Friday, December 31, 2010

Infestation in various pasta products,

The following insect infestation alert is from the COR on December 24, 2010.

Please be advised that we are receiving reports of insect infestation in various pasta products, some of which were manufactured in the past 2 to 3 months. Insects can be small and black, approximately 2-3 mm in size. This situation is being monitored and is under review by COR.

At this time, we recommend that you check your pasta before cooking. An easy way to ascertain whether insects are present is to spread the product across a white paper plate and look for the signs of infestation. will be revised.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Minced v Ground fish-What's the difference? who cares?

Minced fish: meat consists of minced flesh removed from the fish carcasses by cuts made parallel to the backbone.
Ground fish: Consits of fish meat that was ground. Sometimes it's ground twice for a finer mix.
Surimi, Fish sticks, etc use "minced fish" not ground fish. Some fish have an issue with anisakis or other imbedded worms in the flesh,
Pollock is one of those that have kashrus concerns. Therefore if it's minced, you should refrain from using it.

STRAWBERRIES, may be used "only" after peeling them

Strawberries are an infested fruit. The thrips hide under the seeds, all of the washing & checking can minimize but not eliminate the insects.

Therefore the only method is to peel the entire outside of the Strawberry after removing the green stem.

RE: Frozen strawberries. There are at least 3  frozen strawberries with hashgochas. The cold facts are that frozen strawberries have minimized but not eliminated the infestation completly.

In Eretz Yisroel all of the reliable Hashgochas say that the frozen strawberries must be "pureed" and "cooked" prior to using them. All of the frozen strawberries with any hashgocha in the USA "must" also be pureed and cooked prior to use, including the ones with EIDAH's Hashgocha.

Edible Flowers, how badly are they infested?

Edible flowers come in beautiful shades of various colors and they are edible also. The kashrus issue is the "protein" contained in the flowers because of the high incident of insects, live ones as well. Therefore even if you don't eat them, they should not be on the plate because some of those insects are very much alive and they may enjoy your food on the plate.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The "Mother" of Lakewood's problems

The Pretzel Lady

This went on for more than 3 years. The two of them never spoke. One day, as the young man passed the old lady's stand and left his quarter as usual, the pretzel lady spoke to him. Without blinking an eye she said:
"They're 35 cents now."//

Lasagna infestation dilema

Heimish pasta has often been infested for a few reasons. Some of the the Heimish  companies produce annually or bi-annualy.  Some of them therefore do not put on date codes. Some of them have very poor humid hot storage facilities. Either the insects are found before cooking or while cooking. Lasagna presents a unique problem, as its cooked with the sauce & added product, one can't see the infestation.

Others have opted therefore to purchase only "dated" relatively fresh product not necessarily the heimish brands but with a reliable hashgocha nonetheless. It's advised if you have a questionable lasagna product, to partially par boil first and check the water for infestation.

Are you eating insects unknowingly?

You May Be Eating More Insects Than You Think
Food makers may not want to dwell on it, but the ingredient that gives Dannon Boysenberry yogurt and Tropicana Ruby Red Grapefruit juice (certified kosher by the OK) their distinctive colors comes from crushed female cochineal beetles.
Pressed by consumer advocates, the FDA is expected to publish a food-labeling proposal online today that would require companies to disclose when a food contains beetle-derived colorings including vivid-red "carmine" and bright-orange "cochineal". And the public has 60 days to comment before a final ruling is made.Under current FDA regulations, food labels must identify certain man-made colorings by name.

But for carmine, cochineal and other naturally occurring ingredients, companies can use terms such as "color added" or, oddly, "artificial color." Bugged by the loophole, Vegetarians, who don’t want to eat insects, and consumers observing kosher dietary practices. Products containing carmine "may look like kosher," but they aren’t, says a Rabbi, "There are a lot of people who will not be happy to know that they are eating products that contain dried beetle."
See the following link:

Oranges & Tangerines are coated with "LAC" (non-kosher), and scale.


Oranges & Tangerines may be coated with Lac resin (an extract from insects). we have seen it printed on the bags at Shop-Rite. If one intends to use orange rind, the Lac resin would be a concern. Another concern would be that at times on citrus fruits there are tiny inbedded insects or larvae known as "scale".

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Kosher Chinese Express- ??????????? Is it kosher for you?

There is a Chinese take out on Route 9 south near Lakewood. We used to give the Hashgocha there together with the OK Labs (we brought in this account to the OK). The refrigerators & gas lines were locked and sealed by the full time mashgiach.
We caught them bringing in unauthorized items. They brought them into the store in various dubious methods. Therefore we were forced to take away the keys from the owners from the outside doors as well.  

