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2020-4-30 KosherGram PDF

 

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  • Many online descriptions or pictures give inaccurate or outdated information regarding the product’s Kosher status.
  • The store may substitute non-Kosher or non-approved products if the requested ones are not available.

Following are two recent examples:

  • When a search for EMPIRE KOSHER CHICKEN at Costco yielded no results, an online grocery delivery service company website offered, as a “related result”, a non-Kosher brand of chicken [Foster Farms] as “Kosher”.
  • SIMPLE TRUTH ORGANIC CANNED DICED TOMATOES IN TOMATO JUICE is pictured on the Kroger website with an OU. After pickup, a shopper found that some cans bear an OU, and other cans bear a different, non-approved symbol.

ALSO BE AWARE that due to the pandemic, some manufacturing plants are unable to obtain sufficient Kosher ingredients (e.g. cheese) for their productions, and some plants are expanding the range of products they make to offset lack of availability from their usual suppliers. As a result, some products will lose their Kosher certification, and some products will change from pareve to dairy. Every product label must be carefully checked for its proper status.

DOLE ICEBERG LETTUCE SALADS: Some bags of Dole Garden Salad and Dole Shredded Lettuce currently in stores do not bear the OK symbol. These bags are not OK certified and are not recommended.

CAROLINA brand BROWN RICE: The cRc (Chicago Rabbinical Council) reports that while brown rice in the Midwest is generally free of infestation issues, Carolina brand brown rice has been found to have infestation issues even in the Midwest.  Consumers are advised not to use Carolina brand brown rice without a thorough checking.

The following is the procedure for checking brown rice as per the Star-K:

  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.

 UNCLE BEN’S WHOLEGRAIN PARBOILED BROWN RICE mistakenly bears an OU-D on some 25 lb. bags. This product is OU Pareve.

CAMILLE BLOCH SWISS MILK CHOCOLATE BAR mistakenly says Pareve on some labels. This product is dairy and Cholov Yisroel.

VITA WILD HERRING IN WINE SAUCE 32 oz. bearing a plain OU with lot code 03609 and Best if Used Before date JUN 26 20 has been recalled because it may be mislabeled and may actually contain Herring In Sour Cream (certified OU-D). Mislabeled jars will be obvious by the white sour cream sauce visible through the clear plastic jar. For more information contact Vita at 800- 989-8482.

HERSHEY’S ICE CREAM FUDJO CHOCOLATEY FUDGE BAR 2.5 ounce was mistakenly labeled Kof-K DE instead of the required Kof-K Dairy. This product contains milk, as clearly stated on the label, and is certified Kosher Dairy.

GORDON CHOICE FROZEN VEGETABLES from Gordon Food Service bear an unauthorized wKs [Whole Kosher Services] symbol on some products, including broccoli and cauliflower. No Gordon Choice or GFS products are wKs certified.

iO INSPIRED ORGANICS BALSAMIC VINEGAR is not OU certified. Some labels bear an unauthorized OU symbol.

BEST YET ONION RINGS are not OU certified. Some packages bear an unauthorized OU symbol.

NO SUGAR, VEGAN PURE and VEGAN WAY brands of products sold by the No Sugar Company Limited and Vegan Way Nutrition Inc. are not certified Kosher by The Orthodox Rabbinical Council of British Columbia [“Kosher Check”]. The            K check logo on them is a Keto Diet symbol, not a Kosher symbol.

NESTLE NERDS CANDY is not OU certified, and does not bear an OU symbol. Rainbow Nerds in Israel bears an Allbrands Importer Israel sticker that wrongly states that Nerds is certified by the Orthodox Union.

MALK ORGANICS nut milks and oat milks bear an unauthorized HKA logo.

PRODUCT RECALLS

BENEFIBER HEALTHY SHAPE [PREBIOTIC] FIBER SUPPLEMENT POWDER and BENEFIBER PREBIOTIC FIBER SUPPLEMENT POWDER from  five specific lots have been recalled due to green plastic pieces or shavings from bottle caps that may be present in the product, posing a choking or injury hazard. Details are available at https://www.benefiber.com/recall/ or 800-452-0051.

LENOX brand 2.5 QUART WHISTLING STAINLESS STEEL TEA KETTLES  have been recalled because they can expel hot water during use, posing a burn hazard to consumers. Details are available at www.gocontinuum.com or 800-669-6385.

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 10:15 PM, due to the Halachic requirement of “bichdei sh’yaasu”.

All K-COR certified 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
K-Mart
Meijer
Nutrifoods
One Stop Kosher Market
Plum Market
Rite Aid
Sam’s Club
Save-A-Lot (11 & Greenfield)
Superior Kosher Meats
Trader Joe’s
Wal-Mart
Walgreens
Westborn
Whole Foods

It is advisable to wait two weeks after Pesach (May 1) 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, Johnny Pomodoro’s Fresh Market, 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.

Buying chometz from Kroger and Target in the Detroit area after Pesach involves Halachic uncertainty. Although these stores are owned by non-Jews, there is a possibility that they are supplied by privately-owned Jewish food distributor C&S, and the chometz sold after Pesach may have been in the possession of C&S during Pesach. Since it is difficult to gather precise information, it is commendable to wait two weeks after Pesach (May 1), before buying “pure” chometz items from these stores.

LIEBER’S TOMATO SAUCE is Kosher for Pesach only when bearing Pesach certification. Non-Pesach cans state openly on the label “NOT FOR PASSOVER”. 34 non-Pesach cans (15 oz.) were mistakenly sold at One Stop on Tuesday April 7. Please check your purchases.

