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Consumer Kashrut Alerts

The following insect infestation alert is from COR on October 31, 2012.

Please be advised that COR Mashgichim have found instances of infestation of small worms both off-white and black in barley. Other organizations (CRC and Star-K) have sent out alerts to their respective communities reporting similar findings. We are advising that, until further notice, barley be checked prior to use by spreading it out on a white piece of paper or other surface. Look for insects amongst and in between the grains. Alternatively, barley can be soaked in water for 15-20 minutes and agitated. Let the water settle and check if any worms or insects rise to the top of the water.

The following insect infestation alert is from Chicago Rabbinical Council on November 1, 2012.

In recent weeks, consumers and kashrus professionals have noticed an unexpected increase of insects in barley. After inspecting many pounds of barley from an assortment of manufacturers sold in the local Chicago area stores frequented by kosher consumers, we have come to the following conclusions:
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.
See www.gipsa.usda.gov/publications/fgis/broch/insects.pdf and www.hannafords.com/disease.php?id=26 for pictures and descriptions of the insects.
Some packages of barley were completely free of insects and others were heavily infested.
Certain brands and dates of manufacture seem to be more infested than others.
In our Chicago community, the Jewish-owned stores have agreed to remove some of the most heavily infested produce from the store shelves, but other lesser-infested produce remains. For consumer 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. This and all other varieties should still be checked, as described below:
The infestation is not limited to Chicago and has also been reported in other communities. · The incidence of infestation did not seem to depend on the store where the barley was being sold.
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 during the months of November and December 2012 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 to be alert for.
    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 insect infestation alert is from Star-K on October 25, 2012.

    Consumers are advised that there is currently an insect infestation issue affecting Yoshon Barley. This is regardless of the brand or hechsher. Barley infestation usually comes from improper storage which affects Yoshon barley in particular which tends to be stored for long periods of time.
    At this time, Yoshon Barley should only be used with prior checking.
    Consumers are advised to lightly agitate the barley in a white bowl of water and then let the barley soak for 15-20 minutes. Then check the surface of the water for insects.
    If none are found, the barley may be used.

    The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/Alerts/?alert=A4027

The information posted is from secondary sources. We cannot take responsibility for the accuracy of the information.

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