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.

PEPSICO is the biggest supporter of "Toeivah" Boycott their products-Pepsi & SABRA salads

The Princeton Committee on Palestine has sponsored a referendum in next week’s USG elections that asks Dining Services to sell an alternative to Sabra hummus in all its retail locations on campus.

The Strauss Group and PepsiCo each own 50 percent of Sabra Dipping Company.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Lakewood's "Kosher stores" & other stores cary kosher & non-kosher shortening

UPDATE: Kosher Village, removed it from their shelves.
There are 2 Shortening made with palm oil, distributed by the same distributor. The one with the bright packaging from Brazil made under Rabbi Illowitz is acceptable. The other one with the plain packaging under Rabbi G. is not acceptable. 

Boilers In Kosher Production

Boilers In Kosher Production
In order to process/ cook food you need heat. In the commercial & industrial food processing, steam & hot water are used extensively. We will first explain the basics of the "Steam" boiler operating system, & then the concerns to the kosher consumer afterwards. The source used for steam and hot water is a "boiler", heated by different fuels.

Monday, November 15, 2010

PEPSI Alert-

There are PEPSI bottles that do NOT have a kosher certifying emblem on the bottle. Those plants are NOT kosher certified and therefore should not be consumed.

From an Email

A COKE "VP" responded, If the OU is not comfortable to put their logo because they don't visit the plant, the kosher consumer shouldn't feel comfortable consuming it without the logo.

Purchasing food for your employees

Some thought re: Purchasing food for your employees.

In general employers do not provide food for their employees. At times the situation is such that the employer does provide food for the employees. A caterer on an outside or out of town job would usually provide food for his employees. At a company party the food is generally provided by the employer.

If none of the employees are Jewish, may the employer serve non-kosher food which of course is cheaper? Can the employer serve pepperoni pizza? Is there a question of Bosur- bi’cholov, which is ossur-bi’hanoah? The pepperoni is cooked together with the cheese on the pizza pie.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Consumer retail pack "palm shortening", is it kosher?

There are at least 2 retail size consumer packs of palm shortening by the same distributor. One is from Brazil with the Hashgocha of Rabbi Illowitz which is acceptable. The other one is with a different Hashgocha and there is a serious concern of treifus, and should not be used.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

What's In A Flavor? what may be some kashrus issues?

What's In A Flavor?

When manufacturing a flavor there will be the unwanted aroma etc. caused by the chemical reaction. How does the flavor scientist circumvent the problem? Most flavors are synthetic, there are over two thousand flavors in use & only five hundred are natural. The various chemicals used in a flavor are made in (PPM) parts per million.

Some of the common chemicals used in flavor manufacturing are; Amyl acetate, benzaldehyde, carvone, ethyl acetate, ethyl butyrate, and methyl salicylate among the many others. Each aroma chemical contributes to the success of the ultimate flavor.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Can one rely on a Hetter not a Psak?

I was by Rav Eliyashev, Shlita last Elul to discuss various kashrus issues. Rav Eliyashev changed the subject and wanted to know if all of the facts are known as far as the ships carrying liquid food items. I told him that some of the information was gathered but numerous ships and shipping routes it's still unclear as what's being hauled, and is no relatively fool proof system in tracking all of the shipments e.g. South America, etc.

Then Rav Eliyashev says והוא כבר עשה ההתירים שלו so I ask who is the Ruv speaking about that made his Heteirim רב בלסקי? He says yes,

Kolatin Gelatin, is it kosher, is it parve? The company's money is not kosher.

There were 2 teshuvas written by Reb Ahron Kotler Re: Gelatin for the Bartons Company. It was written to Rabbi Kornmehl. After the second teshuvah Reb Ahron was choizer and he also put in a limitation that it must be made in NEW utensils, one can not use kashered utensils. The current productions are not made in new dedicated utensils, and the sources of the raw material is questionable.

There was a "loi-tzais" on the owner of the Company. The Psak was that more than 51% of the company belongs to the investors. They never listened to the psak.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Quail eggs? So many calls lately.

There are may types of quail, most do not have any Mesorah at all. There is such an over abundance of food available with mesorahs according to everyone so why bother?

2. Are Guinea Fowl and Quail kosher? We would like to eat the eggs.

The Torah lists 24 species of non-kosher fowl. All others are permitted. However, over the years uncertainty has arisen over the identification of these birds. Therefore, Jews consider a fowl kosher only if there is a tradition that this species has always been considered kosher (as with chicken). There is no such tradition regarding Guinea Fowl and Quail, and therefore, they are not considered kosher.

The above is from the Star-K's site, if they couldn't find a way to use it, that's it- case closed

Don't use BRUNSWICK SARDINES ALERT- No Mashgiach Temidi? Why?

DON"T USE BRUNSWICK SARDINES, nor any sardines without a Mashgiach-Temidi
Crustaceans are being found in them, in one can after the other- They must all be recalled.
The following kashrus alert is from a reader's question and consultation with the OU and Bumble Bee on September 22, 2010.

A reader reported finding krill, a small crustacean similar in appearance to a small shrimp in some cans of Brunswick Sardines in Olive Oil. Sardines are a small herring and are a natural seafood product. The main components of the herring diet are krill and other zooplankton present in the ocean in which it lives.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Shabbos problem- Electronic / key Locks in Hotels

At least some of the Electronic room locks with a key as well may be a problem for Shabbos. The internal tracker records all of the uses of the key. "Saflok" is one of them.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Would you feel comfortable eating at such an establishment?

A caterer who is a BT. His so called Mashgiach temidi (Temidi may be his last name) is the full time baker. He bakes and does other physical labor for 14 hours per day. One thing he doesn't do is be a full charge Mashgiach. The mashgiach doesn't check in any of the orders, and doesn't have any time to check on anything else in the kitchen.