Posts by: "Vaad Harabbonim"

Chizuk Habayis – Building and Strengthening the Jewish Home

A recording is below.

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2022-6-2 KosherGram PDF

 

ONLINE SHOPPING REMINDER: When shopping online for grocery delivery or curbside pickup, always check the actual label on each item when the order is received. This is essential because many online descriptions or pictures give inaccurate or outdated information regarding the product’s Kosher status. In addition, the store may substitute non-Kosher or non-approved products if the requested item is not available.

Some recent examples: 

  • Season Kipper Snacks Herring Fillets is pictured on Amazon with an OU, but the actual product delivered did not bear an OU. (Due to Covid-19 related challenges, it was produced as non-Kosher and the OU was removed.)
  • Edward & Sons Organic Mashed Potatoes is pictured on Kroger’s website with a Heart-K symbol (a division of OK Kosher), but the actual product does not bear that symbol.
  • Great Value [Walmart] Whole Wheat pasta (Spaghetti, Linguine, Penne, etc.) is pictured online with an OU symbol, but the actual product currently does not bear an OU. 

THE OK SYMBOL (a K inside an O) is a registered trademark of OK Kosher Certification. Recently, however, some non-certified companies have begun using an OK symbol to indicate a Keto diet claim. Some examples are BranchOut Avocado Crisps and Recipe Ready Instant Chicken Bone Broth. Usually there is some indication on the label that the symbol is referring to Keto. If in doubt, check the OK Kosher Product Search at www.ok.org, or contact OK Kosher Certification at 718-907-9548 or info@ok.org

PLANTERS NUT PRODUCTS are acceptable only when bearing an OU symbol. Products bearing a K (which include most Planters Dry Roasted items and some Honey Roasted items) may contain gelatin, or may be produced on the same equipment as gelatin-containing products. 

Planters 24 Variety Pack and 36 Variety Pack boxes contain some individually packed products that bear an OU [Salted Cashews and Salted Peanuts], and also individually packed products that do not bear an OU [Honey Roasted Peanuts]. Only those with an OU are recommended.

LANGERS GRAPE JUICE is made in both Kosher and non-Kosher versions, and the labels are only slightly different. Check carefully for the OU symbol.

NEW SLURPEE SYRUPS

[Note: This information is for the benefit of Kashrus Supervisors and consumers who inspect, with permission of store management, the labels on the 2.5 / 5 gal. bag-in-boxes of syrups in the back of the store, which feed the Slurpee machines. The flavor cards posted on the Slurpee machines in front cannot be relied upon to determine the Kosher status of the Slurpee, because they often do not match the brand and variety of the syrup that is actually feeding the machine.]

The following new Slurpee syrups are Kosher and pareve (no symbol required):

  • FANTA MYSTERY FLAVORS 1, 2 & 3 FCB – 2022

TRADER JOE’S ORGANIC FRENCH ROLLS and TRADER JOE’S ORGANIC FRENCH BAGUETTE that bear MK certification [Montreal] are Pas Yisroel.

FANTASTIK DISINFECTANT MULTI-PURPOSE SPRAY CLEANER and WEIMAN GRANITE & STONE DAILY CLEAN & SHINE SPRAY do not bear an OU on some new containers now in stores, but they are nevertheless Kosher and OU certified.

LIEBER’S CHOCO CHIPLETS are certified by Rabbi Weissmandl as Kosher and pareve, as stated on the back. Due to a printing error, an OU-D symbol was added to the front of the package.

WALMART’S GREAT VALUE PRETZELS and KROGER brand PRETZELS that previously had a plain OK symbol, including Pretzel Sticks, Pretzel Rods and Pretzel Mini Twists, are now changing to an OK-D symbol due to dairy equipment, and should not be eaten together with meat. Packages that still bear a plain OK symbol are pareve. Several other store brands of OK certified pretzels may also be changing status. Check each bag.

EARTHLY GRAINS LONG GRAIN & WILD RICE MIX – ORIGINAL variety, sold at Aldi, contains whey, but mistakenly bears a plain OU without a D in some regions of the U.S. The other two varieties – Garlic & Herb, and Roasted Vegetable & Chicken flavor, do not contain dairy and are correctly marked with a plain OU. In other regions, including Michigan, these products are made for Aldi by a non-Kosher supplier, and therefore bear no Kashrus marking.

C.WIRTHY & Co. BUTTER HERB SALMON was mislabeled as Kof-K Pareve. This product contains dairy butter, as stated in the ingredients, and is certified Kof-K Dairy.

STOP & SHOP brand BROWNIES and BROOKIES contain dairy ingredients, but mistakenly bear a plain Kof-K without the Dairy designation on some labels.

