By Rabbi Sholem Fishbane
Kashrus Administrator of the Chicago Rabbinical Council
Please be advised that TRADER JOE’S CHOCOLATE CHIPS are no longer certified Pareve. They are certified dairy (non-cholov Yisroel) when bearing the OK-D on the label.
The Chicago Rabbinical Council is pleased to announce that Kotel Kosher, located in the French Market, 131 North Clinton, Chicago, Illinois, is now under the certification of the cRc. All sealed foods and beverages sold are approved by the cRc.
Please note that the cRc only certifies breads and other pastries as Pas Yisroel when stating Pas Yisroel on the package or when listed as Pas Yisroel in our website, http://www.crcweb.org/pas_
Coke is introducing a low calorie version of Fanta and Sprite as “Fanta Select” and “Sprite Select”. Both are kosher pareve. The cRc website has been updated http://www.crcweb.org/
During the last several months there have been several new ice cream and frozen yogurt stores opening around Chicago and the country. Some are stand alone stores while others are located in malls. Many of these locations profess to sell kosher products under the certification of the cRc or other reliable agencies, and even have signs posted to indicate such. Unfortunately, while they may sell certain products that are kosher certified in their original factory sealed containers, most of the actual stores are not certified kosher. These letters only apply to the un-opened ice cream and yogurt that is listed on the letter of certification, and not necessarily to the store itself. Merely asking the store attendant if an item is kosher is not sufficient, as they may not be aware of specific requirements that may affect the kosher status of an item. One should see the actual product in its original container and be able to ascertain that the product in the container or soft serve machine is the same that you see in the original factory box and not a “token kosher box”.
In some cases, the scoop must be first washed clean. Any other products purchased, such as cones, toppings, or any other additives must also be inspected to determine if they are kosher. Items such as cakes and novelty items may be coming in from another outside source, so special care must be taken when purchasing any of these items. Since one may not assume that there were no changes made since the last visit, this all must be done each time you go into the store to make a purchase!
As the average person may also not always be aware of all of the kosher regulations, it is always preferable and recommended to only frequent shops under a reliable kosher supervision. Check with the cRc in the Chicago area, or your local Orthodox Vaad in other areas for the stores under kosher certification.
Effective 5/15/12 Rosa’s Pizza at 350 Fifth Ave, New York, NY 10011 is no longer certified OU kosher.
OU certified Fred’s Taco Seasoning Mix, Fred’s Inc., Memphis TN is missing “D” Dairy designation.
OU certified Sweet Perry Orchards Cashew Medley Fruit and Nuts Mix, Go Picnic, Chicago IL is missing the “D” Dairy designation.
Please be advised that some packages of Hot Cajun Mix, Oriental Nut Mix, Antioxidant Mix sold by Gourmet Nut, Brooklyn, NY, were mistakenly labeled with the OK (pareve) symbol, instead of OK-D.
Joy Cone brand Ice Cream Cones Fun Pack, sold in Costco Stores, containing 5 individual varieties of cones, among which is a chocolate coated dairy cone, is bearing only the Star-K pareve symbol on the outside box. The Star-D Dairy symbol pertaining to the chocolate coated cones was inadvertently left off the box. The individual inside box is labeled correctly.
Uncle Ben’s Whole Grain and Wild Rice: Mushroom Recipe bears an unauthorized OU and is not certified as kosher by the Orthodox Union.
Please be advised, that Misu Sushi is no longer under the supervision of the Vaad Harabonim of Queens.
Please be advised that all Saratoga Chips For Goodness Shakes Seasonings distributed by Saratoga Specialties Company (Saratoga Springs, NY) bears an unauthorized OK symbol on the label.
Due to supply chain issues some Tree Ripe Orange Juice, Johanna Foods have been produced in a non-certified facility. The containers do not bear the OU symbol. As always, consumers should check the containers for the OU symbol before purchasing.
