Treif Food That Looks Kosher Congregant to rabbi: ‘Don’t worry rabbi, the food is kosher, it’s just not under supervision. If you want, we’ll get you a special meal.’Yet someone who arranges a non-kosher dinner knows just what they are serving to their guests; what of the ubiquitous ‘kosher-style’ food? ‘Kosher-style’ catering comes in different guises, calling itself variously: ‘kosher-but-not-supervised’, ‘strictly-kosher-but-without-beth-din-fees’ and ‘we-buy-only-kosher-products-you-can’t-tell-the-difference’. Of course, it is possible that everything served is actually kosher, but this is highly improbable. Here is a very short (and by no means exhaustive) list of issues:There is no way to verify that every product used is kosher (hundreds of ingredients are used to prepare every banquet, many very similar to non-kosher alternatives).The event cannot be kosher unless the food is prepared in a dedicated kosher facility or the kitchens have been completely kashered by a knowledgeable person.The cooking, kitchen, serving and dining utensils must be used exclusively for kosher catering; they cannot have been used previously for anything non-kosher, nor obtained from a regular hire company.The correct separation between meat and milk demands distinct kitchen areas and dedicated utensils for each, with no possible confusion or cross-over.Careful scrutiny is required to ensure that vegetables are free of infestation, eggs contain no blood-spots and that the cooking of the food is conducted under Jewish supervision.Not one of the above-mentioned is stringency, indeed each is a basic constituent of kashrut observance; according to most opinions, kosher food cooked in clean utensils previously used for non-kosher food is Biblically forbidden. Regrettably, and there is no pleasant way to say this, all cooked food prepared in these circumstances is treif beyond question; indeed the diner at such a simchah is likely to work his or her way through a considerable number of Biblical prohibitions in the course of the meal. Since the basic ingredients are kosher, the food looks acceptable, but is not; from a Jewish perspective, the difference between this food and ‘really treif’ fare, is that one only feels guilty when eating the latter!It is improbable that celebrants of the ‘kosher-style’ simchah are aware of all this; they are not serving their guests non-kosher food out of malice, yet they unwittingly give the impression that everything is in order, when it is not. Better to tell one’s guests in advance that the food won’t be kosher and let them make their own decisions; better still, opt for a kosher caterer.
All this leads to a discussion of rabbinical policy, for inevitably rabbis get caught up in this issue. Obviously, one guides one’s congregants to plump for a kosher affair, yet one is always aware of a lurking concern – striking the right balance between encouraging Jewish observance and being so demanding that the punter might ‘take his business elsewhere.’ The policy of the London Beth Din expresses this sensitivity; it will not authorise a chuppah scheduled to take place at the same venue as a non-supervised banquet (obviously this includes ‘kosher-style’), yet will do so if the chuppah is held in a Shul with the festivities elsewhere.I know of colleagues who impose restrictions on the extent of bar mitzvah celebrations for those who will follow the Shul service with a non-supervised dinner and others who ignore the issue altogether. Some rabbis will attend a ‘kosher-style’ or even ‘not-even-trying-to-look-kosher’ simchah and eat a kosher airline meal, yet others feel that to do so confers legitimacy on the occasion and its catering arrangements.Rabbis and communal leaders must also be acutely sensitive to the reasons that lead people to choose non-supervised catering. For some it may be weakness in their commitment to Judaism or the supposed low quality of the catering, although today many kosher caterers offer superlative cuisine and service. Yet for others, it is the perceived cost of hosting a kosher affair. There are modest ways of catering a beautiful kosher simchah, but the client may not find out about them without assistance. Kashrut authorities are always helpful to families who approach them in this regard, but communal rabbis and lay leaders must be at the forefront of ensuring that no one opts for a non-kosher simchah due to the cost.The discovery that ‘kosher-style’ catering does not produce kosher food may be disconcerting, yet it indicates that kashrut deserves to be taken seriously. In common with every area of Jewish law, it offers a nuanced, sophisticated system of rules and thus penetrates far beyond the superficial appearance of the food. We need to be real about this: fish served in non-kosher restaurants is not kosher, unchecked salads may be crawling with bugs and supermarket pre-packed meals often contain a myriad of hidden animal derivatives. These foods may look kosher, but they are not.A version of this article first appeared in the Jewish Chronicle. by Rabbi Harvey Belovski
What olive oil are we supposed to use for Pesach?Can you explain why the Badatz only gives during the year on Kevutzas Yavne and not for Pesach?I mean it's only extra virgin olive oil. Can we rely on OU-P for that?At least this oil comes from a private pardes in Israel. The other olive oils could be in gantzen treif or chometz anyway.