PURAVIDA PRIMAVERA MISTURA FIRE ROASTED FROZEN VEGETABLES – OU: The OU has announced that recently, some insects were found in the broccoli that is part of this vegetable mix. The OU advises that consumers discard the broccoli portion of the mix.  

PURAVIDA VEGETABLE MELANGE FIRE ROASTED FROZEN VEGETABLES was previously OU certified, and bags still bearing an OU are acceptable. New bags do not bear an OU and are not approved.

WALMART’S  GREAT VALUE TOMATO KETCHUP (regular type) no longer bears an OU.

DOLE RED GRAPEFRUIT SUNRISE IN 100% JUICE cups that do not bear the OU symbol are not certified, and contain grape juice. Only packages bearing the OU are approved.

TRADER JOE’S VEGETABLES: The following Trader Joe’s brand products bear an unauthorized KSA symbol next to the Best If Used By date: 

  • Shredded Cabbage
  • Wild Arugula
  • Butter Lettuce
  • Ready Veggies
  • Organic Baby Spinach & Spring Mix Blend

KNUDSEN LIGHT SOUR CREAM 16 oz. was mistakenly labeled with an OK-D symbol. This product is not OK certified.

ARTISANAL PRETZELS produced by Eastern Standard Provisions Co. and sold at Whole Foods, bears a Kof-K and includes seasoning packets. These seasonings are not Kosher and should not be used.

SALENTO ORGANICS PRODUCTS bear an unauthorized Kosher Check symbol and are not certified by the Orthodox Rabbinical Council of BC [British Columbia].

GRANNY B`S FROSTED SUGAR COOKIES mistakenly bear an OU on some labels. These cookies contain carmine, an insect derived coloring.

SUCKER PUNCH GOURMET – SWEET SPICED BREAD & BUTTER CHIPS with lot # HCFW012622A bears an unauthorized KSA Kosher symbol. This specific lot is not Kosher certified. Other lots bearing the KSA are approved.

 “1800” TEQUILA PRODUCTS bear an unauthorized OK symbol on some bottles. These products are not certified by OK Kosher Certification.

MELALEUCA LUMINEX MOOD SUPPORT SUPPLEMENT, sold through Melaleuca sales representatives, contains non-Kosher gelatin and bears an unauthorized Star-K symbol. 

 

PRODUCT RECALL

 

JIF PEANUT BUTTER RECALL: If the lot code (next to the Best If Used By Date) begins with four numbers that are between 1274 and 2140, and if the next three numbers are 425, that product has been recalled due to potential Salmonella contamination. FDA recommends that if you have used the recalled peanut butter, you should wash and sanitize surfaces and utensils that could have touched it. Details are available at https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts/j-m-smucker-co-issues-voluntary-recall-select-jifr-products-sold-us-potential-salmonella or 800-828-9980.

Post-Pesach 5782 Information – Detroit Area

CHOMETZ may be purchased immediately after Pesach at the following stores in the Detroit area, except for Dunkin Donuts (10 & Greenfield) where chometz should not be bought until 10:20 PM, due to the Halachic requirement of  “bichdei sh’yaasu”.

 

All K-COR establishments

Aldi

BJ’s

Busch’s Fresh Food Market

Costco

CVS

Dollar Tree Stores

Family Dollar Stores

GFS (Gordon Food Service)

Joe Randazzo’s Fruit Market

Kroger [Detroit area]

Lincoln Rx Pharmacy

Meijer

Nutrifoods

Plum Market

Rite Aid

Sam’s Club

Superior Kosher Meats

Target [Detroit area]

The Grove

Trader Joe’s

Wal-Mart

Walgreens

Westborn

Whole Foods

It is advisable to wait two weeks after Pesach (May 8) before buying “pure” chometz products (e.g., bread, grain cereals, pasta, cookies and pretzels) at Jewish-owned stores that do not observe Pesach, even if they made a Mechiras Chometz before Pesach, due to the possibility that new chometz was received during Pesach. This includes Restaurant Depot and Natural Food Patch. It is permitted to purchase most other products immediately after Pesach, including pearled raw barley, dry cake mixes, flour (without malted barley), glue, all kitniyos, ketchup, mayonnaise, medicines, mustard, vinegar, vitamin tablets, baker’s yeast, and yeast extract.

2022-4-13 Pesach Update PDF

PACKAGES OF THE FOLLOWING PRODUCTS WITHOUT PESACH MARKING were mistakenly placed in the Pesach section at The Grove. Check every label of your purchases for Pesach marking:

  • SHUFRA REAL CHOCOLATE CHIPS some non-Pesach bags (“48% Cacao”) may have been mixed with the Pesach-marked bags (“55% Cacao”).
  • NATURAL & KOSHER ITALIAN COLLECTION FRESH MOZZARELLA CHEESE
  • TUV TAAM BEETS & HORSERADISH – EXTRA STRONG
  • CAMILLE BLOCH – NO SUGAR ADDED – SWISS MILK CHOCOLATE

 MISLABELINGS: 

  • DOLE CREAMY COLESLAW KIT mistakenly bears an OK-P symbol on some bags. While the cabbage/salad is approved for Pesach, the enclosed sealed dressing packet is not approved for Pesach.
  • 1800 brand TEQUILA PRODUCTS bear an unauthorized OK-Psymbol on some bottles. This company and its products are not certified by OK Kosher Certification.