BODEK frozen BUTTERNUT SQUASH is Kosher for Pesach, even if the bag does not state so.

Remember – check every label for Pesach certification!

We wish all our readers a Chag Kosher V’Sameach

KLEIN’S REAL KOSHER VANILLA ICE CREAM CHOCOLATE COATED BARS 6 Packs bear Pesach certification on some packages. These packages are Kosher for Pesach only if the individual bars inside are in special clear plastic wrappers with no wording. Some Pesach marked packages mistakenly contain bars in regular preprinted wrappers that list many ingredients including corn syrup, mono and diglycerides, lecithin, etc. These bars are not certified for Pesach and contain kitniyos, and should be put away until after Pesach.

YARDEN frozen FAVA BEANS mistakenly states (in Hebrew) Kosher l’Pesach “l’lo chashash kitniyos”. This product is kitniyos, and should say “l’ochlei kitniyos” (only for those who eat kitniyos on Pesach).

LIEBER’S canned CRUSHED TOMATOES WITH BASIL bearing the code QA BBD 01/29/23 KFP has been recalled because the can may expand and can potentially explode. Customers should dispose of the can and request a full refund. Only cans with this particular code are affected.

“SHOLOM MICHIGAN KOSHER SWEET CONCORD WINE” from St. Julian Wine Co., Paw Paw, Mich., is not under Orthodox supervision and should not be considered Kosher.

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:
Advil Children’s Junior Strength Tablets
Bayer Children’s Aspirin
Benadryl Children’s Allergy Liquid – Cherry, Dye-Free Liquid – Bubble Gum, Plus Congestion – Grape
Motrin Infants’ Drops – Dye-Free Berry
Motrin Children’s Suspension – Bubble Gum, Berry, and Dye-Free Berry
Sudafed Children’s Nasal Decongestant – Grape
Sudafed PE Children’s Nasal Decongestant – Berry
Sudafed PE Children’s Cold & Cough – Grape
Tylenol Infants’ Oral Suspension – Grape
Tylenol Children’s Suspension – Cherry
MiraLax Powder

Remember – check every label for Pesach certification!

We wish all our readers a Chag Kosher V’Sameach

י”ב ניסן תש”פ
April 6, 2020

Due to logistic and health reasons, the Vaad was unfortunately not able to provide a romaine lettuce checking service this year. The following are some guidelines for those who are unable to obtain certified pre-checked romaine lettuce and are not equipped or familiar with the “thrip-cloth method”.

As a general rule the stalks are much easier to clean than the leafy part of the lettuce. Simply rip off the leafy parts and soak the stalks in a soapy solution. Run the stalks under a stream of water while running up and down with your thumb. No further checking required.

For those that still wish to use the leaves as usual – extra care must be taken to wash the leaves very well with soapy water. A sponge or brush should then be used to scrub each leaf separately making sure to reach all cracks and crevices. Rinse very well. No further checking required. This method is less preferred than using stalks.

Notes:
• Romaine hearts have less bugs than whole heads.
• Organic lettuce should not be used.
• These guidelines are for this year only and should not be relied upon for other years.
• When using stalks, a k’zayis is enough to fill a 3” x 5” area or enough to displace 1 fl oz of water (2-4 stalks). When using leaves, a k’zayis is enough to fill a 8” x 10” area or enough to displace 1 fl oz of water.
• Each person needs 1 k’zayis for marror and 1 k’zayis for korech.
• 4 k’zaysim per person will satisfy your needs for both Sedorim.

The Vaad Harabbonim presents the online PesachGram.

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

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

PesachGram PDF

‘SHOHAM” brand POMEGRANATES are produce of Israel and require taking of Terumos and Maaseros. The Shoham pomegranates sold at One Stop Kosher Food Market beginning March 2 have had Terumos and Maaseros taken. Shoham pomegranates are also being sold at other local stores, including Holiday Market, Market Fresh, and others, and require taking of Terumos and Maaseros by the purchaser.

KROGER SWEET & MESQUITE BBQ POTATO CHIPS with a plain OU in 17 oz. Party Size bags (UPC 0111100320101), with the specific lot code Best If Used By MAY 12 20 2B5 and time stamped 18:50 to 20:55, have been recalled because they actually contain Cheddar and Sour Cream Potato Chips which contain milk, and are certified OU Dairy. For more information contact https://www.kroger.com/topic/recall-alerts-3 or 905-669-6072 x 227.

STREIT’S MINESTRONE CANNED SOUP 15 oz. with a Best By date of Jan. 2023 is not Yoshon certified until after Pesach 5780. All other Streit’s products certified under the Kof-K are certified as Yoshon.

New COCA-COLA ENERGY drinks in 12 oz. cans, in Regular, Zero Sugar, Cherry, and Zero Sugar Cherry varieties, are OU certified and bear the OU symbol engraved into the top lid of the can.

PEPSI-COLA 1893 ORIGINAL COLA and PEPSI-COLA 1893 GINGER COLA (available at Amazon and eBay), and PEPSI BERRY, PEPSI LIME and PEPSI MANGO sodas, all in 12 oz. cans, are Kosher. (They do not require a Kashrus symbol.)