At the present time, most varieties of Oreo Cookies contain dairy ingredients, with two notable exceptions. Original Oreo Sandwich Cookie and Oreo Double Stuf Sandwich Cookie do not contain dairy ingredients, though they are manufactured on dairy equipment. The equipment is not necessarily cleaned before the production of the Oreo Original and Double Stuff Sandwich Cookies, and there may be a small amount of dairy residue present in these cookies. Nonetheless, the dairy component would be minimal, and from a Halachic perspective, the dairy residue is nullified (botel bishishim) and of no consequence. Therefore, Oreo Original and Double Stuf Sandwich Cookies may be consumed after meat and poultry, but not simultaneously. Please bear in mind that the manufacturer may choose in the future to reformulate these products and add dairy ingredients. Since these products already bear OUD symbols, formulation changes would not be reflected in the OUD logo. As such, consumers should check regularly with the OU to confirm the status of these items.
My Choice Frozen Yogurt and Juice Store, located at 845 7th Avenue, New York, NY, printed brochures that display the OU symbol. This store is not certified by the Orthodox Union.
OU certified Christie Triscuit Low Sodium Roasted Garlic, Christie Brown, a Division of Kraft Canada, is missing the Dairy designation.
Coupons for the Cold Rush Frozen Yogurt store in the Richfield Shopping Center in Clifton N.J. bear an unauthorized OU symbol. These coupons were distributed in the Passaic-Clifton area. The Orthodox Union does not certify Cold Rush and has no information about the kosher status of that store.
Please be aware that Shmitta wines from 2008 are being sold in the US. These wines have kedushas shviis and must be treated accordingly; none of the wine can be discarded. Consumers are urged to carefully check the label. If you have purchased these wines, ask your Rav how to handle these products.
Please be advised that Milk Chocolate Fondue, 200 grams sold by Loblaw Brands Limited, Ontario, Canada bears an unauthorized OK (pareve) symbol. These products are NOT certified by OK Kosher Certification.
Endomune Advanced Probiotic Capsules, Medical Care Innovations - San Antonio, TX, bears an unauthorized OU symbol. This product is not certified by the Orthodox Union.
Mon Cuisine frozen meals, Alle Processing: When warming Mon Cuisine frozen meals in a microwave, consumers should double wrap the carton. Mon Cuisine is changing its packaging to alleviate this issue by overwrapping the carton.
OU certified Blue Bird Perfect Guacamole Seasoning Mix is missing the “D” dairy designation. The ingredient panel clearly states that it contains dairy. Some packaging only has the plain OU without the “D”.
Please be advised that products distributed by G & S Bakery (may be under the name G&S or G&D) bear an unauthorized VHQ (Vaad of Queens). Corrective measures are being taken.
Please be advised that some packages of First Street 94% Fat Free Microwave Popcorn and First Street Extra Butter Microwave Popcorn were mistakenly labeled with the OK (pareve) symbol, instead of OK-D.
Ben-David Winery, based in Moshav Sdei Eliezer, was found to be using the “OK” symbol on bottles of Merlot 2008 (a dry red wine) without authorization. The label states “OK-P” (Kosher for Passover), but, in actuality, the wine has a regular non-mehadrin supervision and is the product of heter mechira grapes.
Some 2 oz. of Dirty Potato Chips Sour Cream and Onion Potato Chips were mistakenly labeled with a plain OU mark, without the D-Dairy designation. Corrective measures are being implemented.
CHUNKS O FRUTI brand Strawberry Dipped in Chocolate fruit bars with a French/English label bears an unauthorized Star-K. The coating is made on dairy equipment and should bear the Star-D Dairy symbol.
Please be aware that a number of chocolate products sold in Mexico under the brand D’Meals bear an unauthorized cRc logo. These products are not certified kosher by the cRc and are being withdrawn.
Any Double Bubble gum that is made by Concord Confectionery in Canada is certified by the OU even without the OU on the label.
