Pesach Kashrus professionals are familiar with the intricacies of ingredients and food production. Often, consumers who have health concerns contact kashrus agencies in order to obtain information about foods and ingredients. This is especially true when it comes to Pesach. Before Pesach, the consumer information lines at the major Kashrus agencies are constantly ringing. Many of these consumers ask question about Pesach and their health needs. This article will discuss some of the ways in which Pesach certified foods may impact on health issues. However, it is important to note that kashrus agencies and Rabbonim are not health specialists. Persons who need guidance with respect to health matters should obtain advice from qualified health specialists, not from kashrus agencies.
HaModia, March 29, 2006
Once, not long ago, executives of a global health-nutritional manufacturing company met with representatives of a kosher certifying agency. One of the topics the certifying agency was keen on raising was the Jewish community’s need for Passover certified infant formulas. Outside of Israel few, if any, infant formulas are produced and certified specifically for Passover. Would the health nutrition company, already certified kosher for its infant formulas year-round by the agency, be interested in producing a Passover certified product? After discussing the measures that would need to be taken to certify the product for Pesach, the executives were not willing to commit to the project. The economic incentive for producing a special Passover infant formula did not, apparently, justify the disruption in standard production nor the limitations on ingredients suppliers the manufacturer would have to accommodate.
Dating back to the time of Moses, the practice had always been to make matzah by hand. With the advent of the Industrial Revolution in the first half of the nineteenth century, however, things changed. In France, in 1838, Isaac Singer invented the first machine for baking matzah.
Milk and dairy products are increasingly available with cholov Yisroel certification. This article will explain what cholov Yisroel means and how facilities operate in order to produce cholov Yisroel. Let’s take a look.
The most fundamental aspect of supervision is to ensure that all ingredients meet the kashrus requirements of the kashrus agency. Baking companies use a vast number of ingredients, more than most other industry. In addition to the obvious and somewhat innocuous use of basic flours, the full range of ingredients requiring intense certification is used. For example: oils and shortening, egg products, emulsifiers, flavors and enzymes. Product formulas must be reviewed and monitored to make sure than no pareve products contain dairy ingredients.
In order to assist you, our customer, benefit from the OU kosher certification, the OU would like to present eight points to remember when purchasing the products we certify.
One of the great conveniences today enjoyed by the food consumer is bagged fresh salads. Washed, mixed, and nicely packaged, these products eliminate the annoyance of salad preparation and are just waiting to grace one’s table. However, nowadays even seemingly innocuous products must require kosher supervision. Bagged fresh salads are not immune to this phenomenon, as Rabbanim Hamachshirim and kosher agencies face the challenge of certifying these products as insect-free.
Approximately twenty-five years ago, the Chinese government decided to remake the country. China was up to that point a completely Stalinist-Maoist economy, wallowing in poverty, despite the fact that it is the world’s third largest country, blessed with various climates and abundant natural resources.
There is no doubt that anyone who has visited China in the last decade as a tourist or businessman has seen the unbelievable growth taking place in every phase of the Chinese economy, save for population. (As of this writing the population is holding at approximately 1.3 billion people.) Like any other industry in China, the food industry is hardly an exception. When numbers are spoken about in China they are not in terms of tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands, but rather in terms of millions and billions.
The process of certifying an item as OU kosher is based entirely on halacha – Jewish law. OU RC’s (Rabbinic Coordinators) and RFR’s (Rabbinic Field Representatives) are of course well versed in halacha and apply Jewish law in all aspects of the certification process. During the course of their work, however, when unique situations arise with no clear cut answer or precedent to halachic questions, rabbis in the field and their coordinators in New York have a mighty resource to call on – OU poskim, or experts at the highest levels in Jewish law. The following is a case study on how OU poskim make their decisions, and on the dynamic process which is involved in their deliberations. For this case study, we must travel all the way to Australia, home of a dairy company named Murray Goulburn.