Ask the Rabbi

Dear Rabbi,

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?


Thank you for your communication and interest in OU Kosher.

In the circumstance that you described, canned fruits and vegetables without flavors, colors or additives can easily be OU Kosher certified. The reason that kosher consumers look for kosher certification on such products is because some canneries may process other products – including non-kosher items – in the off season on the same equipment as the fruits and vegetables. Such processing could compromise the kosher status of the equipment, adversely affecting the fruit and vegetables. Furthermore, multi-process plants that share common utilities can also raise questions of kosher cross-contamination.

OU on your label assures the consumer that the product is kosher without any such doubts.

As you may be aware, many products, even those that do not necessarily require kosher certification such as spring water, nonetheless, bear the OU kosher symbol. Due to the extra level of independent supervision of the manufacturing process, consumers have come to associate kosher with quality.

The steps for OU Kosher certification include: an on-site evaluation of your production site, ingredient and label review and signing of a certification agreement. It would be our pleasure to assist your company through what will likely be a simple certification process.

Rabbi Nahum Z. Rabinowitz