I find it a little odd that the Federation beis din of London (KF symbol) is giving hashgocho this year for ochlei kitniyos.
Olive Oil may use filtering agents, extraction enhancers, etc so the Aidah may not certify for pesach. OU accepts virgin Olive oil as a group 1, which does not require Hashgocha. KAJ's Rabbi recently discussed virgin olive oil & concluded a one time inspection of a plant is suffecient to certify it a kosher. NOTE: after all of the forgeries & adulteration it's shocking that any olive oil is a group 1. The AKO recently voted to remove it from group 1.There are a few California olive oil Companies that are acceptable for Pesach (albeit pricey).Extra Virgin, from "Sciabica", Corto, Calif Olive oil ranch, McEvoy Olive oil, Bozzano ranch-Make sure to ask for a current kosher certification & talk to the certifier re: pesach.
The OU certifies for Pesach Dutch Gold brand honey that bees pollinate from buckwheat plants which imparts a buckwheat plant taste into the honey.Is this kitniyos mamash because maybe the bees dropped fragments into the honey or is a taam with no mamashus considered kitniyos shenishtane?
Are these boutique olive ranches in California ashamed that they are kosher? Their websites list every secular certification they have but no mention of kashrus. Some online retailers mention they are kosher without specifying who certifies.
Why is the grubba ganav at Wasserman's supermarket who charges tax for decades on non-taxable items still selling Itzkowitz products for Pesach?Can you believe this guy? He still has stock from 15 or 20 years ago when the manufacturer went out of business. The items are so old that the packaging is falling apart but the mechutzef is still putting it on the shelves to sell people. I hope no one gets food poisoning.
http://consumers.californiaoliveranch.com/events/italys-gourmet-olive-oil-cops-sniff-out-counterfeit-evoo/You may have read that Italy has had a bit of a problem with counterfeit extra virgin olive oil. A couple years ago the Italian police nabbed 39 people and seized more than 25,000 liters of counterfeit EVOO. It was about to be sold in Italy and elsewhere in bottles bearing the labels of phony companies.If you’re wondering what actually was inside those bottles, Britain’s Guardian newspaper provided this version of the secret recipe: “Oil made from soya beans or sunflower seeds – some of it genetically modified – mixed with beta carotene and industrial chlorophyll.”
Rav Wosner holds not to use mushrooms on pesach as they are grown on a chametz medium. I don't know about buckwheat honey.
After the suspiciously timed last minute ambush last year by RYS on Rabbi Moshe Soloveitchik, Streit's was forced to take on a "national" hashgocho for 2010. But it seems this was not comprehensive. Some Streit's items this year are under CRC Chicago which is only a regional hashgocho and a considerable number of Streit's items are still only under Rabbi Soloveitchik as a stand alone certifier. Presumably this is because these items do not meet the kashrus standards of Chof K & CRC.Meanwhile, Queens Vaad vendors are selling all the Streits items including the ones declared last year to be no good.What happened? Was RYS just tzefreeden to beat up on Rabbi Soloveitchik as a show of force and now there is no follow up to make sure the heiliger Queens Vaad shitah is being adhered to? Or is it a printing mistake that there is no Chof K on the labels?
Is KF from London acceptable for during the year? They have a lot of major products like the Red Bull soda imported here from Austria.This is Dayan Lichtenstein & Dayan Elzas.
Incredible. When you type Alle Processing into the NYS court database, all kinds of well known restaurants and caterers pop up that stiffed Alle out of payment and were taken to court.
are you upset that the kcl didnt allow you to bring in meat from uraguay? is that why you are bashing the kcl and rubashkin?
The Uruguay meat under Rav Rubin would have sold in the USA even without the blessing of the KCL. The KCL was offered the oppertunity of having a high standard of kashrus on a Uruguay beef, they foolishly rejected it.It was not brought the USA becauase of financial issues.
Does anyone in the US import Rav Rubin's from Uruguay?
Please be advised that all products produced for the 2010 Passover season distributed by Aaron Streits Matzo Co and bearing Rabbi Soloveitchik's seal were produced under Kof-K Kosher supervision. Most items currently bear the Kof-K symbol, however a number of items were produced using older packagina and bear only Rabbi Solovechik's seal.
The master distributor here went for whatever supposed heimish brand is the cheapest, which is Lieber's, while still charging a hon rav.Every store has every Lieber's item. If you want Haddar, Glick's, Geffen, Mishpacha, they have very little selection if at all.Our family is not interested in the mashgiach from the Rubashkin cover up which explains how Lieber's is able to underbid. Apparently, you get a financial break when cutting corners in halacha.We will have to resort to asking a visiting relative to squeeze whatever they can in their luggage and doing without whatever we can't make ourselves.