YODER’S ORANGE JUICE in 52 oz. bottles with a plain OU, that have the letters KFP in the ink jet code on the bottle below the Best By date, are Kosher for Pesach.

DOLE ANGEL HAIR COLESLAW: On some bags, the P for Pesach is before the date, instead of the usual location next to the OK symbol; these bags are certified for Pesach.

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The AM FRESH NORTH AMERICA GRAPEFRUIT currently being sold at Costco locally are produce of Israel, as stated on the plastic bag closures, and as stated on the cases (“Jaffa / Mehadrin – Israel”), and require taking of Terumos and Maaseros. They are not Shemitah produce at this time, and will not be until August 2022.

SNAPPLE FRUIT PUNCH mistakenly bears an OK symbol on some 32 oz. bottles. This product contains grape juice and is not certified Kosher.

                                

                        Remember – check every label for Pesach certification!

                            We wish all our readers a Chag Kosher V’Sameach

 

 

2022-4-5 Pesach Update PDF

THE FOLLOWING PRODUCTS were for a brief time mistakenly placed in the Pesach section at The Grove Kosher Market. Please check every label of your purchases:

  • MEHADRIN GREEK CHEESE SNACK is made in both Pesach and non-Pesach versions. Some non-Pesach packages were mistakenly placed in the Pesach section.
  • SEASON SARDINES require an OU-P for Pesach. Some plain OU cans were mistakenly in the Pesach section.
  • LA BONNE SOY SAUCE and LA BONNE TERIYAKI SAUCE with Kitniyos certification were mistakenly in the Pesach section, instead of in the separate Kitniyos section.

MISLABELINGS:

  • LIEBER’S WHITE TRUFFLE OIL and LIEBER’S BLACK TRUFFLE OIL mistakenly state Kosher for Pesach; they are not certified for Pesach. This applies also to last year’s product.
  • “SIMPLY POPCORN” POPCORN IN BAGS from New England Pretzel & Popcorn Co. is not an OU certified product. Some bags bear an unauthorized OU-P symbol.
  • SONNY & JOE’S HUMMUS in 30 lb. containers are certified OU Kitniyot. Some containers were mistakenly labeled with an OU-P symbol.
  • SYSCO ALL PURPOSE H&R FLOUR bears an unauthorized OU-P symbol on some 50 lb. bags.

BABY / CHILDREN PRODUCTS:. For the convenience of our readers, we list here a summary of some commonly used Baby / Children products approved for Pesach by Rabbi Bess and Star-K or other reliable sources:

Advil Children’s Junior Strength Coated Tablets

Advil Children’s Suspension – all flavors

Advil Infants’ Drops – Grape

Bayer Children’s Aspirin

Benadryl Children’s Allergy liquid and Dye-Free liquid – all flavors

Benadryl Children’s Allergy chewable tablets – Grape

Kosher-Meds Children’s Ibuprofen Suspension – Berry Flavor – OU

Motrin Children’s Suspension – all flavors

Motrin Infants’ Drops – all flavors

Sudafed PE Children’s Nasal Decongestant – Berry

Sudafed PE Children’s Cold & Cough – Grape

Tylenol Children’s Cold + Cough + Runny Nose liquid

Tylenol Children’s Cold + Cough + Sore Throat liquid

Tylenol Children’s Suspension – all flavors

Tylenol Infants’ Suspension – all flavors 

MiraLax Powder

                                 

                    Remember – check every label for Pesach certification!

                    We wish all our readers a Chag Kosher V’Sameach

 

The Vaad Harabbonim presents the online PesachGram.

The PesachGram may take a moment to load and appear. Click on the bottom icon on left of frame for fullscreen.

