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UPDATE STATEMENT FROM OK: The Shufra Baking Cocoa Crisis

[IMPORTANT UPDATE BELOW] (Originally posted Sun night) WN has been flooded with emails in the past few hours regarding some type of “problem” with Shufra Baking Cocoa which is sold in stores as Kosher for Pesach.

YWN attempted to ascertain what the problem is, but were unsuccessful. What YWN can report is a public interview currently on Kol Mevaser.

In the interview, Rabbi Bonyomin Gruber stated multiple times that “he does not know what the problem is”, but stressed that his certification which was used in previous years was not supposed to appear on the baking cocoa for sale this year. Rabbi Gruber said that this year the coca was manufactured in China, and his organization was not involved in the production.

According to Rabbi Gruber, the OK Kashrus certification, which also appears on the label says the cocoa may be used, and is 100% Kosher for Pesach.

Although Rabbi Gruber does not  know what the problem is, he said that no utensils already used should be thrown out or require Kashering – “even for the biggest Machmirim”.

No offical statment has been been released by the OK.

YWN advises our readership to avoid any “Baal Tashchis” (discarding of baked goods) before the facts of the “unknown problem” become clarified.

Any further information available will be posted by YWN immediately.

UPDATE 11:30AM EST: YWN has just spoken with Rabbi Levy of the OK, who tells us that in the past 30 years, he and his Mashgichim have been to countless cocoa factories across the globe – including Europe, the Far East, Africa, etc etc, and have never ever found any Shalia (question) on any 100% pure cocoa powder. Additionally, Rabbi Levy consulted with leading experts in the field, as well as multiple Kashruth organizations, and all agree that there is no issue.
Rabbi Levy also told YWN that he just spoke with Rabbi Gruber, who is in agreement with the OK that there is no Shaila.
Chag Kosher V’sameach.

(Yehuda Drudgestein – YWN)

16 Responses

  1. There will be a public burning of Shufra Cocoa tomorrow morning on Lee Avenue in Williamsburg.
    (If you have any “Indian hair shaitels, they may be burnt b’shas hadchak according to some poskim).

    Happy purim.

  2. basicly rabbi gruber has no clue what the problem is (he says that himself 4 times), but hes convinced that noone should kasher anything.

    and if he DOES know, then he is 100% wrong for not telling the klal about it.

    basicly, rabbi grubar’s hashgacha is done in my home.


  3. I just listened to the interview.

    It left me with more questions than before.

    These are our rabonim hamachshirim shlita…..

    I smell a rat

  4. Things were going way to smooth for a long time…..we needed a new crisis.

    And to release this half-baked interview just hours before yom tov, when women have baked cakes and whatnot is totally irresponsible

  5. really #2 Mr. Ferd,
    Well in my eyes he actually went up. Why? Because he doesn’t just shoot off his mouth and say; see what happens when they dont use my hechsher, – Like some orgs have been knoewn to do. Such as “No long under our hechsher”
    What probably happened is he stopped the hechsher, because its in CHina. The o.k. gave a hechsher but they used the old labels, and he’s being gentlman and not creating a fuss

  6. It really is not problematic.It is pure cocoa from China. The Hisachdus used to give the hechsher on Shufra cocoa, but when they changed sources and it wasn’t feasable for a mashgiach to be there for that specific week, they quietly decided that they would not certify it ,but not because there is a chashash chometz, rather they have a policy of a constant mashgiach presence form a-z for pesach products. The Hisachdus does give a hechsher on glicks and haddar. with todays technology, labs can pick up particules in the hundreds of millions. I am comfortable using hersheys pure cocoa (only before pesach). Rabbi Gruber is a first rate Baal Machsir.

  7. Well, lets see.

    Cocoa, even if processed with Alkali, is something which according the reputable mainstream kashrus agencies does NOT require hashgocha for year round use including Pesach.

    So it seems they used old labels and he is upset about it but not upset enough to say more.

    Bottom line is …. USE IT GEZUNTAHEIT!!

  8. Mark Levin,
    You and I finally agree aboutTHING. When this happens Moshiach cannot be far behind.
    Have a GREAT Yom Tov.
    We can resume our political “discussions” after the Chag.

  9. 10,

    WOW! Something nice??!! Did you drink the arba kosos early which is how we agree on something?

    However, just to leave you with something else… Keep govt out of our lives. We know how to live our own lives without govt telling us what to do.

  10. ok bh now i can eat all those cakes. i actually no some people who dont eat cocoa on pesach, i think bc its anything that was exposed not in the house u cant eat unless u made it in the house somethin like that………

  11. well then, why is it a lighter color & not as chocolaty? maybe it’s just inferior quality cocoa (for the same price). pretty good way to ruin a profitable business quickly. there are other companies that don’t manufacture in China. I wouldn’t knowing put anything from China in my family’s mouths including toys.

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