PRE-PESACH SHOPPING ADVICE: When shopping for Pesach products, each individual label should always be checked for Pesach certification. Consumers are cautioned not to take for granted that a product is Kosher for Pesach simply because it is in the Kosher for Pesach section of their store, or because a “Kosher for Pesach” sign is posted. Each year there are numerous instances, even in Jewish stores, of non-Pesach products mistakenly being mixed in with Pesach products, usually because their labels are almost identical. This occurs frequently with Telma soup mixes and cubes, Lieber’s dressings and Coat ‘n Bake coatings, various brands of frozen chopped liver and kishke, and Osem, Gefen, Haddar, Manischewitz, Empire and other brands of products that have both Pesach and non-Pesach versions of the same products with similar labels.

Storekeepers, likewise, should not take for granted that everything received in their Pesach shipment, even from a Jewish distributor, is indeed Pesach certified; non-Pesach products are frequently inadvertently mixed in. There have also been instances where the outsides of cases were marked Kosher for Pesach, but the products inside were not. Each individual label must always be checked for Pesach certification.

Some brands, e.g. Osem, do not bear the same certification on all of their products. Each product should be checked for a reliable certification. – In addition, some brands, especially those from Israel, bear more than one certification on a single package, but not all those certifications include approval for Pesach. In particular, the Badatz of Eida Hachareidis symbol often states specifically that its endorsement does not include Pesach. All products should be carefully examined for a reliable Pesach endorsement. – Some products bear a non-Pesach certification printed on the label, and have an added stamp (often on the lid) saying Kosher for Pesach, but with no identification of the certifying organization. These should not be relied upon.

2020-1-28 KosherGram PDF available for download.

TRADER JOE’S ISRAELI FETA CHEESE bearing “B.D.Z. Mehadrin” certification is reliably certified by Badatz Mehadrin of Rechovot, Israel, and is Cholov Yisroel.

BUSH’S BEST VEGETARIAN BAKED BEANS in TANGY SAUCE WITH BROWN SUGAR & SPICES in the 16 oz. can mistakenly does not bear an OU on the can label, but does bear the OU symbol on the upper lid. This product is Kosher and OU certified. New labels will be corrected and will bear the OU.

The 7-ELEVEN STORE on 12 Mile bet. Greenfield & Coolidge is no longer under K-COR supervision for slurpees. Supervision remains at the following three 7-Eleven stores:
• Lincoln & Greenfield: all three machines [plus Iced Coffee-dairy] • 11 & Coolidge and • 13 & Greenfield: only the left machine.

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.

OREO SANDWICH COOKIES: The OU has issued updated information as of January 7 regarding the dairy status of Oreo OU-D cookies. Four more items have been added to the dairy equipment list. For the convenience of our readers, the entire list is quoted here. These cookies may be consumed after meat and poultry, but not simultaneously.

“At the present time the following Oreo Sandwich Cookies do not contain dairy ingredients, although they are manufactured on dairy equipment:

• Original Oreo Sandwich Cookies
• Oreo Double Stuf Sandwich Cookies
• Triple Double Oreo Sandwich Cookies
• Oreo Original Mega Stuf Sandwich Cookies
• Mini Original Oreo Sandwich Cookies
• Chocolate Oreo Sandwich Cookies
• Golden Oreo Sandwich Cookies
• Golden Oreo Double Stuf Sandwich Cookies
• Golden Oreo Mega Stuf Sandwich Cookies
• Oreo Thins Sandwich Cookies
• Oreo Cinnamon Bun Sandwich Cookies
• Oreo Lemon Sandwich Cookies
• Oreo Mint Creme Sandwich Cookies
• Oreo Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies
• Oreo Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies
• Winter Edition Oreo Sandwich Cookies
• Oreo Thins Latte Creme Sandwich Cookies
• Oreo S’mores Sandwich Cookies
• Oreo Tiramisu Sandwich Cookies
• Oreo Basecake [Cookie] Crumbs

Please bear in mind that the manufacturer may choose in the future to reformulate these products and add dairy ingredients. Since these products already bear OU-D symbols, formulation changes would not be reflected in the OU-D logo. As such, we recommend that consumers check regularly with our [OU] office to confirm the status of these items.”

KIRKLAND SIGNATURE SEMI-SWEET CHOCOLATE CHIPS in 4.5 lb. bags at Costco are available in two varieties. Both bear OU-D. The white bag [“51% Cacao, Real Vanilla”, Costco Item #807473] does not contain dairy ingredients, and bears OU-D due to dairy equipment. The red bag [Costco Item #1331846] contains milk fat and is dairy. Costco stores in the Midwest have both types. Stores in the East have only the red bag.

FRIENDLY FARMS ALMOND MILK in 64 oz. refrigerated containers sold at Aldi bears a plain OU on most varieties, and those are pareve. However, Friendly Farms Organic Almond Milk and Friendly Farms Coconut Milk are made by a different manufacturer, and they bear OU-D due to dairy equipment. [Note: This may vary in different regions.]

CARLINI PURE OLIVE OIL sold at Aldi has changed suppliers, and no longer bears an OU. (This contains refined olive oil, which definitely requires Kashrus certification.) CARLINI EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL in glass bottles still bears an OU in the Detroit area, but in some other areas does not. – Check each item carefully.

DUCKTRAP RIVER OF MAINE HERRING CENTER CUTS IN WINE SAUCE in 12 oz. jars with a plain OU and a Sell By date of JUL 29, 2020 have been recalled because they contain undeclared milk due to an incorrect label. These jars actually contain Herring Center Cuts Cream Style, which contains cream and milk and is certified OU-D. Only jars with this specific Sell By date are affected.

PICKWELL FARMS frozen BROCCOLI WITH CHEESE SAUCE and PICKWELL FARMS frozen CALIFORNIA MEDLEY WITH CHEESE SAUCE sold at Save A Lot bear an unauthorized OU. These products are not Kosher.