A PDF version of the PesachGram is also available for view and download:

PesachGram PDF


Atzeres Hesped – Maran Rav Chaim Kanievsky ZT”L

A recording is below. Speakers included:

  • Opening Remarks – Rav Yisroel Menachem Levin Shlita, Rov, Bais Tefillah
  • Rav Shimon Galai Shlita, Rov, Bnei Brak (00:12:00)
  • Rav Shmuel Irons Shlita, Rosh Hakollel, Kollel Avreichim of Detroit (00:39:30)
  • Rav Gershon Miller Shlita, Rosh Hamosad, Yeshiva Bais Yehudah (01:01:30)

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2022-3-16 KosherGram PDF

 

THE FOLLOWING NEW SODAS / DRINKS ARE KOSHER, even without any Kashrus symbol:

  • NITRO PEPSI DRAFT COLA and NITRO PEPSI VANILLA DRAFT COLA
  • MOUNTAIN DEW SPARK regular and Zero Sugar
  • MOUNTAIN DEW GINGERBREAD SNAP’D
  • PEPSI-COLA SODA SHOP CREAM SODA COLA and PEPSI-COLA SODA SHOP BLACK CHERRY COLA
  • BRISK ICED TEA – BLOOD ORANGE

COCA-COLA STARLIGHT – regular and Zero Sugar – is Kosher and bears an OU on the bottle cap or engraved into the can lid.

NEW SLURPEE SYRUPS: [This information is for the benefit of Kashrus Supervisors and consumers who inspect, with permission of store management, the labels on the 2.5 / 5 gal. bag-in-boxes of syrups in the back of the store, which feed the Slurpee machines. The flavor cards posted on the Slurpee machines in front cannot be relied upon to determine the Kosher status of the Slurpee, because they often do not correspond with the brand and variety of the syrup that is actually feeding the machine.]

The following new Slurpee FCB syrups are Kosher and pareve:

  • BRISK ICED TEA – BLOOD ORANGE FCB (no symbol required)    •  FANTA TIGER’S BLOOD FCB (no symbol required)

ALDI frequently changes suppliers for its store brands [private label] products, which are sold under such names as Baker’s Corner, Benton’s, Burman’s, Carlini, Clancy’s, Countryside Creamery, Friendly Farms, Little Salad Bar, Millville, and others. The Kashrus status of these products can therefore change from week to week; and even at the same time, there may be a mixture of seemingly identical products on the shelf, some with acceptable Kashrus certification and some without, or some pareve and some dairy. Carefully check each individual item for proper Kashrus marking.

Following are two recent changes in the Detroit area. (Other regions of the U.S. may differ.)

  • FRIENDLY FARMS ORIGINAL YOGURT – 6 oz., in various fruit flavors: Previously had an OU-D [plant # 36-1287]. Now has a K [plant # 34-865] and contains unacceptable gelatin.
  • FRIENDLY FARMS ALMOND MILK previously had a plain OU [plant # JP]. Now has an OU-D, due to Dairy Equipment [plant # 18-388].

PREWASHED BRANDS OF ICEBERG LETTUCE SALADS that normally bear Kosher certification, such as Fresh Express [Star-K], Dole [OK], and Kroger, Aldi’s Little Salad Bar and Walmart’s Marketside store brands [OK], may be appearing without Kosher marking during the next few weeks, due to increased infestation levels in the growing areas. Cabbage / coleslaw products may also be affected. Carefully check each bag for the Kosher symbol.

KEMACH SPLIT PEA SOUP MIX with expiration date 11232023 needs to be checked for possible infestation. Dead insects resemble small, black round dirt particles. A bag that has black specks should not be used. [Rabbi Nussen N. Horowitz]

CALIFORNIA DELIGHT RICE NOODLES with lot code 0781 has been found to be infested and should not be used. It can be returned for a full refund. [Star-K]

B&G GHERKINS have been found to contain insect infestation in jars with the following lot codes (printed on the side of the lid); these jars should not be used: #25021- Best By Feb 25 2023;  #09031- Best By Mar 09 2023;  #24061- Best By Jun 24 2023.  Consumers with other lots are advised to slice open each gherkin to check for possible infestation. Anyone discovering infestation in a lot not listed above is requested to immediately contact info@star-k.org and share the lot number and Best By information noted on the lid. Attaching a photograph would also be very helpful. [Star-K]

ARNOLD WHOLE GRAINS HEALTHY MULTI-GRAIN BREAD is certified as an OU-DE [Dairy equipment] product. Some bags are missing the OU-DE symbol, but they are nevertheless OU-DE certified. This may not be eaten at a meat meal.

WELLSLEY FARMS frozen BLUEBERRY WAFFLES and CHOCOLATE CHIP WAFFLES sold at BJ’s contain dairy ingredients and are certified OU-D. Some packages mistakenly bear a plain OU without the D.

FUNABLES FRUITY SNACKS / KEEBLER FUDGE STRIPES COOKIES TREAT MIX (sold locally at Dollar Tree, and possibly bought for Mishloach Manos) mistakenly bears an OK-D on some packages. While the Keebler cookies are Kosher Dairy, the Funables candies are not Kosher.

THEO’S FETA CHEESE bears an unauthorized OU symbol on some packages.  If you see such packages in the marketplace, please provide details to kosherq@ou.org.

