Currently viewing the category: "Kosher Alerts"

2020-7-29 KosherGram PDF

ICE CREAM and FROZEN YOGURT STORES often claim that they are Kosher and may post Kosher certification letters, which leads consumers to believe that the store and its products are under supervision. In fact, in most cases, the letters refer only to specific products or ingredients which are factory produced under supervision, and are certified only when in their original sealed packaging bearing Kosher marking. Once the unsupervised store opens the packaging, the certification is no longer valid. Unless the consumer verifies that there is actual on-site reliable Rabbinical supervision of the entire individual retail store, no ice cream, yogurt, syrups or toppings should be considered Kosher except for those in their original sealed containers bearing a reliable Kosher certification.

The following are some stores in our area that are not under supervision: TCBY, Haagen-Dazs, Menchie’s, and Oberweis.

It is always preferable to buy at fully supervised stores. Locally, soft serve Cholov Yisroel ice cream is available at Jerusalem Pizza. Hard pack Cholov Yisroel ice cream is available at Spreads Bagels & Café. Hard pack non-Cholov Yisroel ice cream and yogurt is available at Baskin-Robbins/Dunkin’ Donuts at 10 Mile & Greenfield in Oak Park (which is K-COR certified for all products). Packaged Cholov Yisroel ice cream is available at One Stop Kosher Food Market.

If it is necessary to purchase hard pack ice cream or yogurt from an unsupervised store, the consumer should request and see a sealed container before it is opened, and check for the Kosher certification mark on the container. In addition, the scoop should be thoroughly washed.

Soft serve ice cream or yogurt should not be purchased from an unsupervised store, because of the inability to verify that Kosher mix was put into the machine.

SAUCES CONTAINING FISH: Most Worcestershire sauces, and some barbecue and steak sauces, contain anchovies and state so in their ingredients listings. According to most Poskim, if the amount of anchovies in these sauces is at a ratio of 1:60 or less, they may be used with meat. Some Poskim, however, are stringent. Consult your Rav.

Reliably certified sauces that do not state “FISH” on the label next to the Kashrus symbol, do not contain more than 1/60 fish. Sauces that do contain more than 1/60 fish will always state FISH next to the symbol. However, some sauces that do not contain more than 1/60 fish will still state FISH next to their Kashrus symbol, for the benefit of those who wish to be stringent. Contact the certifying Kashrus agency to ascertain the fish level in a FISH marked sauce.

Following are the fish levels in some common sauces that are marked “OU FISH”:

• MORE THAN 1/60 – Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce [may not be used with meat]

• NOT MORE THAN 1/60 –
o Lea & Perrins Steak Sauce – in Traditional, Bold, and Signature varieties
o Great Value and ShopRite brands of Worcestershire sauces
o The following HEINZ products:
 Kansas City Style, Memphis Style, and Texas Style BBQ Sauces
 Campside Smoky Barbecue Sauce
 57 Steak Sauce Made with Lea & Perrins
 Zesty Cocktail Sauce

JIM BEAM BARBECUE SAUCE in Bold ‘N’ Spicy, Smoky Barrel and Southern Tang varieties in 18 oz. containers bear a Kof-K and contain anchovies at a level of not more than 1/60. — Please note that the small 6.5 oz. glass bottles of Jim Beam Barbecue Sauces are not certified Kosher and do not bear a Kof-K.

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. Note that Planters Honey Roasted Cashews in the 3 oz. bag and 8.25 oz. can bear an OU, but the 1.5 oz. and 2 oz. size bags bear a K because they are not produced on an OU approved production line. Every package should be carefully checked for the OU symbol.

SIMPLY NATURE frozen ORGANIC BROCCOLI FLORETS and CHOPPED SPINACH, and SEASON’S CHOICE frozen BROCCOLI FLORETS and CALIFORNIA MEDLEY sold at Aldi, products of Mexico, are subject to concerns of infestation. (The Kosher symbol on them is not the MK of Montreal or Manchester.)

GLENFIDDICH 12 YEAR OLD SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKEY mistakenly bears the “MK Mehadrin” logo of Manchester Beth Din on some bottles exported to the U.S. Since sherry casks are used in its aging process, this scotch does not qualify for Mehadrin standard, but instead is certified under North West Kosher (NWK), the Manchester Beth Din’s non-Mehadrin level of supervision. — Lists of recommended Glenfiddich whiskeys are available at https://www.crcweb.org/LiquorList.pdf [cRc] and https://www.star-k.org/resource/list/UTM1YXYE/Scotch [Star-K].