PRIVATE SELECTION JEWISH RYE DELI STYLE BREAD, sold at Kroger owned supermarkets, bears an unauthorized OK-D symbol. OK Kosher Certification does not certify this product or any dairy bread.

LA CHOY BEAN SPROUTS, CHOP SUEY VEGETABLES, and FANCY MIXED CHINESE VEGETABLES in 14 oz. cans are produced at a non-Kosher facility and are not Kosher. Some 14 oz. cans, with lot numbers beginning with 21019, were mistakenly labeled with the OK symbol. All other sizes, when bearing the OK symbol, are correctly labeled and Kosher certified. This includes #10 cans (102 oz.) of all three items, and 28 oz. cans of Chop Suey Vegetables.

WELCH’S GRAPE JUICE with a K is not an Orthodox supervision and should not be considered Kosher. Only specially produced bottles of “Welch’s-Manischewitz Kosher Grape Juice” with an OU are acceptable.

CARIAN’S BISTRO CHOCOLATES are not OU certified. Some boxes bear an unauthorized OU symbol. This product is sold through Amazon.

ACCLAIM brand GOURMET MARSALA COOKING WINE mistakenly bears an unauthorized OU. This product is not Kosher.

All pareve varieties of DAY TO DAY COFFEE SINGLE SERVE CUPS (K-Cups) manufactured by NAPCO are certified by the cRc. The following dairy varieties (sold at Menards) are not certified, but bear an unauthorized cRc:

• Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa • French Vanilla Cappuccino • Sweet & Salty Caramel Cappuccino

2019-12-30 Kashrus Alerts PDF available for download.

POST HONEY BUNCHES OF OATS CEREALS in several varieties have changed from OU-D (dairy ingredient – whey) to plain OU (pareve), and many stores now have a mixture of older product with OU-D, and newer product with plain OU. Check each box carefully for its correct status.

LUDEN’S and many STORE BRANDS of THROAT / COUGH DROPS (e.g., CVS, Rite Aid, Kroger, Meijer, etc.) were in the past produced on dairy equipment and stated OU-D on the label. The manufacturing process has changed, and now they are being produced on dedicated pareve equipment and are fully pareve. New labels therefore bear a plain OU. Stores may have a mixture of OU and OU-D labeled product; check each package for its correct status.

GARDEN LITES “VEGGIES MADE GREAT” frozen products (muffins, veggie cakes, frittatas, etc.) have changed from OU certification to Triangle K, and stores now have a mixture of older product with OU, and newer product with Triangle K. Only those bearing OU are recommended. Check each package carefully.

QUINOA: Several Kashrus agencies have recently reported finding infestation in quinoa (booklice and mites), due to improper storage in the distribution chain. The OU and Star-K recommend the following checking procedure for quinoa (all colors):

• Place quinoa in a fine mesh (e.g. #30) strainer. (Fine enough that the quinoa does not go through, but not a flour sifter or coffee filter, which are too fine.)
• Shake for 25-30 seconds over a light box or white paper. Examine the surface of the light box or paper under a strong light for any insects.
• If any insects are found on the white surface, the quinoa should be discarded.

BROWN RICE: The Star-K reports infestation in brown rice sold in the Northeastern U.S., due to improper storage in the distribution chain, and recommends that consumers in those areas follow the same procedure as described above for quinoa.

BARLEY: Due to frequent infestation issues, several Kashrus agencies currently 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.

NATURAL EARTH brand NORI SHEETS with a date code of 2019.03.28 have been found to have infestation concerns and have been recalled. All other lots of Natural Earth Nori remain Star-K certified when bearing the Star-K symbol.

GENERAL MILLS CINNAMON TOAST CRUNCH CEREAL – 2-PACK mistakenly bears only a plain OU on the sleeve. Each individual box correctly bears OU D. This product at this time does not contain actual dairy, but is produced on dairy equipment.

KLEIN’S DELIGHTS DARK CHOCOLATE ALMONDS sold currently at Costco mistakenly bear an OK-P on some display cases. The individual bags correctly bear a plain OK, and are Kosher pareve for year round use, but not for Pesach. (In Pesach season this product is produced as Kosher for Pesach, and then bears OK-P on the individual bags.)

TRADER JOE’S CINNAMON ROLL BREAD bears an unauthorized KVH Pareve symbol on some labels. This product contains dairy and is not certified by KVH Kosher.

MARZANO SPAGHETTI SAUCE: [Corrected alert issued by OU] The OU certifies regular Marzano Spaghetti Sauce as OU pareve. Some labels with an OU symbol were mistakenly used for a spaghetti sauce that contains non-kosher beef. The labels for the Kosher and non-kosher products look alike except for the ingredients statement. Consumers should look at the ingredients statement and verify whether or not beef is listed as an ingredient. If beef is listed, the product is not certified and bears an unauthorized OU symbol. If beef is not listed, then the product is certified when bearing the OU symbol. The product with beef is being withdrawn from the marketplace. If you see this product being sold, please provide details to kosherq@ou.org.

PRODUCT RECALL

All HARD-BOILED PEELED EGGS , both retail and Foodservice, produced by Almark Foods at its Gainesville, GA plant and sold under many brand names, including Almark, 7 Select [at 7-11], Eggs-Land and others (including many that bear an OU), have been recalled due to possible association with a Listeria monocytogenes outbreak that has been linked to several reported illnesses and one reported death. Details are available at https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts/almark-foods-expanded-recall-all-products-its-georgia-facility-due-possible-listeria-monocytogenes or at 877-546-0454.

