OU certified kosher upgrade wash facilities provide their customers with the highest quality washes to meet their needs. Two types of kosher washes service are provided by a certified wash facility:
1) Kosher Maintenance Wash
2) Kosher Upgrade, or ‘Kosherization’ Wash
Every OU certified wash facility is authorized to perform kosher maintenance washes. Upgrade washes can only be performed at those facilities whose certificate clearly specifies they are authorized to do so.
The following is a brief description of the Kosher Upgrade Wash or ‘Kosherization’ Wash and its intended purpose:
When a trailer has not been in kosher service – i.e., it has been carrying non-kosher or uncertified commodities, then the trailer must undergo a kosher upgrade wash in order to become a certified trailer and approved for carrying kosher commodity. An upgrade wash means that the trailer must both
1) Be dormant and clean for 24 hours, or undergo a caustic/detergent wash for 20 minutes at greater than 190 degrees
2) Undergo a fresh water wash for 20 minutes at greater than 200 degrees.
In some cases, the OU approves a kosher upgrade wash without on-site supervision, but relies on electronic or other methods of verifying duration of cycles and heat. Otherwise, a rabbi must supervise the process and issue a certificate. A wash ticket should indicate that the trailer was upgraded and should be associated with the rabbi’s certificate for that specific wash or with a general OU certificate that stipulates that the wash is acceptable when associated with a temperature chart.
An upgrade wash is not required for brand-new, never-used-before trailers. It is only required for trailers not under kosher certification hauling possibly non-kosher commodities.
See also Kosher Maintenance Wash