GERBER SITTER 2nd FOODS baby foods have OU certification on many, but not all, varieties. Check each product carefully for the OU symbol. Gerber Supported Sitter 1st Foods are not OU certified.

IZZIO SOURDOUGH BREAD: Due to a production issue, Izzio Sourdough bread in 24 oz. and 8-slice packages bearing a Scroll-K symbol, with lot codes 20 196 and 20 197 printed on the plastic bag closure, is Kosher but is not Pas Yisroel.
TOVAH brand frozen RICED BROCCOLI has been found to be infested, and should not be used.

MCCORMICK PERFECT PINCH SALAD SUPREME SEASONING bears an unauthorized OU on some labels. This product is not OU certified (and contains non-Kosher cheeses). — Note that McCormick Perfect Pinch Roasted Garlic & Bell Pepper Seasoning is also not OU certified (and contains milk). Other Perfect Pinch seasonings varieties are OU certified when bearing the OU on the label.

TENLI brand GUMMY and CANDY PRODUCTS distributed by Classic Confections and Vidal bear an unauthorized Star-K symbol. These products are not certified by Star-K.

TANGY ZANGY SOUR FRUIT SLICES and TANGY ZANGY MILK CHOCOLATE SOUR WILDFRUIT SQUARES are not OU certified. Some bags bear an unauthorized OU symbol.

CVS brand DAIRY RELIEF LACTASE ENZYME SOFTGELS bear an unauthorized Star-K symbol. This product is not Kosher. CVS brand Dairy Relief Lactase Enzyme Caplets and Chewable Tablets are Star-K certified, when bearing the Star-K symbol.

INDIGO canned ARTICHOKES WITH STEMS (5 lb. can, a Foodservice item) is not OU certified. Some cans bear an unauthorized OU.
DOLE SLAWESOME KIT SALADS with dressing and seasoning are OK certified when bearing the OK symbol. Please note that the Fiesta Lime variety contains sour cream in the dressing, and therefore bears OK Dairy on both the outer bag and on the dressing/seasoning envelope inside.
J. HIGGS CORNIES CHILI CHEESE CORN CHIPS contains dairy ingredients and is certified Kof-K Dairy. Some packaging was incorrectly printed with a Kof-K Pareve symbol.

GREAT VALUE CREAMY COCONUT BARS sold at Walmart contains dairy, as indicated in the ingredients and allergen statements, and is certified OU Dairy. Some packaging mistakenly bears a plain OU symbol without the D.

DAVINCI GOURMET CLASSIC IRISH CREAM SYRUP contains dairy, as indicated in the allergen statement, and is certified Kof-K Dairy. Some packaging mistakenly states Kof-K Pareve. — A number of other DaVinci Syrups are also currently dairy, including Cake Batter, Caramel Pecan, English Toffee, Hawaiian Salted Caramel and others. The Pareve/Dairy status of these syrups sometimes changes. Always check every bottle for the Kof-K Pareve or Kof-K Dairy marking.

GIANT EAGLE DRIED ISLAND FRUIT MIX is certified OK Pareve and bears an OK symbol. However, due to a packaging error, some packages with a Best By date of 01-15-2001 actually contain Yogurt Fruit & Snack Mix that is Kosher Dairy. More information is available at https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts/giant-eagle-recalls-dried-fruit-mix-due-undeclared-allergens or 800-553-2324.

PRODUCT WARNING

HAND SANITIZERS WARNING: The FDA has issued a new warning to avoid nearly 90 hand sanitizers, mostly from Mexico, that are labeled to contain ethanol (also known as ethyl alcohol), but that actually contain methanol (wood alcohol), which is toxic when absorbed through the skin and can be life-threatening when ingested. Details are available at https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/fda-updates-hand-sanitizers-methanol .

2020-6-30 KosherGram PDF

New FANTA PINA COLADA SODA in 20 oz. plastic bottles, made in the U.S., is OU certified and pareve, and bears an OU on the cap.

