By Rabbi Sholem Fishbane
Kashrus Administrator of the Chicago Rabbinical Council
The Chicago Rabbinical Council now offers www.askcrc.org, where kosher consumers can check the kosher status of hechsherim, beverages, liquors, foods, fruits & vegetables, Slurpees, and medicine. The information is accessible via a simple search box, and the site is optimized to work on mobile as well as desktop devices.
Before one purchases fruits for Tu b’Shevat it is advisable to check our website and/or app for what can be consumed without checking for insects and the method of checking those fruits that require checking. http://www.crcweb.org/fruit_vegetable_policy.php
The newest Slurpee flavors are Mountain Dew Blue Shock and Fanta Sugar-Free Peach Mandarin. Both are kosher pareve.
Please note that Mission Food products produced by Gruma Corporation are only certified by the cRc when bearing the cRc logo. Products not bearing the cRc logo may be produced at non-certified facilities.
Please be aware that the Laurel Hill brand of Nacho Multigrain Tortilla Chips is incorrectly labeled with a plain cRc logo, which would indicate it being pareve. The product is dairy (cholov stam) as indicated on the ingredient panel.
The cRc is proud to announce that, as a service to the community, we are now certifying the coffee machine and Icee machine at the Walgreen’s at 3019 West Peterson in Chicago. Please see the sign posted on the side of the machines in the store for specific beverage details.
ELECTRIC FREE-STANDING DOUBLE OVENS/WARMING DRAWERS KASHRUS ALERT:
The Star-K is alerting the consumer that some models of free standing electric ranges with warming drawers or double ovens may only have a single sheet of metal separating the upper oven from the lower oven, as opposed to an insulated double metal layer. This can create a kashrus problem when using one oven for meat & the other for dairy. Consumers are urged to research these ovens very carefully before purchasing.
Please be advised that Shalom Glatt Supermarket located at 100-17 Queens Blvd Forest Hills, NY is erroneously advertising that they are under the supervision of the “Vaad Of Queens.” Corrective measures are being pursued.
Please be advised Kosher Emporium in Merrick, NY is no longer under the supervision of the Vaad Harabonim of Queens.Kashrut.com notes that this should not to be confused with Kosher Emporium of Plainview, NY.
Due to kashrus violations, effective immediately, Edible Arrangements store # 572 located in the York Road Plaza 6352 York Road, Balltimore, MD 21212 is no longer certified STAR-K nor STAR-D.
ChoPita, New York, NY is not under the Supervision for the OK (even though it is displayed on their awning). It is under the supervision of Badatz Beis Yosef.
Please be advised that gummy worms packed by Crown Naturals, North Bergen, NJ sold by West End Deli, New York, NY was mistakenly packed with the OK symbol.
Please be advised that effective December 10, 2012 Sandel Foods Inc. of Chilliwack, BC is certified BCK Kosher Dairy – Not Cholov Yisroel. Pareve products received prior to December 10th are still certified pareve, but going forward will be certified Dairy
Springfield Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips, Unified Grocers Inc. Commerce, CA are certified as an OU-D Dairy product. The product contains milk derivatives. Recently, some bags were printed with a plain OU, without the D Dairy designation. The mislabeled products are sold primarily in Southern California.
Recently, the cRc has noticed an unexpected increase of insects in barley. Three distinct types of insects were discovered: a tan-colored worm, a black crawling insect, and a black fast-crawling insect with wings. Each insect was approximately half as long as a barley kernel, and most could be seen crawling. Certain brands and dates of manufacture seem to be more infested than others.
For consumers looking for yoshon barley, we have found that Gefen barley with a date code of “07/02/14 Yoshon” (being sold in local stores) appears to consistently have little or no infestation. Due to the fact that infestation generally occurs after the grain is packaged, infestation was found even in containers bearing a reliable kosher logo.
We therefore recommend that through January 2013 kosher consumers inspect their barley before using it, as per the following procedure: 1) Place a small pile of barley – an ounce or two at a time – on a white plate or other surface. 2) Use a finger or credit card to drag a small amount of barley away from the pile, spreading that barley in a single layer. 3) Visually inspect the spread-apart barley to be sure there are no insects between or under the kernels. 4) Repeat the latter two steps until the entire pile has been checked. Then repeat the steps for the rest of the barley in the package. 5) Visit http://bit.ly/Y7tdbc for a short video which demonstrates the above procedure and shows some pictures of insects that may be found.