They constantly tried using unchecked infested vegetables. They were very uncooperative with the Mashgichim. The OK decided to allow the Chinese owners to have the keys to the outside doors, even though they were caught numerous times smuggling in unauthorized items. At that point I pulled my hashgocha. All of the ones that were concerned about kashrus stopped patronizing the chines store.

Ensuring Food Safety and Kashrus Protection Through Supply Chain "TRACEABILITY"

Executive Summary

To ensure the safety of the domestic and global food supply, demands for brand protection assurance are on the rise from customers and the food industry marketplace itself, along with increasing national and global food safety initiatives. To address these growing requirements, food processors and distribution warehouses up and down the supply chain now find automated traceability systems are a virtual necessity. For many food processors, the current challenge is to identify an automated approach to traceability that is both cost-effective and a good fit for their current business operations.

UPDATE: Worms in herring (jarred)? "2 Mumchim (fish experts) say it's not anisakis, nor a worm

Falsely claimed the OU certified its "tilapia" fish as kosher

The Orthodox Union is suing a Pennsylvania-based seafood-importing company, saying it falsely claimed the OU certified its tilapia fish as kosher, highlighting a common problem in the increasingly global kosher marketplace.

In a suit filed in federal court in Manhattan this month, the Orthodox Union, a Manhattan not-for-profit with a kosher division, sued Western Edge Inc. for trademark infringement and deceptive trade practice, alleging the unauthorized use of its registered certification mark. The suit alleges that Western Edge produced a fraudulent letter when asked by a Brooklyn food company about the kosher status of its tilapia fillets.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

This is the answer?

ששאלתם שקמו אנשים שמשתדלים להיות השלוח' דרבנן בעניני הציבור וכו''

שולחן ערוך חושן משפט, סימן ג' סעיף ד

רמ"א וז"ל -להושיב דינים ושופטים מי שירצה ומכל מקום מי שעושה זה בלא רשות הקהל (י"ג) מצער הציבור ועתיד ליתן את הדין תשובת רשב"א
אורים ותומים (י"ג) מצער הציבור. הוא לשון ריב"ש בתשובה, והרמ"א העתיקו ,ותמהני שלא העתיק שהוא חרם רבינו תם ורשב"ם וראב"ן וק"ן רבנים והוא בתשובת מהר"ם דפוס פראג בסופו (קנט-ב') וז"ל, ועוד גזרנו ונידינו וחרמנו בשמתא ובשם מיתה שלא יהיה אדם רשאי ליטול שררה על הציבור לא ע"י מלך וכו 'כי לענוש וכו 'אם לא שימנו אותם רוב הקהל מפני חשיבותם , והעובר על זה וכו' פתו פת כותי וכו' 'ושו נפשו ינוח ברכות על ראשו, עכ"ל.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Can you eat in the local establishments?


A pained voice at the other end of the phone line asked to meet in private. The head of the respected oversight organization agreed and arranged a time and place. At the rendezvous, the caller produced the shocking evidence – documentation that proved the existence of a scandalous conspiracy affecting the Jewish community.

What are we "chopped liver"? re: Kashrus in America

Why do we have to accept Uruguay beef that the Eidah in Eretz Yisroel wouldn't accept due to serious kashrus issues?

Why do we have to accept prechecked Brocolli & Cauliflower that the Eidah in Eretz yisroel wouldn't accept due to the level of comfort of infestation?

Why do we have to accept a Nikur that was the minhagim of the areas of Satmar, Puppa, Pest, Tzeilim?- when we should have a nikur that encompasses all of the minhagim of the kosher consumers including Minhagei Eretz Yisroel.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Liebers Soup, is it kosher?

From an Email received.

"I talked to R' weissmendel and he said its not a problem
but theres no simonim on the inside. You can easily switch the inside product also its all in spanish. please check it out"

Not - reccommended!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

No shabbos Cameras! Shuls, Yeshivas, have cameras? Check it out.

A few years ago, the Yerushalayim municipality installed a number of security cameras throughout the Old City. It was a time when there was a rash of stabbings and stabbing attempts in the Old City, and the cameras were aimed at helping catch the perps and also discouraging crime in the future, as perps will know they can more easily be apprehended.The issue was raised that perhaps the cameras operating on Shabbos would be a problem for those walking through the Old City on Shabbos to go to the Kosel.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Who is the ultimate decider that it's acceptably kosher?

You!, You are making  the ultimate decision that it meets your kashrus standard, when you put it in your mouth,

Gefen Barley infested

Some Gefen Barley was found to be infested. Barley- prior to use, must be soaked in hot water (hot tap water) for 3-4 minutes, stirred a few times, then inspect the water for insects. Cold water will not dislodge them. This is for all year round. 

