Summer 2020 Kosher and Travel Guide

Traveling this summer? Looking for the perfect cool treat? Questions about a kosher BBQ? Look no further than this site as OU Kosher is here to help you with all your summer kosher and travel needs.

Search the OU Kosher listings for certified products you can find in stores across North America.

Summer Treats

Slurpees

The OU certifies a number of Coca-Cola syrups used in Slurpees.  Irrespective of store claims, the only way to be sure that the syrup is kosher is by checking the label on the syrup box. However, Coca-Cola labels on syrup boxes do not bear an OU symbol.  Here’s a list of flavors that are certified by the OU.  

Certified OU Kosher Coca Cola Freestyle MachineCoca Cola Freestyle Machines

Coca Cola Freestyle Machines (also called 100 Flavors of Coke in Canada) mix a variety of soft drink flavors.  Freestyle machines in the United States and Canada are products of the Coca Cola Company and are certified by the OU .  Here are all the flavors certified by the OU.

 

Can I eat in an ice cream or yogurt store, a product that’s been scooped from a container and has OU certification?

A: In some instances, the OU certifies an entire store. In such cases, the OU letter of certification will state that a particular store located in a specific location is under OU supervision. Obviously, one can eat everything in a certified store. However, it is often the case that the OU certifies a brand name ice cream or yogurt, but the OU does not certify the store that sells the product, even though the store has the same brand name as the product. In this latter instance, the OU only certifies sealed containers bearing the OU symbol. Once the container is opened, the OU no longer vouches for the kosher integrity of the item, as the scoop may have been previously used for non-certified flavors.

Kosher Grilling

Is it possible to cook on a BBQ that was previously used for non-kosher food such as BBQ’s at parks and campsites? Also, can an outdoor gas or charcoal grill be kashered?

A: Since food is roasted directly on the grill, the grate must be heated until it glows (libun gomur) to be properly kashered. This can be done either with a blowtorch (which should only be used by qualified and experienced individuals) or by sandwiching the grates between charcoal briquettes and setting them on fire. In addition, if the grill has a hood, the empty gas grill cavity must be kashered by cleaning, closing the hood and setting it to the highest setting for one hour (libun kal).  Alternatively, one may replace the grates and kasher only the grill cavity as explained above.

Can a BBQ be used for both meat and fish?

A: The Gemara (Pesachim 76b) teaches that it is a sakana (danger) to eat fish and meat together. As it is extremely difficult to clean a grill, the same grill rack should not be used for meat and fish. Either the fish should be double wrapped in aluminum foil or separate grill racks should be used.

Traveling

Can in-room hotel ovens or microwaves be used without kashering?

A: It is possible to use a non-kosher microwave or oven by double wrapping the food item. If using a microwave, one may poke a small hole in each cover so that the steam can escape and the package will not explode.

Is coffee from convenience stores, rest stops, and kiosks acceptable to purchase without certification?

A: In contrast to the response given regarding coffee prepared in a non-certified restaurant, it is permissible to purchase a cup of unflavored coffee from a convenience store, rest stop or kiosk. This is because these types of establishments generally do not prepare non-kosher food, or, even if they do, dishes and utensils are washed by hand in a sink and not in a dishwasher.

Is it permissible to take antihistamines without certification?

A: First, please remember, that anyone with a life-threatening condition should take whatever medicines are necessary without hesitation. In general, tablets are preferable to liquid medications which may contain problematic ingredients. If no tablet alternative is available, the liquid should be diluted in water, juice or any liquid by a ratio of one to six, which is one ounce of liquid to one teaspoon of medication. This ratio should be done only in consultation with your doctor.

Can I drink coffee at a non-certified restaurant?

A: There is a halachic concern about coffee prepared in non-kosher restaurants because the equipment used to prepare the coffee may be washed in a dish washer with non-kosher items. It is possible that even so, the coffee equipment may remain kosher. There are a number of variables which could impact the kosher status, such as, the introduction of soap, the temperature of the water, the method of washing (kli rishon versus kli shaini), etc. Nonetheless, due to the uncertainty and ambiguity of each situation, as a general rule, the OU does not recommend the consumption of coffee prepared in a non-kosher restaurant.

Is coffee from convenience stores, rest stops, and kiosks acceptable to purchase without certification?

A: In contrast to the response given regarding coffee prepared in a non-certified restaurant, it is permissible to purchase a cup of unflavored coffee from a convenience store, rest stop or kiosk. This is because these types of establishments generally do not prepare non-kosher food, or, even if they do, dishes and utensils are washed by hand in a sink and not in a dishwasher.

To plan your best vacation ever, check out these OU Kosher resources:

Find restaurants under OU supervision in this guide to OU Kosher Restaurants

If you’re looking for a place to daven you can check out the OU Synagogue Finder here


OU Kosher Certified Attractions:

Hershey Park - Make your own Chocolate bar

Hershey’s Create Your Own Candy Bar

Ever wonder what kind of candy bar you would create? Here’s your chance to find out! Immerse yourself in an authentic HERSHEY’S factory experience. Choose your ingredients and design your own wrapper. You’ll create more than just a candy bar – you’ll create some unforgettable family memories!

Please note that this is the only certified attraction at Chocolate world.

The Turkey Hill Experience

Come to Lancaster County, PA and learn how our ice cream is made, sit in a milk truck, milk our mechanical cows, and learn about the people and culture of Turkey Hill Dairy.

Kashering

Tevilas Keilim

The Torah (Bamidbar 31:23) commands us that utensils made of six metals which were acquired from a Gentile must be toiveled (immersed in a mikvah) before they may be used with food. The six metals are gold, silver, copper, iron, tin, and lead. Glass utensils must be toiveled as well, based on a rabbinic requirement. If you purchase used utensils, they must be kashered before the tevilah. However, if you borrow or rent utensils from a Gentile, there is no mitzvah of tevilas keilim. Before immersing, the utensils must be completely clean. All labels and even residual glue from the labels must be removed prior to tevilah. Prior to tevilah, a beracha is recited.  On this page you’ll find a comprehensive list  of  items and the requirements for each.