REDPATH ICING SUGAR, sold in Canada, mistakenly bears a COR-P. This product contains corn starch and is not Kosher for Pesach.

2022-3-1 KosherGram PDF

SOME LIQUOR COMPANIES ARE JEWISH OWNED and do not sell their chometz, and their products, including a number of varieties of American Whiskey, Canadian Whisky, Bourbon, Rye and Scotch, are therefore not permitted due to chometz she’ovar olov haPesach. An extensive list is available on the cRc [Chicago Rabbinical Council] website at https://www.crcweb.org/LiquorList.pdf . Following are a few examples of common liquors on that list (see details there):

Trader Joe’s – Kentucky Bourbon Straight Whiskey

Kirkland Signature – Barton 1792 Master Distillers Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey  

Buffalo Trace – Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – Unflavored

Royal Canadian – Unflavored

New Riff – Bourbon, Rye

 

REPACKAGED MEAT AND POULTRY: When purchasing meat and poultry, be sure to check that the original packaging and labeling from the Kosher supplier are intact. Recently at a Costco store, next to the Empire Kosher chickens that were in their original packaging, there were other packages that were marked as Kosher on the Costco label, but were not in their original Empire packaging. Following is the OU’s response to this:

Please be advised that the OU can only stand behind product sealed in its original packaging. Any product which has been opened or repackaged should not be assumed kosher. Even if the original packaging was presented alongside the repackaged, the OU would recommend that it not be accepted.

If the Costco store chose to declare the product kosher, this is their own claim. The OU would not corroborate that.

 

ANISAKIS WORMS IN FISH: The Halachic status of anisakis worms that are found in the flesh of many types of fish, is a matter of much dispute among the Poskim. Many American Kashrus certifications, including the Vaad Harabbonim / Council of Orthodox Rabbis of Greater Detroit, allow these fish. Consult your Rav for guidance. For those who wish to avoid this issue, a list that details which types of fish are affected is available on the COR website at http://cordetroit.com/k-cor/lists-and-guides/  

 

COUNTRYSIDE CREAMERY “TASTES LIKE BUTTER!” 40% VEGETABLE OIL SPREAD and  COUNTRYSIDE CREAMERY “COUNTRY RECIPE HOMESTYLE SPREAD” 40% VEGETABLE OIL SPREAD sold at Aldi – Clarification from the OU: These products in rectangular containers that bear a plain OU and do not list dairy ingredients are pareve. – Please note that different versions of these products with an OU-D are available in some regions, and they may contain dairy.

 

BAKER’S CORNER KETO ALL-PURPOSE BAKING MIX sold at Aldi contains milk ingredients, but mistakenly bears a plain    Kof-K symbol without the Dairy designation.

 

BURMAN’S YELLOW MUSTARD sold at Aldi is made in two versions. The “Classic” version, which is currently being sold locally, does not bear Kashrus certification. The “Traditional” version, which may be available in some regions, bears an OU. Check each container carefully.

 

KLEIN’S NATURALS DRIED MANGO  in  25 lb. cases with Lot # 005,  10 lb. cases with Lot # 306968, and  2.5 lb. bags with Lot # C284, have been found to be infested and should not be used. Klein’s retail size bags were checked and found to be free of infestation.

 

YAMA MOTO YAMA ORIGINAL ROASTED SUSHI NORI SEAWEED30 sheet bags with Kof-K symbol: The Kof-K has announced that additional inspection for infestation is required for the following “Best Before” codes (located on the back of the bag): 07 02 2023 A21 01 2023 A ,  and 25 01 2023 A .  [Note: Checking nori is difficult and is not recommended for the average untrained consumer.]

 

THE FOLLOWING PRODUCTS BEAR AN UNAUTHORIZED KOSHER SYMBOL:

  • SKY KOSHER EVENTS featured an unauthorized OU symbol on some marketing materials for “Passover in Dubai”. 
  • GRUBHUB.COM, SEAMLESS.COM and associated mobile apps are displaying an unauthorized OK Kosher symbol.

 

ALEIA’S GLUTEN FREE FOODS: EarthKosher Kosher Certification has announced that effective immediately, all Gluten Free baked goods produced by Aleia’s Gluten Free Bakery in Branford CT, should not be used even when bearing the EarthKosher symbol.

 

PRODUCT RECALLS

SIMILAC, ELECARE AND ALIMENTUM POWDER INFANT FORMULAS manufactured in Abbott Nutrition’s Sturgis, Michigan plant, and sold in many countries, including Israel, have been recalled due to potential contamination with Cronobacter sakazakii or Salmonella Newport, which can cause severe, life-threatening infections in infants. Details are available at https://www.fda.gov/food/outbreaks-foodborne-illness/fda-investigation-cronobacter-and-salmonella-complaints-powdered-infant-formula-february-2022  or 800-986-8540.