[Note that the location of the G code (indicating the Gainesville, GA plant) stated in the FDA notice is incorrect. The G is after the Best If Used By date.]

BELL PEPPERS FROM ISRAEL (red, yellow and orange) are beginning to appear in U.S. stores, and require taking of Terumos and Maaseros. They are being sold locally at Kroger, Walmart, Aldi, Holiday Market and other stores. The brands include Sunset, Gilad, Kroger,  Simple Truth Organic [Kroger],  Family Farms, and others, both regular and organic. Consumers should carefully check the fine print on the package, or the sticker on individual 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. Details of the tithing procedure can be found (courtesy of cRc Chicago) at Instructions for Separating Terumah and Ma’aser

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”), mangos, dates, dill and parsley. Check the sticker, bag label or original case for the country of origin.

TRADER JOE’S CHOCOLATE BROOKLYN BABKA and TRADER JOE’S HALF MOON COOKIES bearing OU Pareve are still Pas Yisroel, but are no longer Yoshon.

2019-10-30 Kashrus Alerts PDF available for download.

TRADER JOE’S ISRAELI FETA CHEESE bearing “B.D.Z. Mehadrin” certification is reliably certified by Badatz Mehadrin of Rechovot, Israel, and is Cholov Yisroel.

KLEIN’S NATURALS DRIED MANGO with Best-By dates 09/17/20, 09/23/2020, 09/26/2020 and 10/24/2020 has been found to have a high rate of infestation and has been recalled. The OK advises that consumers should do a visual check of mango in packages with other Best-By dates.

STORE BRANDS AND GENERIC BRANDS frequently change suppliers (i.e., the outside manufacturers that produce the product for the store), which often results in a change or loss of the product’s Kosher status. Stores may also have multiple suppliers for the same product, so that some packages on the shelf bear acceptable Kosher certification while others do not, or some are marked Pareve and others are marked Dairy. Consumers should be especially careful when buying such products to check each package every time for proper Kosher certification.

Following are two current local examples.

  • MEMBER’S MARK WHOLE KERNEL SWEET CORN with sea salt, sold at Sam’s Club, in the past was labeled with an OU symbol. Now the 15.25 oz. cans bear a non-recommended symbol. The large 106 oz. “Food Service” size cans still bear an OU.
  • TRADER JOE’S frozen VEGETABLE MASALA BURGER no longer bears Kashrus certification. [Trader Joe’s Hi-Protein Veggie Burger, Thai Sweet Chili Veggie Burger and Quinoa Cowboy Veggie Burgers still bear OU Pareve.]

HIDDEN VALLEY DRESSINGS – Only those bearing OU or OU-D are certified Kosher. Currently, most Hidden Valley products in stores do not bear any Kashrus symbol.

[Note: As posted in our 10/30/19 alerts, Hidden Valley Original Ranch Seasoning & Salad Dressing Mix in an 8 oz. shaker container bearing an OU is certified Kosher Dairy, but mistakenly bears a plain OU without the D.]

MOTT’S APPLES ‘n DIP – SLICED APPLES WITH CARAMEL DIP bears an unauthorized Star-K symbol. The apples are Kosher certified, but the package includes a container of caramel dip that is not Kosher certified and contains dairy ingredients.

MW POLAR FLAT FILLETS ANCHOVIES bears an unauthorized OK Kosher symbol. This product is not certified by OK Kosher Certification.

PRODUCT RECALLS

ROMAINE LETTUCE FOOD SAFETY ALERT: CDC, FDA and state health authorities are investigating a multistate outbreak of serious illnesses caused by E. coli O157:H7 linked to romaine lettuce harvested from the Salinas, California growing region. CDC and FDA advise that consumers not eat any romaine lettuce grown in the Salinas region. This includes all use-by dates and brands of romaine lettuce from this region. Details are available at https://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/2019/o157h7-11-19/index.html

Many romaine lettuce products are labeled with a harvest location showing where they were grown. It may be printed on the package or on a sticker. If the label says “grown in Salinas”, or if the label does not specify any growing region, do not eat it.

Hydroponically and greenhouse grown romaine, which may be labeled as “indoor grown”, from any region does not appear to be related to the current outbreak.

POS’TIV and KOSHER GARDENS brands of romaine are free of this concern.
BODEK brand fresh romaine product (i.e., packaged after Nov. 15) is free of this concern.
ONE STOP KOSHER FOOD MARKET: All romaine sold since Sunday morning, Nov. 24 is free of this concern.

NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE and M&M’s brands of Ready-To-Bake Refrigerated COOKIE DOUGH PRODUCTS have been recalled due to the potential presence of food-grade rubber pieces. Details are available at 800-681-1676 or https://www.nestleusa.com/media/pressreleases

BREAKSTONE’S COTTAGE CHEESE – Certain varieties with one Best-By date have been recalled due to the potential presence of pieces of red plastic and metal. Details are available at 866-572-3805 or https://news.kraftheinzcompany.com/

2019-10-30 Kashrus Alerts PDF available for download.

CHAZZANO COFFEE ROASTERS Café in Ferndale, Michigan is certified by the Council of Orthodox Rabbis of Greater Detroit as follows:
• All packaged coffee beans and grounds are Pareve.
• Served coffee/tea may be prepared on dairy equipment. For Pareve, the customer can request that coffee/tea should be served in a disposable cup and stirred with a disposable spoon.
• Creamers may be Dairy.
• Cholov Yisroel status of milk is not under supervision.

