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:
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.]