In breaking news from OU Kosher, OU Direct, the website available to all OU Kosher certified companies, became even more direct, Thursday, May 9, with the addition of Product Automation. This new feature includes a variety of options to make it easier and quicker for companies to maintain their certified product lists and to add new products.
If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe. — Carl Sagan Oye! If anyone would have suggested that Kosher foods would be among the hottest new food trends or that the Kosher food market would be amongst the fastest growing food sectors in America and Europe he…
As an OU certified company, the primary contact you have with the OU, besides your rabbinic coordinator (RC) at OU headquarters, is your RFR (rabbinic field representative). Out in the field, the RFR is the face of the OU, and you may not be aware that your RFR is both a valuable source of information and can provide service that you should be aware of — and avail yourself of. Many company reps who are assigned to work with the OU Kosher program are not fully aware of the tools that are at their disposal or what assistance can be obtained from their friendly visiting RFR. You are no doubt familiar with organic certifiers, government agencies (FDA, USDA, etc.), as well as third-party auditors like SQF, BRA and AIB. Kosher certification is a very different program, and your RFR also has a very different role compared to other auditors.
• The OU symbol may only be placed on products that have been authorized and certified as listed on your Schedule B (list of certified products). The OU D must be used on products certified as dairy.
Some time ago, I received the following letter:
As you know, I manage a cheese company, which manufactures kosher and non-kosher cheese, plus kosher whey powder. You are familiar with our equipment and how it needs to be kosherized, but my staff needs some education on this. Can you please explain the kosherization rules for the equipment so that I can share them with my staff? If you don’t mind, I would also appreciate if you could include a basic review of how the equipment works, so that new employees can also benefit from this.
From the moment it appeared upon the scene and changed the face of kosher certification forever, OU Direct has been the subject of intense speculation, rampant rumors and wild conjecture. What can it do? Where did it come from? What powers it? Who is behind it? Why is there grass growing in the ice cream…
We have all heard of the dangers associated with artificial colors. With many artificial colors having been found to be carcinogenic, one certainly understands that consumers would prefer not to see “artificial colors” listed on the ingredient panel, and industry is proud to prominently display a “No Artificial Colors” disclaimer to win over the health conscious consumer. This has helped spur demand for cochineal extract and carmine (a more purified form of cochineal extract). These dyes are made from carminic acid which is extracted from the cochineal scale insect and are therefore natural products.
Our plant processes and cans fruits and vegetables. The raw fruits and vegetables are of course all kosher. Why would I need to receive OU kosher certification; wouldn’t everyone know that my products are kosher? Can you explain what would be involved in attaining kosher certification for my plant?
Answer by Rabbi Leonard Steinberg
I have heard it said that running a successful kosher program is as easy as PIE: Products, Ingredients and Equipment. One must keep an updated schedule B (products) an updated schedule A (ingredients) and have a proper system for keeping track of the kosher/pareve status of equipment. I would like to add another interpretation to this wise adage. Running a successful kosher program is as easy as π (as in 3.14159…).
As a traveling RFR (rabbinic field representative) for more years than I care to admit to, one quickly learns that regardless of how carefully we plan our days, flexibility is the key to success.