MAZAL TOV RESTAURANT in Windsor, Ontario is no longer under supervision of the Council of Orthodox Rabbis.

LIEBER’S SEMI-SWEET CHOCOLATE CHIPS: Some bags were found to contain mini, light-colored chips mixed with the regular chocolate chips. These are Kosher pareve coffee chips that were packed in the bag due to an error in production.

CHEF’S QUALITY SEMI-SWEET CHOCOLATE DROPS with OU Pareve certification is no longer available at Restaurant Depot. This product has been replaced with Chef’s Quality Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, which is certified OU-D and lists butterfat.

HIDDEN VALLEY ORIGINAL RANCH SEASONING & SALAD DRESSING MIX in an 8 oz. shaker container mistakenly bears a plain OU without a D. This product is in fact dairy and lists buttermilk in the ingredients.

LILLY’S BABKA and RUGELACH with an OU:
• Only packages stating “Pas Yisroel” on the label should be considered Pas Yisroel.
• These products are not Yoshon. Labels that state Yoshon are in error.

MASSIMO GUSTO and other brands of OILS & VINEGAR from BMA USA, Inc.:
• Various products bear an unauthorized Heart-K Kosher symbol. [“Heart-K” is a division of OK Kosher.] BMA USA has not been certified by OK Kosher since November 2017.
• Massimo Gusto Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil bears an unauthorized Star-K P. It is not certified Kosher or Kosher for Passover by the Star-K.

All iBAKE products, including FILO DOUGH, KATAFI and BAKLAVA, are no longer under Kof-K Kosher Supervision as of September 27, 2019, even when bearing the Kof-K symbol.

PRODUCT RECALLS

MICHIGAN APPLE RECALL: Six types of fresh Michigan apples that state on the bag “Distributed by North Bay Produce, Inc., Traverse City, MI”, that were shipped between October 16 – October 21, have been recalled due to potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. Details are available at 231-929-4001 or www.northbayproduce.com .

Specific lots of KING ARTHUR UNBLEACHED ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR (5 lb. & 25lb.) and ROBIN HOOD ALL PURPOSE FLOUR (5 lb) have been recalled due to possible E. coli 026 contamination. Details are available, respectively, at 866- 797-9178 or https://www.kingarthurflour.com/voluntaryrecall , and at 888-569-6728 or https://www.robinhood.ca/En/Contact-Us . The FDA and CDC remind consumers that flour is not a “ready to eat” ingredient. Flour is made from wheat that is grown outdoors where bacteria are often present, and flour is typically not treated to kill bacteria during the normal milling process. Anything made with flour must be cooked or baked before eating. Salmonella is killed by heat through baking, frying, sautéing or boiling products made with flour. All surfaces, hands and utensils should be properly cleaned after contact with flour or dough.

Specific lots of PRESIDENT’S CHOICE, PARENT’S CHOICE, and KIRKLAND SIGNATURE brands of MILK-BASED POWDERED INFANT FORMULA FOR BABIES SENSITIVE TO LACTOSE, all sold in Canada, have been recalled due to possible Cronobacter spp. contamination. Details are available at 800-442-2342 or https://inspection.gc.ca/about-the- cfia/newsroom/food-recall-warnings/eng/1299076382077/1299076493846 .

2019-9-22 Kashrus Alerts PDF available for download.

HONEY:

• Standard honey goes through a filtering process, which removes the non-Kosher bee parts. Even “raw and unfiltered” honey is usually strained, to remove the bee parts. However, some completely unprocessed honeys are neither filtered nor strained. If the label or the manufacturer states that the honey is not strained, or if bee parts are visible, that honey should be avoided or should be strained by the consumer.

• Please be aware that “Forest honey”, “Honeydew honey”, and “Beechwood honey” (or honey named after other types of trees such as Pine, Fir, Oak, etc.), generally refer to honey produced by bees that have consumed the non-Kosher excretions of aphids and scale insects left on trees (as opposed to standard honey produced from flower nectar). These are not considered Kosher according to some opinions, and should be avoided.

• “Royal Jelly” is a bee product that, unlike regular honey, is an actual secretion of the bee. Some Poskim therefore rule that it is not included in the permitted category of “honey”, and it should be avoided.

FISH HEADS: [From New Square Kashrus Council]

• White fish: White fish heads are free of infestation concern.

• Salmon/Baby salmon: Salmon heads [even farm raised] are commonly infested with salmon lice (small brownish parasites ranging in size from approximately 1-3 cm).

· The entire gills must be removed. (It may be easier to first cut the head in half before cleaning).

· Rinse the head thoroughly with water while rubbing all surfaces of the head (inside and outside), including all cracks, crevices and folds, and under and around the tongue. Inspect the head to make sure it is clean.

One who wants to avoid the checking process may just rinse the head and cook the head in a separate pot, take a small piece from the flesh of the head, and visually inspect it before eating to make sure there is no foreign object on it.

• Carp: Carp heads may be infested with very small transparent insects called Argulus that are very hard to detect. There is no known method to clean infested carp heads properly, and they should not be used unless checked by an expert.

BLACK EYED PEAS are often infested and require careful checking. The following is the Star-K procedure for checking dried, canned or frozen black eyed peas, and applies even if the product bears Kashrus certification. (Note: Canned peas and beans always require Kashrus certification, for general Kashrus concerns.)

• Dried peas should first be boiled in water. After they have been fully cooked, turn off the flame and allow the peas to soak in the water for 2-3 hours. The peas will swell and the peel will become translucent. Then check as below.

• Canned or frozen peas may be checked straight out of the can/bag; there is no need to boil or soak.