It is also prudent to follow the above procedures for all small grains, such as barley, rice and oats, at all times. Consumers who will store barley or other grains for extended amounts of time (e.g. for yoshon use) are advised to store such products in the refrigerator or freezer so as to prevent infestation. In the coming weeks, we intend to continue monitoring the situation and will issue updated directions as needed.
The following alerts come from the Vaad Harabbonim of Detroit Kashrus Alerts: 1) Ocean Spray Craisins in a new 6 – 1 oz. package mistakenly does not bear an OU but is nevertheless OU certified. 2) Duncan Hines Milk Chocolate Brownies, which in the past contained cream and milk and stated OU-D on 19.3 oz. boxes, has been reformulated to a pareve formula and now bears a plain OU on new 18 oz. packages. Each box should be carefully checked, because some old formula product is still on store shelves. 3) Many Pillsbury Frostings which used to be OU-D have now changed to plain OU (pareve) status, even some with names such as Milk Chocolate, Cream Cheese, and Butter Cream. Each container should be checked as some OU-D product is still on store shelves. 4) Wilton Cake Decorating Products are produced for Wilton by many companies, some of which are kosher-certified as either pareve or dairy (by several different certifications), and some that are not certified. Even the same type of product may bear certification on one size or variety, and not on others. Therefore, each item should be carefully checked for reliable certification, AND pareve or dairy status. Some examples are White Decorator Icing, which bears an OK on the 4.5 lb. size but nothing on the 16 0z. size; Deep Pink Color Dust, which bears no certification and contains non-kosher carmine; and Candy Flavorings and Non-Stick Spray, which bear no certification.
Some of the South Beach Ready Meals packaging bears an unauthorized OU symbol and were distributed in Pennsylvania and Florida. Products are being withdrawn from the marketplace for relabeling
A limited quantity of Feridies Honey Cheddar 6 o’ Clock Crunch snack mix, Peanut Patch d/b/a Feridies, were packed in containers with an unauthorized OU symbol. This product is not certified by the OU.
Please be informed that effective immediately MKT (Mehadrin Kashrus of Texas) no longer certifies Andalucia Nuts.
Please be advised that Golden Glow Cookie Co., Inc. is no longer certified by OK Kosher Certification. Kosher certification has been revoked due to kashrus violations.
Kashrut.com reports that Blue Moon’s New “Ale” is half wine. Blue Moon is producing beer-wine hybrids that are 49% wine and are not kosher. There are other ales with contain wine, including Allagash Victoria Ale with Chardonnay grapes, and Milton (Del.) craft beer maker Dogfish Head Noble Rot using viognier and pinot gris grapes.
The COR reminds the consumer that Grapple apples are not kosher. Grapple apples are apples that are infused with a grape flavor that is derived from grapes
Please be advised that The Bakery Pumpkin Pies sold at Walmart stores have been labeled with the Scroll-K, erroneously omitting the dairy designation. This product is Scroll-K-dairy certified. Corrective action is being taken.
Some packages of Badia Dried Shrimp, Badia Spices Inc. (Miami FL), mistakenly bear the OU symbol. This product is not kosher. Corrective measures are being implemented.
V Chocolates Milk Chocolate Caramel Apples (Salt Lake City, UT) some labels are missing the “D” designation and bear the plain OU instead. The product is clearly dairy, as listed on the label.
Until further notice, Shoreline 16oz and 32oz bottles of cherry concentrate will not bear the STAR-K symbol and are no longer certified by the STAR-K. Bottles bearing the STAR-K symbol are certified by the STAR-K.
Please be advised that the Variety Pack of Roundy’s Chewy Granola Bars has been incorrectly labeled “D” (dairy). Each pack contains 4 flavors. Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin, and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip are kosher, dairy and OK-certified; S’mores is not certified and not kosher. Labels are being corrected.
WAM airline meals are being supplied with the Hechsher of Badatz Igud Rabbonim, which is unauthorized. These meals must be considered as having no hechsher at all. Labels are being corrected.
Please be advised that Planters Milk Chocolate Covered Almonds was inadvertently labeled without a “dairy” designation on the COR logo, but it does indicate milk, as indicated in the product name. This product is dairy. Corrective action is being taken to ensure correct labeling.