Beef prices are on a steady climb up

Herring is on the way out, Herring salad is on the way in.

In Eretz Yisroel and many in the USA as well don't consume herring anymore due to the anisakis worm.

Chopped / ground herring salad does not have the issues.

Some are developing some very interesting herring salads.

Non-Checked produce being put into packaging with Hashgochas

נתפס כשחברתו אורזת עלי ירק לא מפוקחים בתוך שקיות הנושאות ציוני כשרות מהודרים והרבנות המקומית
עלי ירק המוצגת כמפוקחת (גם אם היא נושאת מותגי כשרות ידועים) ממשווק זה עד להודעה חדשה. נא ליידע את המשגיחים בהתאם  גוש חי"ה המעידים על ירק ללא תולעים ובכך נגרמה הכשלה חמורה לציבור. הואיל ואירוע זה אינו הראשון אצל משווק זה הוחלט כי אין לקלוט כל תוצרת של הרבנות הראשית לישראל


היחידה הארצית לאכיפת חוק איסור הונאה בכשרות

Monday, December 13, 2010

ALL TRUMP (General Mills) is heavily infested at this time

ALL TRUMP (General Mills) is heavily infested at this time.

New Square Kashrus Council-Rabbi C. M. Wagshal, Rabbinic Administrator

Friday, December 10, 2010

RONZONI elbows infested

The following information regarding insect infestation is from the with additional information from the OU and posted on December 7, 2010. reported insect infestation has been found in boxes of Ronzoni Elbows. People who keep yoshon and others should be aware that improper storage conditions may be a factor in insect infestation.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Shlomy's Lakewood butcher?????????????

Shloymy's butcher in Lakewood was always geared to the Hamoin-am, not yeshiva leit standards. Price is and was always the kashrus standard.

The TEVYA'S BEEF (fiddler on the roof) was never a recommended kashrus standard, regardless of the Hashgocha (or in spite of it).

Tevya's is a Rubashkin beef, a concern. Tevya's is certified by Rav M.M. Weismandel, another concern. Don't believe their ads or assurances regarding the "kreisim treif issues".

What are "tooki's" doing in kashrus?

A "tooki"  repeats what ever is said with absolutely no understanding, knowledge, comprehending the issue or the statement. At times you may even be fooled that they understand something about the subject.

A "tooki" remains a "tooki".

We find too many "tooki"s in kashrus, keeping the machine of kashrus certification well oiled, to the detriment of the kosher consumer.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Kings Highway Glatt

The Vaad of flatbush has been certifying the establishment for the past 20 years +-. Kehila Kashrus has been certifying the establishment as of late, 10 + years. The Vaad of Flatbush claims there were kashrus issues that were reported by the Mashgiach to Kehila and not to the Vaad. The Vaad's rep was in the premises on a weekly basis, the Mashgiach did not make him aware of any issues.

The Vaad, Kehila & the owner had a few meetings to resolve all of the issues and to institute certain changes including the abusive atitude the Mashfgiach had to put up with according to the Vaad. At The Meetings,

Thursday, December 02, 2010

RICOLA candies-should obtain a reliable kosher certification! (& eliminate glycerin, if any)

Ricola candies used to be made alledgedly with some non kosher ingredients, They needed the lard so the candies don't stick to the machine. Ricola candies sometimes has a kosher certifier Hashgocha albeit not a very reliable one, and sometimes no Hashgocha at all.

The big question remains, when they don't have the hashgocha, is it because they are alledegedly using lard among other ingredients? If that's the case, should someone think of using the Ricola when a hashgocha appears on the package?

I heard that some other Rabonim are looking over his back re: Ricola - We are very impressed.  What's that called russian roulette?

If the kosher consumer wouldn't buy them, the stores wouldn't sell them, or should it be the other way around-The stores shouldn't sell them.

Some stores have stopped selling them.

It's about time that Ricola should obtain a proper reliable kosher certification.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

listen to this, read the rest, read more.

Consumer kashrus ALERT: Is the "BAGEL" really dairy (milchig)????????

The famous bagel with the hole in the middle, is it really dairy or only considered dairy? Can one eat it with meat or at a meat meal?

Actually one may not bake bread that is either dairy or meat. There are certain times when it is permitted, e.g. size, shape, etc. All of those are not relevant to the "Bagel".

We became aware that in Eretz Yisroel some bagels are actually "dairy". This is even in the respected Hashgochas as well.

Putting it on the bag that it's dairy is not sufficient. A bagel or any other bread should NOT be made dairy at all.

There is a big difference if the bagel was made as a milchig bagel or it may have come in contact with something milchig in the store.