• To check: Take the peas and inspect for holes or dark-colored stains, as this may indicate an insect beneath the thin peel. If there is a dark spot on the peel, remove the thin skin and check if there is a cavity with a bug in it. (The black “eye” spot is not a sign of infestation. Similarly, orange colored stains on the surface are not signs of infestation; only dark or black stains are of concern.)

[Note: For those who prefer not to rely on checking, some Poskim advise that the Rosh Hashana simanim custom can be fulfilled without eating the item, by placing it on the table and looking at it.]

DATES:

• Fresh and Dried Dates from ISRAEL are sold at many stores in the U.S., including locally. If they do not bear a reliable Kosher certification, they require taking of Terumos and Maaseros by the consumer (without a bracha).

• American dates (even with Kashrus certification): Slice open a handful from the container and inspect carefully under good light, especially around the pit, for worms or any sign of infestation, such as webbing or brown crumb-like particles. Small white particles are sugar crystals, and are not a sign of infestation. If no infestation is found, the rest may be eaten without checking. Foreign: Some Kashrus agencies recommend inspecting every date. From Pakistan, Tunisia and Algeria: Some Kashrus agencies advise to avoid. Pressed dates are frequently infested and cannot be checked, and are not recommended.

KASHRUS ALERTS

PAS YISROEL: The K-COR wishes to remind the Kosher consumer of the accepted custom to be stringent on Pas Yisroel during Aseres Yemei T’shuva. Please be advised that many K-COR certified establishments produce or sell some bread and cake products that are not Pas Yisroel. Please ask the Mashgiach or call the K-COR office for details regarding specific establishments.

• The following establishments are totally Pas Yisroel: ZEMAN’S, BAKE STATION, PIZZA STOP, PRIME 10, and SOUL CAFÉ RESTAURANT (not catering). At Jerusalem Pizza, the pizza and bagels are Pas Yisroel.

• In addition, all BROWN’S BUN BAKERY buns, rolls and bread are Pas Yisroel (glow-plug method), and MILANO BAKERY bread and rolls that bear the K-COR symbol are Pas Yisroel (glow-plug method), except for Milano Bread Sticks.

• TRADER JOE’S brand of CHOCOLATE BROOKLYN BABKA, MANGO BROOKLYN BABKA and HALF MOON COOKIES that bear OU Pareve are Pas Yisroel and Yoshon.

• FOOD FOR LIFE EZEKIEL SPROUTED GRAIN BREADS with the Kof-K symbol are Pas Yisroel. The Pocket Bread, however, is not Pas Yisroel.

SPRING VALLEY CHEESE BLINTZES – OU Dairy – are made in both Cholov Yisroel and non-Cholov Yisroel versions. Only those packages that state “Cholov Yisroel” on the label are Cholov Yisroel. Check each package.

GENERAL MILLS CINNAMON TOAST CRUNCH “CHURROS” cereal is OU-D certified (dairy equipment), even without the OU symbol on the package.

SEASON ASIAN HARVEST brand canned WHOLE SWEET BABY CORN is inadvertently missing the OU symbol on the label for Lot #12219. This product is certified even without the OU symbol. Some product will have an OU symbol sticker added to the can.

Most SIMPLY NATURE ORGANIC BREADS at Aldi are no longer manufactured by a Kosher certified company, and no longer bear the Kosher Check symbol.

HAPPY BABY ORGANICS “CLEARLY CRAFTED” baby food jars are no longer OU certified due to changes in production, and new jars therefore no longer bear the OU symbol. Jars that still bear the OU were produced before this change. Check each label. [Note: The new jars without the OU state “Clearly Crafted” on the front of the jar above the variety name, instead of on the side.] Other Happy Baby products remain OU certified when bearing the OU symbol. Certification of the jar products may possibly be reinstated in the future.

SNAPPLE DIET CRANBERRY RASPBERRY Juice Drink is not OK certified and is not a Kosher product. Some 6-packs (16 oz. bottles) were mistakenly printed with the OK symbol on the outer cartons. The actual bottles do not bear the OK symbol.

SHATNEZ ALERT

CUISINART BRAND OVEN MITTS, product of China, with a label stating “100% Polyester Filling”, actually contain wool and linen in the filling. In general, oven mitt fillings should be checked for shatnez, especially if made in China. Silicone mitts without a filling do not require checking. [Star-K]

PRODUCT RECALLS

GOLD MEDAL UNBLEACHED ALL PURPOSE FLOUR in 5 lb. bags (UPC# 0-16000-19610-0) with a Better If Used By date of 06SEP2020KC has been recalled due to potential presence of E. coli O26 contamination. Consumers who have had to discard products covered by this recall may contact General Mills Consumer Relations at 1-800-230-8103 or www.generalmills.com/flour for a replacement coupon. This recall affects only this one date code of Gold Medal Unbleached Flour 5 lb. bags. All other types of Gold Medal Flour are not affected by this recall.

The FDA and CDC remind consumers that flour is not a “ready to eat” ingredient. Flour is made from wheat that is grown outdoors where bacteria are often present, and flour is typically not treated to kill bacteria during the normal milling process. Anything made with flour must be cooked or baked before eating. Salmonella is killed by heat through baking, frying, sautéing or boiling products made with flour. All surfaces, hands and utensils should be properly cleaned after contact with flour or dough.