FANTA PINA COLADA SLURPEE SYRUP (“FCB”) is certified OU Dairy. A list issued in the beginning of June mistakenly omitted its dairy designation initially.

COCA-COLA, SPRITE and FANTA SODAS made in MEXICO and sold in U.S. stores in 12 oz. glass bottles are not certified Kosher and are not recommended.

SKIPPY PEANUT BUTTER SINGLES in 1.5 oz. containers, which are being distributed by local food banks, do not bear an OU, but they are nevertheless Kosher.

McCORMICK PERFECT PINCH SEASONINGS: Most, but not all, of the varieties in this seasoning line are OU certified. Two varieties – Salad Supreme and Roasted Garlic & Bell Pepper – are not, and contain milk or cheese. – All McCormick products are Kosher only when bearing the OU; check each item.

ENLIGHTENED brand DAIRY-FREE CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER FROZEN DESSERT bears an OU-D and is certified Dairy Equipment. However, some pint containers that state “Dairy-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Frozen Dessert” were mistakenly filled with Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream which contains actual dairy and may not be eaten after meat. These containers have lids that are labeled “Chocolate Peanut Butter” without the words “Dairy Free”, and have a Best By date of 11/5/21 on the bottom of the container. More information is available at https://eatenlightened.com/pages/recall-notice or at 800-819-2998.

GORDON CHOICE brand CHOICE SLICED STEWED TOMATOES from Gordon Food Service bears an OU on the case but not on the individual #10 [102 oz.] cans. Being that we have not been able to confirm the Kashrus status of this product, we cannot recommend it at this time.

TENLI GUMMY WORMS from VIDAL CANDIES of SPAIN are not Star-K certified. Some cases bear an unauthorized Star-K.

PURE SEA HOT SMOKED WHITEFISH bears an unauthorized KSA symbol. This item is not Kosher certified.

PAS YISROEL NOTICE: Due to an equipment failure, the following cookies that are normally OK certified as Pas Yisroel, are actually not Pas Yisroel:
• TRADER JOE’S Soft Baked Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with a date code of NOV 04 20.
• MATT’S COOKIES of the following varieties that are date coded between NOV 03 20 – NOV 26 20: Chocolate Chip, Double Chocolate Chip, Salted Caramel Walnut, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin, Cranberry Walnut, S’Mores, and Peanut Butter.

THE CHODOSH SEASON is approaching. Those who want to purchase Yoshon items to store over the Chodosh season should prepare to do so. Please note that all grain and flour products that will be stored should be refrigerated in order to avoid insect infestation.

PRODUCT RECALLS

SALADS RECALL: Fresh Express has recalled all branded and private label salad products produced at its Streamwood, IL facility through June 26 that contain iceberg lettuce, red cabbage and/or carrot ingredients, due to a possible health risk from Cyclospora. These products bear the letter Z in the beginning of the code below the Use By date, followed by a number of 178 or lower. This includes various iceberg, coleslaw and other products under the following brand names: FRESH EXPRESS, LITTLE SALAD BAR [Aldi], MARKETSIDE [Walmart] GIANT EAGLE, SIGNATURE FARMS [Jewel-Osco], HY-VEE, and WHOLESOME PANTRY [ShopRite]. Details are available at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/fresh-express-issues-a-precautionary-recall-of-products-containing-iceberg-red-cabbage-and-carrots-produced-at-its-streamwood-il-facility-due-to-a-potential-cyclospora-risk-301084706.html or at 800-242-5472.
[NOTE: Little Salad Bar and Marketside salads that bear an OK Kosher symbol (as in the local Detroit area) are not produced by Fresh Express, and are not included in this recall.]

HAND SANITIZERS WARNING/RECALL: The FDA advises consumers not to use any hand sanitizer manufactured by Eskbiochem SA de CV in Mexico, due to the potential presence of methanol (wood alcohol) which can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested. The following brands are included when they state Made in Mexico: All-Clean, CleanCare NoGerm, Esk Biochem, Lavar 70 Gel, Saniderm, and The Good Gel. Details are available at https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/fda-advises-consumers-not-use-hand-sanitizer-products-manufactured-eskbiochem and at https://sanidermproducts.com/press-release-6%2F26%2F2020

CHILDREN’S ROBITUSSIN HONEY COUGH & CHEST CONGESTION DM (4 oz.) and CHILDREN’S DIMETAPP COLD AND COUGH (8 oz.): Specific lots have been recalled due to the inclusion of incorrect dosing cups. Details are available at https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts/gsk-consumer-healthcare-issues-voluntary-nationwide-recall-childrens-robitussinr-honey-cough-and or at 800-762-4675.