To an Aphid & a Thrip it's an umbrella-The Mite isn't worried the Mashgiach "might" find him

There has been a series of advertisements to convice the kosher consumer that somehow in green houses there are no insects. well it's a falacy, Just about every green house in Israel and other areas were inspected by experts and found there are insects in green houses.

They may be more controlable "especially with many toxic chemicals", but they don't either have the benefit of the natural predators that devour the insects.

Spinach isn't grown in hot houses. Strawberries aren't grown in hot houses. Yet we see those same distributors selling spinach, & strawberries.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A very nice Shabbos and Yom-Tov minhag

There is at least one family that at all seudas Shabbos & Yom-Tov each adult (including guests) reads out loud 1 page of "the 39 Melochos of Shabbos" by Rabbi Ribiat.

It doesn't long to finish all of the 39 melochos, and then they do it again.

The chofetz Chaim writes that it's pratically impossible for one to observe Shabbos properly without constantly reviewing Hilchas Shabbos.

Friday, November 26, 2010

OK Labs, About time!!!!!

Please be advised that M Slavin & Sons Ltd is no longer certified by OK Kosher Certification.

Product produced before November 16, 2010, bearing the Ok stamp and signature was produced under OK certification.

The previous alert can be cited with the URL:

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ethics in Kosher certification

We owe it to the kosher consumer

We in the field of Kashrus have accepted a fiduciary responsibility on behalf of the kosher consumer. Therefore, we owe our fidelity to the kosher consumer to uphold and maintain that fiduciary responsibility.

Executives who face troubling decisions are often confused about how to arrive at the right, moral and ethical course of action. This is not surprising since by definition a “moral dilemma” is one where there is no clear right and wrong, only positives and negatives.

Letter from Colgate About their Vegetarian Products

NOTE: Can one rely on the following letter that it's kosher? NO
Letter from Colgate About their Vegetarian Products

For vegetarian consumers, Colgate offers a large selection of products free of animal-derived ingredients. With more consumers seeking such products every day, Colgate is committed to making it easier for consumers to identify and select these products.

Monday, November 22, 2010

OK Labs? Who's that?

Does Mashgiach Temidi know what's going on?

All too often "mashgiach temidi" is the mashgiachs given name.

We were impressed with the telephone answers we received from the mashgiach temidi at South Lakewood's Rimon's Dairy place on Route 9 south.

Hershey's Bakery in Lakewood/Howell has a good handle on what the are doing.

Schicks Manor on 12th Ave in Borough Park, has a good handle on what they are doing.

Frozen diced onions.newly updated

The Satmar Rebbe, Reb Yoel Teitelbaum, OB"M when asked re: food kept under a bed, he responded that by things that are "ossur mishum sakonah" I don't rely on any tzirufim, kulahs, etc.

The Frozen diced onions being sold with a disclaimer, "no problem of linas-lai'lah" ,Onions left over night without the peel.

What method is being used to avoid the problem of peeled onions left overnight? They blanch it or pour hot water over them, is that suffecient according to all? NO!

Reb Moshe Feinstein, Z"L, told me that one must put some salt / sugar / oil, and you should be able to detect it's taste. Reb Moshe stated also that it's insuffecient to just sprinkle some salt on top it must be on the entire batch.

Rav Shmuel Wosner, shlita says it's not suffecient to blanch them.
Eggs are also cooked and it's still ossur, Eggs aren't sharp & it's still ossur.
The onions are peeled not mixed with anything.

If it's cooked, then according to the Minchas yitzchok & others it would need "bishul-yisroel".

Brocolli, Cauliflower, Strawberries with the EIDAH's hashgocha

There is now available in Eretz Yisroel Broccoli, Cauliflower & frozen strawberries with the Eidah's hashgocha. For the past few months there were no broccoli or cauliflower as it did not meet their stringent standards. They now settled for a "good enough" standard. It was produced some 3 months ago in Ecuador. We were told by the grower on Oct. 26th, 2010 that the eidah will be taking product in 2 weeks. I guess it didn't happen because it doesn't meet the standards of even "good enough".

But in the USA we must use even the good enough & the not good enough as well. WHY?
Is there any brand of Brocolli, Cauliflower, spinach that is reccomended? NO!

Their frozen strawberries list "should be rinsed lightly", how can one rinse frozen strawberries, it will all disintegrate? They missed the boat on that one as Strawberries are an infested product that can't be cleaned properly. The only acceptable methods of using strawberries is to either peel the entire outside, or to blend / puree & then cook/bake them as appears in the letter from Rav Moshe Vaye, Shlita with the approval of various poiskim.

It's not reccomended at this time to use the Eidah's frozen strawberries with a mere rinse, it must be pureed, etc prior to use.