Please be aware that the following flavors of Scara’s Creamy Ices (Sherbet) cups bear a cRc label which have omitted the “dairy D” designation. The products do indeed contain dairy ingredients (Cholov Stam): Coconut and Pina Colada.The following flavors of Scara’s Italian Ices cups are made on dairy equipment but the “DE” designation was omitted: Blueberry, Cherry, Lemon, and Sour Apple. No other varieties of Scara’s Ice cups, bulk products or liquid bases are certified by the cRc at this time. The cRc does not certify any of the Scara’s carts, stands or stores.
Please be advised that the OK has revoked certification of Rimon Winery (Keren Ben-Zimra, Israel) manufacturer of Pomegranate Wine due to kashrus violations.
Please be aware that the following brands of fresh salads such as Potato Salad, Cole Slaw and Macaroni Salad are no longer under the certification of the cRc: Orval Kent, Sysco, US Foodservice, Walmart, Sam’s Club. As always, buyers should be diligent when making any food purchases and should look at each label for a kosher certification. Any remaining products still bearing the cRc logo are kosher certified.
Some 10oz bags of Pink Snack BBQ Potato Chips were labeled with a plain OU rather than an OU-D. It contains lactose (a dairy ingredient) but the “D” was inadvertently left off.
Tabatchnick Soup Singles New York Style Chicken Broth With Noodles and Vegetables was inadvertently labeled as pareve but the product is in fact certified as KOF-K MEAT. Labeling is being corrected.
The Smirnoff Triple Distilled Vodka 100 Proof with the blue label on it, 200ml and 375ml bottles has been mislabeled as KSA Dairy. This product is in fact KSA Pareve.
Tierra Fresco Queen Olives (from Spain), Small World Foods, Shelton CT bear an unauthorized OU. This product was sold in a ‘closeout’ store in the Midwest. Corrective measures are being implemented.
Jason bread crumbs are now Pas Yisroel which is listed on the label. If the old label says distributed by “The Manischewitz Co.” or if they say “RAB Foodgroup” they were also Pas Yisroel. However, if the label says “Distributed by R.F.D. Newark NJ” they were not Pas Yisroel.
AGRO SUN brand dried fruits and nuts products, sold in the New York/New Jersey area, bear an unauthorized Star-K. These products are not certified by Star-K. Corrective measures are being taken.
STARBUCKS HOT COCOA MIX – TOASTED MARSHMALLOW is Kof-K – D certified, as indicated on the label, and contains Kosher gelatin.
New MULTI GRAIN CHEERIOS PEANUT BUTTER CEREAL mistakenly does not bear a Kosher symbol, but is nonetheless certified OU-D (dairy equipment).
Wei Chuan Sesame Chili Oil, Bell Gardens, CA bears an unauthorized OU symbol. The Orthodox Union does not certify this product. Corrective measures are being implemented.
Some packages of Maui Onion Potato Chips, Dirty Potato Chips, Gramercy, LA were mistakenly labeled with a plain OU mark, without the D-Dairy designation. This product contains dairy and should be OU-D.
Updated Star-K Brochos For Breakfast Cereal List: Check out the Star-K Winter 2012 Edition of Kashrus Kurrents, which contains an expanded cereal list. Note the following updates on brochos and/or Pareve/Dairy status that differ from previous lists: 1) Thebrocho on the following General Mills products is Shehakol: Corn Chex, Honey Nut Chex, and Post Honeycomb. 2) The brocho on the following Kellogg’s product is Mezonos/Borai Nefashos & Dairy: Special-K (original). 3) The following products are Dairy:Kellogg’s Bran Buds and Cinnabon Crunchy Cinnamon Cereal. 4)The following products are Pareve: Post Alpha Bits, Golden Crisp, Honeycomb, and Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. 5) The following products are made on Dairy Equipment: Quaker Crunchy Corn Bran and Oatmeal Squares.
Linen threads are used on occasion in the seams of sweaters. The linen threads are sometimes easily removed and the sweater is then non shatnez.A 100% Lambs Wool Polo by Ralph Lauren lady’s sweater (Hong Kong) was found to contain a red linen thread in its seam.