It was just silly and self-serving when Executive VP Rabbi Steven Weil wrote a letter preaching to the public this month in the OU's Jewish Action magazine that "our kashrut standards are impeccable".But look how arrogant the OU is getting where even a former official out of there for years is belittling Rav Elyashev, Rav C. Kanievski & Rav D. Feinstein and where the bully Rabbi Elefant demands that no one discuss halacha on food without clearing it with him first:http://www.lohud.com/print/article/20100310/NEWS03/3100351/Monsey-group-says-lox-study-misinterpreted-It-s-kosherMandy Ganchrow, a retired Monsey physician who formerly served as president of the Orthodox Union, the largest organization in the world that provides kosher certification, said ... there was a tendency of some groups to go too far when interpreting finer points of the thousands of years of Jewish law."Everyone wants to be more frum — more religious — than the next guy," he said.Rabbi Moshe Elefant, chief operating officer of the kosher division of Orthodox Union, said ... he never heard of Chevra Mehadrin and had not seen the report."We welcome people asking questions, but if they have a question, they should come to us and ask it."
Clementines from Israel have been found at Costco. Please make sure they are tithed before eating them.Atlanta Kashruth Commission, February 19, 2010
Whole Schmaltz Herring, Haifa Smoked Fish, Queens, New York: is being recalled because the product was found to be uneviscerated. Uneviscerated fish has been linked to outbreaks of botulism poisoning. The lot being recalled is a product of Norway, individually vacuum-packed in clear plastic pouches with lot # 20 indicated on the label and distributed through various food retailers in the NY and NJ area. Consumers are warned not to use the product even if it does not look or smell spoiled and should return it to the place of purchase. New York State Department of Food and Agriculture, February 4, 2010
No one at this time imports Rav Rubin's from Uruguay because of economics.
Who is Dr. Ganchrow? There was a Dr. Ganchrow a practologist, who says from his point of view all hashgochas look the same.
I'll tell you who Dr. Mandel Ganchrow is.He led the OU cover up of the crimes against children of Rabbi Baruch Lanner. If he wasn't timed to retire he would have been fired after the commission report.There was also an incident at a Pesach hotel where he was cornered by a rabbi who is very zealous, outspoken and kind of eccentric. The rabbi whose name escapes me at the moment says he is a musmach of the Kezmarker Rav. The rabbi yelled at him in public, asking what gives him the right to serve as president of the Orthodox Union when his wife doesn't cover her hair.
The CRC here looked into the Red Bull products. They initially said that none of them were good but then said that the kashrus of the regular drinks was improved to the point of being acceptable but the "shots" remain unacceptable.The main ingredient is taurine. It can be synthetic but the original is treif that comes from the private parts of a bull.
If a company was able to ship uneviscerated fish, it sounds to me like the OK was just collecting a fee for doing nothing and does not have a mashgiach in Norway.Why couldn't they pay the Chabad shaliach there to go down to the plant?
That arrogant attitude has been commonplace at the OU for quite some time.About 10 years ago, someone forwarded a newspaper article about the OU in an email to some friends. It was forwarded around and when someone high up in the OU received it and didn't like what he read, he attacked the emailer instead of the newspaper reporter. He wrote to the emailer that the article is misleading and he should not email any articles about the OU in the future unless he clears it first with the OU.It turns out that the article was accurate but the OU official did not like one embarrassing detail that was exposed so he came up with a gantza dray to claim it wasn't true.These people are unreal.