ROYAL ICE CREAM, GIFFORD’S and other brands of ice cream products that bear manufacturing plant number “CT#121” have been recalled due to potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. Details are available at https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts/royal-ice-cream-company-inc-expands-recall-all-products-within-expiry-because-possible-health-risk  or 860-649-5358.

POMEGRANATES sold this week at The Grove [Southfield] that bear a yellow sticker stating “#3440”, with no country of origin listed, are
from Israel, and require taking of Terumos and Maaseros. (They are not Shemitah produce at this time, and will not be until July 2022.)

2022-2-1 KosherGram PDF

 

POMEGRANATES FROM ISRAEL are being sold in the U.S., and require taking of Terumos and Maaseros. (They are not Shemitah produce at this time, and will not be until July 2022.) Check the sticker or original case for the country of origin.  –  We have reason to believe that the pomegranates currently being sold at Westborn Market in Berkley, that do not list any country of origin on their stickers, are from Israel.

GREENFIELD NOODLE CO. has exhausted its stock of Yoshon flour, and is now using Chodosh flour. Chodosh product will not state “Yoshon” next to the expiration date.

LAFFY TAFFY LAFF BITES: Although most Laffy Taffy candies are OU certified, Laffy Taffy Laff Bites contain gelatin and are not OU certified, and do not bear an OU symbol. A Candy Favorites website that lists them as Kosher is incorrect.

ONLINE SHOPPING REMINDER: When shopping online for grocery delivery or curbside pickup, be sure to check the actual label on each item when the order is received. This is essential because many online descriptions or pictures give inaccurate or outdated information regarding the product’s Kosher status. In addition, the store may substitute non-Kosher or non-approved products if the requested item is not available.

One recent example: Member’s Mark California Almonds Roasted with Sea Salt (oil roasted) from Sam’s Club is still pictured online with an OU symbol, but the actual product currently does not bear an OU. 

THE FOLLOWING PRODUCTS BEAR AN UNAUTHORIZED KOSHER SYMBOL:

  • PS SEASONING ROASTED GARLIC CREAMY POTATO SOUP MIX bears an unauthorized KSW symbol [Kosher Supervisors of Wisconsin / Wisconsin Kosher] and contains a non-Kosher ingredient.
  • SPIRITLESS KENTUCKY 74 – The OU does not certify Spiritless Kentucky 74 beverages or any products made by Spiritless.  Some of their marketing materials bear an unauthorized OU symbol. 

BLACKBURN’S JELLIES – Notice from the cRc: Due to Kosher violations, Blackburn’s Grape Jelly and other jelly/jam products produced by T J Blackburn Syrup Works, Inc., Jefferson, TX, are no longer certified and are being recalled. Products with an expiration date of 3-25-23 and later should not be treated as Kosher even when bearing a cRc or Texas-K (a cRc subsidiary) Kosher symbol.

VILLA CAPE WINES 

  • Villa Cape 2018 vintage wines which have the importer’s name on the label listed as “Israco International Food Brands Marketing Ltd” bear an unauthorized OK symbol. (The Villa Cape 2018 wines with an OK that do not list “Israco…”  are certified.)
  • Villa Cape 2021 vintage wines bear an unauthorized OK symbol – OK Kosher did not certify any productions in 2021.

MISSING DAIRY DESIGNATION: The following Kosher certified products contain dairy ingredients, but are not labeled correctly as Dairy:

  • COUNTRYSIDE CREAMERY “TASTES LIKE BUTTER!” VEGETABLE OIL SPREAD sold at Aldi mistakenly bears a plain OU symbol without the D on some containers.
  • GREAT VALUE RICOTTA CHEESE sold at Walmart mistakenly bears a plain OU symbol without the D on some containers.

WELLSLEY FARMS MINI CINNAMON ROLLS sold at BJ’s Update from the OU: The correct status of this product is DE [dairy equipment]. The label mistakenly bears only a plain OU.  

BARLEY CHECKING REMINDER: There have been several reports recently of insects found in Gefen Pearl Barley. Many Kashrus agencies recommend that all barley (and in particular Yoshon brands) be checked prior to use. Following are two options for checking:

Soaking Method:

  1. Place all the barley you wish to use in a white bowl, and fill the bowl with water, a few inches over the top of the barley.
  2. Allow to sit for 15-20 minutes. If insects are present, they will float to the top. If any do, repeat the process, and if no more are then found, the barley may be used.

 Plate Method:

  1. Place a small pile of barley – about two ounces at a time – on a white paper plate (not plastic, which creates a shine) with good overhead light that illuminates the plate. 
  2. Use a finger or a fork to drag a small amount of barley away from the pile, spreading that barley in a single layer. Visually inspect the spread-apart barley, looking for webbing, black insects and white or tan worms between or under the kernels. 
  3. Repeat this until the entire pile has been checked. Then do the same for the rest of the barley in the package. 