MINIWARE TEETHING SPOONS from Bonnsu have been recalled because the teething spoon can break in a child’s mouth when being used as a teether, posing a choking hazard to infants. Details are available at https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2020/bonnsu-recalls-miniware-teething-spoons-due-to-choking-hazard or at 855-334-8129.

2020-6-9 KosherGram PDF

New CANADA DRY BOLD GINGER ALE is Kosher.

New COCA-COLA STRAWBERRY from Japan, now available online in the U.S., is not Kosher approved.

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. Even the same store may have a mixture of some bags with the OK and some without. Check each bag.

Other OK certified brands should also be checked for the OK symbol on each bag. This includes Kroger, Little Salad Bar [Aldi], and Marketside [Walmart] brands.

KROGER BITE SIZE SHREDDED WHEAT CEREAL no longer bears an OU. After much research we have confirmed that it is no longer OU certified due to change of plants, and it is not recommended.

SLIMFAST POWDER MIXES are no longer OU certified due to a change in manufacturing. New containers now in stores do not bear an OU. Containers still bearing the OU-D symbol were produced before this change. Other Slimfast products (liquid shakes, snacks and bars) remain OU-D certified. [Thanks to Kashrut.com for notice of change; (Details we further researched.)]

ONE STOP KOSHER FOOD MARKET: Only the following One Stop departments are supervised by the Council of Orthodox Rabbis of Greater Detroit:

• Deli Dept.
• Pizza Stop
• Superior Meat Dept.
• Fresh Bakery Dept.
• Repackaged Bulk Candies bearing the K-COR symbol
• Fresh Produce [insect-prone items that do not bear certification on the label need to be checked by the consumer]

The consumer should check all other products for a reliable Kosher certification on the label. For any questions, feel free to call the COR (Council of Orthodox Rabbis/Vaad Harabbonim). – Please note that frozen vegetables that are insect-prone, such as broccoli and cauliflower, should not be used without reliable certification.

REPACKAGED MEAT PRODUCTS: The Kashrus certification of factory produced meat and poultry products is valid only as long as the original factory packaging and labeling remain intact. Once the package is opened and the product is repackaged by a local store, the original certification is no longer in effect. Reliable supervision is necessary at the store level to assure the Kashrus of the repackaged product. Repackaged meat and poultry products should not be purchased from an unsupervised store, even if the store label on the product lists the name of a Kosher brand or the name/symbol of a Kashrus certification.

As a case in point [Kashrut.com]: An unsupervised supermarket in NJ repackaged chicken wings and printed on the store label “KJ Kosher”. This was unauthorized, and the product cannot be accepted as Kosher.

MISSING DAIRY DESIGNATION: The following products contain dairy ingredients, as listed in their ingredient statements, but they mistakenly do not bear the dairy designation:

• WALMART FRESHNESS GUARANTEED CHERRY PIE mistakenly bears a plain OU without a D on some boxes.
• DUNCAN HINES CHOCOLATE FROSTING YELLOW CAKE PUDDING: Some club pack cartons were mislabeled with a plain OK symbol. The inner sleeves are correctly labeled with the OK-D symbol.
• OUR SPECIALTY CHOCOLATE AND COOKIES ‘N CREME CAKE TRUFFLES manufactured by Rich Products Corp. mistakenly bears a plain BVK [Buffalo Vaad Hakashrus] without a D.
• OVAEASY EGG-IN A-CUP products were mistakenly labeled Kof-K DE instead of Kof-K Dairy.

The following CECE’S VEGGIE CO. products are not OU certified, but mistakenly bear an OU on some labels: Buffalo Cauli; Cauli & Cheese; Dinos & Cheese; Grillerz Z-Cut Summer Squash with Garlic Herb Butter; and Zucchini with Marinara.

JEPPSON’S MALORT LIQUEUR: A limited quantity of special edition Jeppson’s Malort Liqueur was produced with non-Kosher ingredients. The cRc Kosher symbol has been covered on the labels of these limited products.

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/