A Zara Kids (China) vest was tested at the Lakewood Shatnez laboratory. The content label listed: Outer shell: 63% Polyester, 30% Wool, 5% Rayon, 2% Acrylic, Lining: 100% Cotton.
This women’s jacket, Linda Allard for Ellen Tracy, was examined by the Houston Shatnez laboratory. The law does not compel labeling to list all threads in the garment.
Shatnez in the actual fabric of scarves in uncommon. However, when a scarf is made of more complex woven fabric, it could have shatnez. The Boro Park Shatnez Laboratory examined a plaid scarf. It had no labels attached to it. The fabric was composed of heavily recycled yarns. R’ Sasson Gelb found both wool and linen in the fabric.
Shatnez was found in a Baggio men’s suit – the collar stiffener was linen.
Escada Dress is a wool dress that was found to be full of shatnez.
Banana Republic skirt with shatnez in the fabric was recently found at the Lakewood Shatnez Laboratory.
The skirt was made in Thailand and the contents label listed 96% Wool, 3% Spandex and 1% Other Fiber.
Most suit manufacturer produce a line of suits and sell them under various brand names. A particular suit manufacturer is selling suits under a number of names, including Eventi, Luciano Bardelli, Joseph Bach and Mattarozi Uomo. A number of suit stores claim that they are the sole importer or manufacturer of these suits and have guaranteed that their suits contain no shatnez. Most suits of these brands were free of shatnez. However, the Flatbush Shatnez Laboratory reported that shatnez was found in an Eventi suit. The Lakewood Shatnez Laboratory also reported that shatnez was found in a Luciano Bardelli suit.
Linen sweaters can have wool threads in their joints or may be sewn with a wool yarn.
The Kico Kids 100% linen sweater had shatnez. A wool-blend yarn was used to sew all of its seams. It was made in China and its contents label listed – Shell: 100% Linen, Ribbon: 100% Cotton. The sweater was sold in two colors: green and tan.
Cans of the Dr. Pepper soft drink from England are being represented as kosher under the supervision of KLBD. KLBD reports this is not so. The kashrus claim is bogus. The soda was also not approved by the Chief Rabbinate and a recall has been issued.
Mounds, manufactured by Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA, barcode 03403108 is being represented as kosher parve with a hechsher from the OU and Chief Rabbinate approval. This refers to bars distributed by Premium Amos Shivuk. The product contains milk, and is therefore dairy and chalav akum.
The Israeli Chief Rabbinate is enforcing their policy of not allowing cholov stam products to be sold as kosher on Haagen-Dazs ice cream. Some of the Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream is made from liquid cholov stam and certified as kosher by the OU.
The Badatz Eida Chareidis has found some saccharin manufactured abroad that are marked pareve but the ingredients lists “lactose” which makes it dairy. The product (tablets, liquid and powder forms) contains components that are not cooked. Therefore one should you aklei shlishis when using the sweetener on Shabbos. The Badatz has made a special run and the saccharin under our hashgacha is totally cooked and therefore one does not have this problem on Shabbos. On containers included in this special run it will state the ingredients are all cooked alongside the Badatz logo. It says עבר בישול מלא.
Regarding coated nuts known as “kabukim” – the bracha is barei minai mezonot. However, the nut is not included in the measure towards a ‘shiur’ and regarding the after bracha, it depends if one ate a shiur of the coating in the time period known as ‘b’chdei acilas pras’, for if not, the after bracha is borei nefashot.
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Alerts are compiled from Kashrut.com http://www.kashrut.com/Alerts/ , kashrus agencies’ websites; Kashrus magazine; Kosher Information Bureau; Jerusalem Kosher News www.jerusalemkoshernews.com - firstname.lastname@example.org, Shatnez Laboratory; and from the Guide to Chodosh (Rabbi Yoseph Herman).