BROWN RICE CHECKING REMINDER from Star-K: There are reports in a number of cities that infestation is being found in brown rice. Star-K recommends checking brown rice for insects prior to use, as follows:

  1. Place the brown rice (no more than 16 oz. at a time) in a mesh strainer. Mesh size should ideally be #12 mesh or larger.
  2. Shake the brown rice over a lightbox or white paper for 25-30 seconds.
  3. Examine the surface of the lightbox or paper for any insect presence. If no insects are found, the brown rice may be used. If any insects are found, the brown rice should not be used.

CASHEWS notice from OK: The OK Kosher Tolaim Committee has been finding insects and worms in cashews. Consumers should split them open and make a cursory inspection, especially when holes are visible.

KROGER brand CLASSIC GARDEN and WALMART’s MARKETSIDE brand SHREDDED ICEBERG and COLESLAW salads normally bear an OK symbol and are products of USA / Canada. Local stores now have bags that state product of Mexico and bear different symbols. These bags are not recommended. Check each bag carefully. (There may be a mixture of some bags with the OK and some without.)

2021-12-28 KosherGram PDF

SPRITE WINTER SPICED CRANBERRY Limited Edition and SPRITE GINGER sodas, in both regular and Zero Sugar varieties, are Kosher, and bear the OU symbol on the bottle cap or engraved into the can lid.

KRONOS CLASSIC HUMMUS is certified cRc Pareve and is labeled correctly on the individual 4 lb. tubs. The outer cases that state Dairy are outdated and are being used up.

OLITALIA  ITALIAN COLLECTION, currently being sold at Sam’s Club as a Limited Time item, contains a bottle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil with an OU, and a bottle of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena with no Kosher marking. The vinegar contains grape must and wine vinegar, and is not Kosher. The OU symbol on the outer display case refers only to the olive oil.

THE FOLLOWING PRODUCTS BEAR AN UNAUTHORIZED KOSHER SYMBOL:

  • Various FURTHER FOOD COLLAGEN [animal] products bear an unauthorized OK symbol.
  • AMBROSIA BOVINE [animal] COLLAGEN POWDER bears an unauthorized OK symbol
  • Various FLORAJEN PROBIOTICS products bear an unauthorized OK symbol.
  • KOLIKOF BOWFIN CAVIAR bears an unauthorized Star-K symbol.
  • BUCKY BADGER POPCORN products bear an unauthorized KSW symbol [Kosher Supervisors of Wisconsin / Wisconsin Kosher].
  • WILDLY ORGANIC / WILDERNESS FAMILY NATURALS GOJI BERRIES mistakenly bear the EarthKosher symbol on some packaging. [Note: All brands of Goji Berries should be avoided, due to serious infestation issues.]

THE FOLLOWING KOSHER CERTIFIED PRODUCTS CONTAIN DAIRY INGREDIENTS, but are not labeled correctly as Dairy:

  • WELLSLEY FARMS MINI CINNAMON ROLLS sold at BJ’s – contains milk, but mistakenly bears a plain OU symbol without the D.
  • 7-SELECT CHOCOLATE PUDDING and 7-SELECT VANILLA PUDDING sold at 7-Eleven contain milk and cream, but mistakenly bear a plain OU symbol without the D.

 PRODUCT RECALLS

COCA-COLA and SPRITE in 12 oz. cans with specific date codes on the bottom of the can [Coca-Cola: AUG1522WMB and AUG1522WMC; Sprite: AUG1522WMB] have been recalled due to the potential presence of foreign matter. These products were distributed in the Southeastern states. Details are available at https://www.commissaries.com/our-agency/newsroom/news-releases/coca-cola-recalls-coca-cola-and-sprite12-oz-cans-due-potential   or 800-438-2653.

DOLE SALADS RECALL:  Dole has recalled all Dole branded and private label salads produced at its Bessemer City, NC and Yuma, AZ processing facilities due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes.  These products bear either the letter N or Y in the beginning of the code below the Use By date, and will have a “Best if Used By” date between November 30, 2021, and January 8, 2022. This includes various iceberg/ Garden Salad and coleslaw products bearing OK certification under the following brand names: DOLE, KROGER, LITTLE SALAD BAR [Aldi], MARKETSIDE [Walmart], LIDL, and AHOLD. (Also Dole Shredded Carrots.) Details are available at https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts/dole-fresh-vegetables-announces-voluntary-recall-salads-processed-its-bessemer-city-nc-and-yuma-az?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery  or 800-356-3111.