Read the whole thing. Farmed salmon are even more infested than wild.http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/technology/science/killer-lice/article35379/A parasite the size of a thumbtack is flourishing in B.C.'s fish farms - and wiping out the wild salmonWild salmon are virtually extinct in the Atlantic Ocean, yet tens of millions of Atlantic salmon are being raised in farms in the Pacific; the U.S.-based Safeway supermarket chain has announced that it is curtailing purchases of disease-ridden farmed salmon from Chile; and returns of wild salmon on the British Columbia coast seem to be declining from year to year.Choosing farmed salmon, some people will tell you, means consuming some of the most toxic chemicals known to humanity. No wonder so many people end up settling for chopped cucumber at the sushi bar.Where you stand on the wild-or-farmed-salmon issue should come down to what you think about a thumbtack-sized crustacean that survives by eating the scales and skin off the same fish that we love to eat - an ugly, creeping, little beastie known as the sea louse.In the late 1990s, a Scottish tourist at a fishing lodge near Ms. Morton's floathouse asked, "Do you have the scourge of the sea lice yet?" The visitor explained that after the salmon-farming industry came to Scotland, sea lice started appearing in great quantities on wild fish; he had seen the same parasites on the salmon he had just caught in the Broughton.Alarmed, Ms. Morton took out a dip net and pulled up dozens of wild juvenile pink salmon. They were bleeding from the eyeballs and the base of the fins. Most of them were covered with brown flecks - juvenile sea lice. As they grow, changing their body shape every few days, these parasitic copepods strip mucus, scales and skin from the growing fish. While a full-grown salmon has an armour coating of scales and can survive an infestation, the parasites exhaust the young fish and quickly kill them off.Using hand seine nets to sample local waters, Ms. Morton established that the salmon farmers were raising millions of adult farmed Atlantic salmon along the migration routes of wild Pacific salmon - in exactly those inlets and estuaries where juvenile wild Pacific fattened up before going to sea. Suddenly, the decline of wild salmon populations did not seem like such a mystery: The 27 farms in the Broughton, had, by crowding normally nomadic fish into tightly packed nets, become ranches for sea lice, concentrating and fatally passing on parasites to wild salmon when they were at their most vulnerable.In 2002, government scientists predicted that 3.6 million pink salmon would return to the Broughton. Fewer than 150,000 did - a 97-per cent-population crash.Though the salmon farming industry has done its best to muddy the waters, Ms. Morton has science, as well as some of the leading fisheries scientists in the world, on her side. Analyzing data from Ireland, Scotland and Atlantic Canada, the late Ransom Myers of Dalhousie University showed that disease and parasites spread by farmed salmon reduced the survival of local populations of wild salmon and sea trout by more than 50 per cent per generation. In December, 2007, Ms. Morton and colleagues from the University of Alberta and Dalhousie published a paper in Science, one of the world's most prestigious peer-reviewed science journals, projecting the complete collapse of pink salmon in the Broughton by 2011 if the sea lice continue to infest fish.The evidence is on their side: Everywhere salmon farms have appeared, from Norway to Chile, they have spread disease and parasites to local fish.
Rabbi Steven Weil certainly does not like differing opinions. Maybe that's why the OU sees him as a perfect fit, that if someone has a problem with them, the new Exec VP can squash them like insects. When he was a shul rabbi in Detroit and Beverly Hills, he expelled several members from the shuls who were political opponents of his.
There's a drink made with treif beef ingredients? How did Rabbi Westheim miss out on that opportunity?
The OU has long been burning up about this website. The final straw for them after the Rubashkin exposes and everything else was when R' Yudel pulled the rug out from under them on the surgical procedures and milk.That's when they came out with the public letter from President Steve Savitsky that no one should read the blogs because they are full of false information but should call the OU with any questions instead.
Earlier in the week, Jerusalem Kosher News reported the Eida Chareidis removed its supervision from two Jerusalem pizza shops, Pizza Lahit (44 Yirmiyahu Street) and Pizza Shai (1 Amos Street), both in the Geula area.Now for the explanation – About a year ago, the Eida learned the stores used the ‘call forwarding’ feature during busy hours, referring phone orders to other stores owned by the same entrepreneur in the capital, but those stores are not under the Eida Chareidit, but the Jerusalem Rabbinate, non-mehadrin.The kashrut agency picked up on what was taking place and decided to offer the store an alternative, to pay for a mashgiach timidi (full-time) or give up the hechsher. They opted for the full-time mashgiach.On Purim, both stores were closed. An Eida official decided to test the integrity of his client, phoning the pizza shops and ordering many pies. They pies were delivered, piping hot, fresh from the Jerusalem Rabbanut stores with the customer supposed to believe they were from the Eida Chareidit stores.The kashrut agency promptly removed the hecsher from both.
Why couldn't Streit's inkjet the Chof K symbol on the 2010 products?In any case, there is huge room for abuse here as the Queens Vaad supermarkets can simply dip into old stock they have that is not under Chof K. If they can sell Itzkowitz from 20 years ago, why not Streit's from last year?We believe that Streit's did inkjet "2010" on matzos but not on all products. And you see takka that they have inkjet capabilities so we don't know that we buy that story that everything is now under Chof K.
Interesting that Yoel Schonfeld of VHQ-OU attacks the rabbi authoring this website as not being mentchlich when he gave no opportunity last year to Streit's and Rabbi Soloveitchik to fix the problems before Pesach while knowing all along and to retailers who already bought inventory. Rabbi Soloveitchik's brother is also the rosh yeshiva of Beis Medrash Letalmud on the same street as Schonfeld's shul.
Maybe the question is if the whole buckwheat plant including the flower is also considered kitniyos or only the fruit.
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