/warming a challah in a manner that removes the last vestiges of […]

Kosher Oils

Many years ago, it was a common, though unsound practice of many frum people to check the kosher status of food items they wanted to eat by reading the ingredient listing printed on the label. This was not a good idea for two primary reasons: Although ingredients are generally required to be identified, there are […]

Across The Divide: Building Bridges

Several decades ago I spent some time in Rome, Italy. Faced with the depletion of the stocks of food that I had brought with me, I set out to explore the availability of kosher food in the Italian capital. I was advised that there was a store that specialized in kosher food. It took all […]

The Key To Ingredient Approval In Today’s World

When Bob, the purchasing agent at kosher-certified Joe’s Fine Baked Goods of Palo Alto, California, is evaluating a potential supplier of margarine, he uses some of the same criteria that anyone involved in a purchase would consider: he wants the product to be of appropriate quality, and it should be appropriately priced. But before he […]

Chocolate Covered In Halacha & Kashrus

Perhaps one of the most exciting food treats for children and adults alike is chocolate. Incredibly popular, it has been consumed for generations as a tasty snack or an important component of a delicious dessert. To the delight of many, medical researchers have begun extolling possible health benefits of moderate chocolate consumption. Known to contain […]

The Case Of The Baffling Bialy

The question had haunted him for years. If there was one sore point in an otherwise legendary career, it was Mac’s inability to find a problem with the OU. GAZING AT HIS REFLECTION in the gritty office window, Milton “Mac” Donald, Kosher Private I, was impressed at the new dimension seven days without shaving gave […]

The Consumer’s Role In Kashrus: Is Your Light On Or Off?

It was a hot summer night when Chaim entered his local ice cream store, Great Taste Ice Cream Parlor, with the intention of purchasing his favorite treat, a medium-sized cup of Rocky Road ice cream with chocolate sprinkles. Chaim had frequented this nationally kosher certified franchise both locally and out-of-town based on a list that […]

The Kashrus Of Pickled Herring

Have you ever noticed that when herring is served at a kiddush or during shalosh seudos, not only does the herring not have fins or scales, it often doesn’t even have its telltale skin? What identifies the herring as kosher fish? The answer is, of course, that originally there was a skin on the herring, […]

Kashrus Supervision At Hotel Affairs

Over the past few years there has been an increase in the number of functions catered at non kosher hotels. Catering in these facilities creates many more kashrus concerns for the kosher certifying agencies supervising them. Sometimes, as many as three or four vigilant, professional mashgichim are needed to ensure that no requirement of kashrus is being overlooked. Whatever the number may be, there is much more involved than meets the eye. The guest enjoying a luxurious smorgasbord at these affairs really has little idea of the kashrus supervision involved. The following are some of the behind-the-scenes preparations that go into making sure that not only is the presentation of the food impeccable but the kashrus is as well.