OU Railcar Kosherization Protocols

The information below outlines the necessary procedures for railcar kosherization of railcars. “Kosherization” is a particular temperature-specific procedure required for railcars previously hauling non-kosher to qualify to haul kosher product. The presence of an OU field rabbi is typically required for procedure verification. Please contact your Rabbinic Coordinator, Rabbi Twersky, at 212-613-8388 or at twerskyy@ou.org for guidance.

Note: This information is not relevant for railcars already in kosher service. For railcars already in kosher service, your certified facility may perform any procedures they see fit at their discretion. There are no OU-specific procedures necessary. The procedures described below are only required for railcars going into kosher service after hauling non-kosher or unknown-sourced products.

The procedures below are required for all interior-facing railcar surfaces and appendages. This includes the railcar itself, siphon pipes, manway lid, BOV and any other valves or gauges that face the interior of the car and/or touch product.

1. Clean all interior surfaces from any residual product. No specific OU procedure is required other than the wash include the use of a detergent/caustic. An OU representative need not be present during the wash, but will inspect the effectiveness prior to beginning kosherization.

2. All items requiring kosherization may not be heated for at least 24 hours prior to the kosherization procedure. Hence, hot water cleaning must be performed at least 24 hours prior to kosherization. Repairs and maintenance (not involving hot
water) may be performed.

3. After passing cleanliness inspection, kosherization of the car can be performed.
Kosherization can be achieved by either one of two methods:
 Steaming
 High temperature baking
From an OU standpoint, provided the car is clean, kosherization can be performed before or after blasting. Any preference is solely up to company’s discretion.


i. Steam interior of the car and interior of siphon pipe until exiting condensate temperature is maintained at 200F or greater for 30 seconds. Siphon pipe and car may be kosherized simultaneously by sending steam down through the siphon pipe into the car.
ii. BOV and other interior-facing valves gauges requiring kosherization should be placed in boiling water of at least 200F or may be heated in an oven as per below.


i. Heat the interior of the car to metal temperatures of 400F or greater for a minimum of 2 hours.
ii. Movable parts such as the siphon pipe, BOV and manway lid must also be heated as per above. These items can be placed either inside the car during the heating procedure or in a separate oven.
iii. The ‘pre-bake’ process, if performed at the temperatures above or the final cure for high-bake linings (e.g. Plasite 3070) will satisfy a kosherization. Valves or pipes generally not included in the pre-bake or lining from an industry standpoint (such as stainless siphon pipes or BOVs) will nevertheless need to undergo a high-temperature baking to satisfy a kosherization.

4. Cars requiring an oil wipe should be wiped with OU pre-approved oil.

5. Seal numbers of valves through which product passes should be forwarded to the OU office. Upon receipt of the seals, the OU office will issue a kosher certificate for the kosherized car.