UDI’S GLUTEN FREE CLASSIC HAMBURGER BUNS with a bag closure code of 191971U has been recalled due to the potential presence of small pieces of white plastic. Details are available at 800-881-3989 or https://www.conagrabrands.com/news-room/news-udis-classic-hamburger-buns-recalled-due-to-potential-presence-of-foreign-material-prn-122698

WHIRLPOOL, KITCHENAID and JENNAIR brand GLASS COOKTOPS WITH TOUCH CONTROLS with certain model numbers have been recalled because the cooktop surface elements can turn on by themselves, posing burn and fire hazards. Details are available at 888-900-7897 or https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2019/Whirlpool-Recalls-Glass-Cooktops-with-Touch-Controls-Due-to-Burn-and-Fire-Hazards

2019-8-28 Kashrus Alerts PDF available for download.

LEMONHEAD LEMON CANDY from Ferrara Candy Co. is not certified Kosher and is produced in a non-Kosher facility. Some 40.5 oz. containers (150 Pieces) that are being sold as a seasonal promotion, at Kroger and at other stores, bear an unauthorized UMK symbol on the back label. The only Ferrara candies that remain under UMK certification are Atomic Fireballs and Jawbreakers, and only when they bear the UMK symbol on each individual box.

KROGER SHERRY COOKING WINE, KROGER RED COOKING WINE and KROGER WHITE COOKING WINE (corrected product names) are not OU certified and are not Kosher products. Some labels bear an unauthorized OU symbol. A “Product Notice” is printed on the cash register receipts for these products, and is posted at some Kroger stores.

SNAPPLE DRINKS: Not all Snapple products are OK certified and pareve. Snapple’s new BLACK CHERRY LEMONADE, Snapple FRUIT PUNCH and Snapple CRANBERRY RASPBERRY (regular and Diet) Juice Drinks, plus any other varieties that contain grape juice, are not Kosher and do not bear an OK symbol. Snapple GO BANANAS drink contains milk and cream and is certified OK Dairy. Many Snapple items in cans are produced on dairy equipment and bear OK DE. Each bottle or can should be checked carefully for the OK symbol and its Pareve/Dairy status. (A plain OK symbol without a D indicates pareve.) Care should also be taken when purchasing variety packs, which may contain a mixture of Kosher and non-Kosher varieties.

HERSHEY’S PUDDINGS are not OU certified and are not recommended. This applies both to the Instant puddings mixes (in Chocolate, White Chocolate, Special Dark and Creamy Vanilla varieties) which bear no Kosher marking, and to the ready-to-eat Cups (in Chocolate, S’mores and Cookies ‘N’ Crème varieties) which bear KD.

“I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S NOT BUTTER” VEGETABLE OIL SPREADS: Most varieties contain dairy ingredients and bear an OU-D. Some varieties are pareve and bear a plain OU symbol. One pareve variety, called “the LIGHT one”, mistakenly bears an OU-D on some lids. It correctly bears a plain OU on the container itself.

SPLENDA WITH SAMPLE DRINK MIXES: Some 9.7 oz. pouches of Splenda Granulated Sweetener contain samples of Iced Tea and Strawberry Watermelon liquid drink mixes. These drink mixes are certified OU Dairy. The back of the pouch states both OU Pareve and OU-D. The OU Pareve pertains to the Splenda sweetener, and the OU-D pertains to the drink mixes. Similarly, some 200 Packets boxes of Splenda Sweetener contain a sample of Splenda Lemon Iced Tea Concentrate, and the bottom of the box states both OU Pareve and OU-D. In this case, the label explains that the packets are pareve, and the Iced Tea Concentrate is dairy.

BORENSTEIN CATERERS VEGETABLE LASAGNA mistakenly states OU Glatt Kosher and OU Pareve. This product contains dairy ingredients, as listed on the ingredient panel, and is certified OU Dairy.

“INSPIRED ORGANICS” ORGANIC CUT SPINACH: The cRc has announced that pouches of this product that bear the lot # S1905291 have been found to be infested, and may not be used even though they bear the cRc symbol.

SUPREMO ITALIANO FRESH MOZZARELLA CHEESE LOAF, sold by Restaurant Depot, bears an unauthorized OK symbol on the back label.

GOLDEN CROWN YELLOW RICE WITH SAFFRON, distributed by International Golden Foods, Inc., bears an unauthorized cRc symbol and is incorrectly labeled as vegan. This product contains non-Kosher chicken fat and is not Kosher. If mislabeled product still bearing the cRc symbol is found on store shelves, please forward a picture of the item and the location where it was found to info@crckosher.org.

FONDANT from DAVID ROSEN BAKERY SUPPLY, in industrial sized containers, bears an unauthorized Star-K symbol.

PRODUCT RECALLS

ENTENMANN’S LITTLE BITES SOFT BAKED COOKIES 5 pouch Mini Chocolate Chip variety has been recalled due to the potential presence of visible, blue plastic pieces in the individual pouches that may result in a choking hazard. Details are available at https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts/bimbo-bakeries-usa-voluntary-recall-entenmanns-little-bites-cookies-due-potential-presence-plastic or 800-984-0989.

GRAINED SALMON CAVIAR manufactured by AWERS Inc. in 95g cans that state BEST BEFORE OCT 07 2020 has been recalled because it has the potential to be contaminated with Clostridium Botulinum [botulism]. Details are available at AWERS, Inc. Recalls Grained Salmon Caviar 95g Because of Possible Health Risk or 425-747-7866.

CONTIGO KIDS CLEANABLE WATER BOTTLES LIDS with a black spout base and black spout cover have been recalled because the clear silicone spout can detach, posing a choking hazard to children. Details are available at www.gocontigo.com/recall or 888-262-0622.