FRESH EXPRESS SALADS RECALL: Fresh Express is recalling Fresh Express branded and private label salads produced at its Streamwood, Illinois facility due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes.  These products bear the letter Z in the beginning of the code below the Use By date. The recall includes all Use By dates with product codes Z324 through Z350, and includes various iceberg/ Garden Salad and coleslaw products bearing Star-K certification under the following brand names: FRESH EXPRESS, LITTLE SALAD BAR [Aldi], MARKETSIDE [Walmart], GIANT EAGLE, and SIGNATURE FARMS [Jewel-Osco]. Details are available at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/fresh-express-announces-recall-of-fresh-salad-products-due-to-potential-health-risk-301448686.html  or 800- 242-5472.

   [NOTE: Little Salad Bar and Marketside salads that bear an OK Kosher symbol (as in the local Detroit area) are produced by Dole. In some areas they are produced by Fresh Express and bear a Star-K.]

 

Chizuk Habayis – Building and Strengthening the Jewish Home

A recording is below. Speakers included:

  • Opening Remarks – Rabbi Yisroel Menachem Levin Shlita, Rov, Bais Tefillah
  • Rabbi Moshe Mordechai Lowy Shlita, Rov, Agudas Yisroel, Toronto (00:05:20)
  • Rabbi Zev Cohen Shlita, Rov, Adas Yeshurun, Chicago (00:39:30)

Listen Here



2021-11-29 KosherGram PDF

BELL PEPPERS FROM ISRAEL (red, yellow and orange) will soon begin appearing in U.S. stores, and should not be purchased due to Shemitah restrictions. (If already purchased, consult your Rav.) Carefully check the fine print on the package, or the sticker on peppers sold loose, for the country of origin. Often the same brand has some peppers from Israel and some from other locations, so each individual package or pepper should be checked.

Whenever buying produce, one should be careful to check the sticker, bag label or original case for the country of origin, due to issues of Shemitah, or of Terumos and Maaseros if it is not Shemitah product.  Some additional examples of Israeli produce commonly found in the U.S. include tomatoes, carrots, citrus fruit (oranges, grapefruit, lemons, mandarins, clementines  and pomelos), persimmons (“Sharon Fruit”), pomegranates, mangos, dates, dill and parsley.

IMPERIAL VEGETABLE OIL SPREADS in several varieties have recently changed from dairy [OU-D] to pareve [plain OU]. Check each package carefully. 1 lb. packages of sticks that bear a plain OU on the outer package are pareve, even though the inner wrappers still state OU-D; the wrappers will be updated.

GREAT VALUE DICED PEACHES IN 100% JUICE at Walmart bears an OU on the 4 Packs and contain Kosher grape juice. The 12 Packs, however, no longer bear an OU and are not acceptable, even though their online pictures still show an OU symbol.

Some cans of BORRELLI PIZZA SAUCE with no Kashrus certification were mistakenly sold recently at The Grove      [One Stop]. They should not be used. Other cans of Borrelli Pizza Sauce bear an OU symbol, but the OU has thus far not confirmed their Kosher status, and the OU symbol may be unauthorized.

[Updated information from Kof-K:]  HECKERS and CERESOTA ALL PURPOSE FLOURS  which contain “NT” in the code are milled from Yoshon winter wheat in a facility that handles only winter wheat. (For those makpid on malt in flour, malt may be Chodosh as of Dec 15, which corresponds to a “Best If Used By” date of June 15 23.)

TUMS PRODUCTS:

  • Only those Tums products that bear a Kosher symbol are acceptable. Most of the certified products state Pareve beneath the symbol; however, Tums Chewy Delights contains milk and is marked as Dairy.
  • Some containers of Tums Assorted Berries Extra Strength 750 and Tums Assorted Fruit Extra Strength 750 are now being made by non-certified manufacturers, and do not bear a Kosher symbol. Check each container.
  • Tums Naturals Black Cherry & Watermelon variety contains carmine color, which is made from non-Kosher cochineal beetles, and therefore bears no Kosher marking.
  • Tums Chewy Bites are not certified and bear no Kosher marking.

 PRODUCT RECALLS

Specific COUNTRY TIME LEMONADE, KOOL-AID, TANG, and ARIZONA HALF & HALF powdered drink mixes have been recalled due to the potential presence of very small pieces of metal or glass. Details are available at https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts/kraft-heinz-voluntarily-recalls-select-country-time-lemonade-tang-arizona-tea-powdered-beverages-and  or 855-713-9237.

TASTYKAKE CUPCAKES and KRIMPETS with specific “Enjoy By” dates have been recalled due to the potential presence of tiny fragments of metal mesh wire. Details are available at https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts/amended-flowers-foods-issues-voluntary-recall-certain-tastykake-products-due-possible-presence-tiny  or 866-245-8921.