Steps for Kosher Certification
Here's how to Get Kosher Certification with OU Kosher (also known as kashrut certification):
Fill out our application form with logistical information about your company and plant. A Rabbinic Coordinator (account executive) will be assigned to handle your application. This RC will be your designated point person at the OU, and will be available to answer your questions, address your needs, and guide you through the Kosher certification process.
A qualified Rabbinic Field Representative (RFR) will visit your plant to observe your operation and the feasibility of certifying your products. (There is a processing fee and a travel expense fee that is billed prior to this inspection.) The RFR will tour your plant and file a written report to OU headquarters.
Your application and inspection report will be reviewed by your Rabbinic Coordinator, who will advise you whether or not the OU can grant certification. In some instances, some system modifications may be required for certification to be awarded.
The RC will draft a contract that will include all OU requirements for kosher certification. If you deem it acceptable, the contract is signed and returned to the OU office, and a letter of certification is sent to you.
Your new product labels carrying the OU symbol may then be submitted for our final approval.
CONGRATULATIONS! You have now joined a family of companies that proudly carries the world’s best-known and most widely accepted kosher trademark, the OU Kosher Symbol. As the largest worldwide kosher certification agency, you will be added to the largest Kosher food database, listed on our website and promoted on our social channels, food guides and jewish magazines.
Kosher Certification Basics
Understanding the OU Kosher Certification Process
To be certified Kosher to orthodox standards, every ingredient of a product and the way in which it is processed must be kosher compliant. Below is the initial process that takes place and then for ongoing kosher supervision to ensure kosher law adherence for every product, company or plant that applies to become kosher certified by OU kosher - the world's largest Kosher Certifying Agency.
schedule a - kosher ingredients list
Establishing a listing of kosher ingredients that are acceptable for use in your product for which you are seeking kosher certification. This list is known as Schedule A. The OU‘s Ingredient Approval Registry staff carefully review and research all ingredient issues, utilizing the database registry of over 200,000 ingredients that have already been approved. Should it be necessary for a company to change or modify sources of supply for raw materials, locating a new source can usually be done very expeditiously through this extensive database.
schedule b - list of kosher symbols on brand name and products
Establishing the list of brand names and specific products that will be authorized to bear the symbol. This list is known as Schedule B. The Schedule B also indicates whether a product must bear a simple symbol (indicating that it is pareve, i.e., containing no meat or milk ingredients), a "D" (dairy), or a "P" (Kosher for use on Passover as well as all year round).
Establishing any special instructions that relate to the use of equipment, which is necessary if a plant engages in both kosher and non-kosher production, or both dairy and pareve production. These instructions may contain kosherization requirements, and/or stipulations for segregation of production lines.
facility visits and adherence checks
Assigning a Rabbinic Field Representative to visit the certified plant at intermittent intervals, to verify that the Schedule A, Schedule B and special instructions are adhered to.
Rabbinic Coordinator (account executive)
A Rabbinic Coordinator (account executive) will be assigned to handle your application. This RC will be your designated point person at the OU, and will be available to answer your questions, address your needs, and guide you through the certification process and continue to assist you as questions or concerns arise.
Kosher Certification Policy
The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America (the "Orthodox Union") is the sole and exclusive owner of the certification mark, a federally and internationally registered trademark for kosher certification. It may only be used with the express written permission of the Orthodox Union Kosher Division.
Products are endorsed as kosher only when bearing the OU emblem on the label. Consumers are directed to check the ingredient panel of products on a regular basis for changes in the Kosher status that may occur as a result of reformulation.
Kosher updates appear regularly on this site and in the News Reporter section of the Orthodox Union publication Jewish Action. Kosher for Passover products under OU supervision are published annually in the Kosher Directory Passover Edition.
OU Kosher Certification Symbols for Pareve, Dairy and Meat Categorizations
The products are Pareve (contain neither milk or meat ingredients). OU Pareve may contain fish or eggs.
The products are Dairy. These products either contain dairy ingredients or have been processed on dairy equipment.
The products are Meat/Poultry. Alternatively, they may contain meat/poultry ingredients or have been processed on meat equipment.
Confidentiality Statement for OU Kosher Certification
The OU observes the strictest levels of confidentiality throughout the kosher certification process. We are extremely sensitive to the needs of our certified companies and respect the proprietary nature of manufacturers’ confidential information and trade secrets.
The OU requires disclosure of some proprietary information because the kosher certification process insists that we are aware of all the ingredients, all the equipment, and all of the processes, used in the plant that we certify as kosher.
It is natural that you may have concerns about sharing your confidential processes and procedures regarding products produced at your factory with the OU.
The OU’s reputation for integrity and the willingness of thousands of companies to allow us access to this information should further reassure you that we will not violate your trust. Please be assured that all of the information you provide us will be held in strict confidence. In fact, our promise of confidentiality is clearly stated in all of our certification agreements.