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