The COR reports that Joe’s Tasty Travels Toasted Praline Buttery Almonds, Toasted Praline Buttery Peanuts, and Praline Deluxe Nut Mix list butter and milk ingredients on the label’s ingredient panel. These products do not in fact contain any dairy ingredients. The products are kosher and pareve. Note: There is a milk allergen statement on the packages, since milk ingredients exist in the plant. This does not affect the kosher and pareve status of the products.
Winn-Dixie Woven Wheat Crackers are certified by the OU as a kosher product. Some packaging mistakenly bears an OU-P symbol. This product is not kosher for Passover.
Due to supply chain issues, the OU symbol has temporarily been removed from Aunt Nellie’s Whole Holland Style Onions. As always, consumers are urged to verify the kosher symbol on each and every product.
Atlanta Kashruth Commission reports that some bags of assorted candies have kosher and non-kosher candies. Sometimes the OU is on the bag of the package next to a kosher variety, but that only applies to that specific candy. Other candies in the assortment may not be kosher. Jolly Rancher is the name of several different types of candy. Some varieties are kosher and made in a kosher facility, but most varieties are non-kosher.
Derlea Foods Sundried Tomaro & Herb Spread, 7.2 oz jar, Derlea Brand Foods Inc., were inadvertently labeled without a COR “dairy” designation. This only affects product sold in the United States, not in Canada. These products are dairy.
Castella Zesty Pepps Stuffed with Garlic Herb Cream Cheese is certified as an OU-D product. Some labels mistakenly bear the OU symbol without the “D” dairy designation. This product is sold at Costco and contains dairy.
Manhattan, an alcoholic drink manufactured by Francovich Distillers, bears an unauthorized OU symbol. The Orthodox Union does not certify Francovich Distillers.
Please be advised that two lot numbers (#152-12 and #207-12) of Century Dairy Brand Rocky Road Ice Cream (made by Mikawaya of Vernon, CA) were mistakenly labeled as OK-D. OK does not certify this product, as it contains non-kosher ingredients.
Airheads Party Mix, Perfetti Van Melle USA Inc. (Erlanger, KY), is a bag of candies that contains taffies and lollipops. Some of those bags mistakenly bear an unauthorized OU symbol. The Airheads taffies are certified kosher by the OU, and each individual taffy wrapper bears an OU symbol. The Airheads lollipops, however, are not certified by the Orthodox Union, and they do not bear an OU symbol.
Jerusalem Kosher news reports that all General Mills products imported to Israel either through Nestle or through General Mills Israel are yoshon regardless of their production dates. However, the OU does not take responsibility for those items imported through private importers. If a product is marked with “Approved by the Chief Rabbinate/אישור רבנות ראשית ישראל” then it is an official product and is not a yoshon issue.
1) Women’s skirt – Chick 3. No content label. 2) Women’s skirt – Forever 21 Essentials made in Vietnam.45% polyester 45% wool 6% acrylic 4% other fibers 3) Women’s sweater – Express made in Bangladesh.40% nylon 30% viscose 30% wool. 4) Women’s sweater – Jones New York made in China. 60% acrylic 25% wool 10% polyester 5% metallic. 5) Women’s 100% woolen sweater – Banana Republic made in China. 6) Women’s 100% woolen sweater – Eli Tahari made in China. 7) Men’s 100% silk tie – Brooks Brothers made in USA. 8) Men’s 100% woolen sweater made in China. No brand label attached. Distributed by Steinbest co., Brooklyn, NY. 9) Men’s winter coat – Joseph Abboud made in China. 100% wool. 10) Men’s winter coat – Jil Sander made in Italy. 100% wool. 11) Men’s 100% woolen suit – Cianni Cellini made in China. 12) Men’s 100% woolen suit – Jos A Bank made in Mexico. 13) Men’s 100% woolen suit – Montefino Uomo made in China.
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The cRc is proud to introduce the cRc Kosher APP now available FREE OF CHARGE on all iPhones, iPods, iPads & Palm WebOs! Android App is available at http://bit.ly/cRcAndroid. Blackberry APP is not available at this time. There is also a new mobile site called www.askcrc.org that is very useful for the kosher consumer.