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Consumer Kashrut Alerts

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The following South African kashrus alert is from the UOS on July 31, 2007.

Beacon Sparkles Summer Berries have been erroneously marked with the Beth Din logo . These are not kosher. Beacon have apologised for the error and have removed the logo, but some old stock still remains on supermarket shelves.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/Alerts/?alert=A2130

The following health alert is from the FDA on July 29, 2007.

Dr. Mark Horton, director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), today warned consumers not to eat fresh ginger imported from China after the California Department of Pesticide Regulation’s residue monitoring program detected the presence of aldicarb sulfoxide in some batches of imported ginger. Aldicarb sulfoxide is a pesticide that is not approved for use on ginger.
The product is known to have been distributed to Albertson's stores and Save Mart stores in northern California by Christopher Ranch of Gilroy, California. Consumers who may have purchased this product from Albertson's stores and Save Mart stores in northern California should discard it.
Symptoms of aldicarb poisoning in humans are likely to occur within the first hour following exposure. Ingestion of foods contaminated with aldicarb at low levels can cause flu-like symptoms (nausea, headache, blurred vision) which disappear quickly, usually within 5 or 6 hours. However, at higher levels, ingestion of aldicarb contaminated food can also cause dizziness, salivation, excessive sweating, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle stiffness and twitching, and difficulty in breathing. Individuals who may have consumed this product and have any of the above symptoms should contact their health care provider immediately.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/Alerts/?alert=A2129

The following alert is from the MK on July 27, 2007.

The MK wishes to inform the public that a CD entitled "Yemos Hamoshiach - Me'ein Olam Habah" is being distributed by missionaries to Jewish households in Montreal. This CD contains apikorsos and should be destroyed forthwith.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/Alerts/?alert=A2128

The following kashrus alert is from the OU on July 27, 2007.

Oh Mama! Nutrition Bar (Assorted Varieties-1.76 oz), Vincent Foods LLC-Baltimore, MD: This certified product contains dairy ingredients as listed on the ingredient panel but the dairy designation has been inadvertently omitted. Future packaging will be revised.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/Alerts/?alert=A2127

The following kashrus alert is from the Vaad of Queens on July 27, 2007.

The Vaad has withdrawn its certification from Sogdiana Restaurant also known as Mazal Palace located at 73-20 Grand Ave. in Maspeth, NY.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/Alerts/?alert=A2126

The following health alert is from the FDA on July 26, 2007.

True Leaf Farms, LLC is contacting its wholesale and retail outlets to request they remove certain batches of spring mix and arugula from store shelves and preparation counters as a precautionary step but internal tests of numerous samples indicated potential presence of salmonella in one sample. To exert the utmost caution, all cases of spring mix and arugula produced between July 19 and July 25, 2007 are being withdrawn. For more information contact Church Brothers Produce (831) 796-1000.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/Alerts/?alert=A2125

The following yashon update is from the Chicago Rabbinical Council on July 26, 2007.

Yoshon Update: The following is the preliminary dates from Rabbi Herman for purchasing grain products. Further info will be forthcoming as it becomes available: Items using oats should be safe to purchase without looking at codes up to August 15. Foods using wheat, other than noodles & pasta, safe to purchase up to around Aug 14-Aug 28: noodles & pasta up to Aug 21-Sept 4; barley products, other than items from barley malt, safe to purchase up to Aug 14-Aug 28; barley malt products, including beer should be safe to purchase up to Dec. 15. It is recommended that people start purchasing items that they want to store as Yoshon for the upcoming winter. These items should be stored in a worm-free environment such as a refrigerator or freezer.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/Alerts/?alert=A2124

The following Pas Yisroel alert is from the Chicago Rabbinical Council on July 26, 2007.

Please be aware all Al Khayam pitas are Pas Yisroel with the exception of the X- large pitas. Additionally, the pita being made and sold at Garden Fresh with the cRc is Pas Yisroel.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/Alerts/?alert=A2123

Information on strawberries

The following information on strawberries is from the Chicago Rabbinical Council on July 24, 2007 .
As of Rosh Chodesh Av the cRc policy in Regard to Strawberries is the following:

  1. Tops must be removed
  2. The strawberries must be washed under a strong stream of water, while rubbing all sides of the strawberry during this process
We will continue to monitor the level of infestation in regard to strawberries, as we do with other fruits and vegetables. This policy of cleaning strawberries is for strawberries purchased in the Midwest region only.

Information on strawberry checking and cleaning from Rabbi Vei

The following additional information is from New Square on June 6, 2007.

"Therefore, we announce that Fairmont frozen Strawberries- Product of Mexico are insect-free and are permitted to be used. Our inspection of Fairmont frozen Strawberries are continuously ongoing. Should there be any change in their kashrus status, we will immediately notify the public at large without delay or hindrance."
Links to texts of the notice in English and in Yiddish.

The following additional insect infestation alert is from Central Rabbinical Congress on May 31, 2007.

The Central Rabbinical Congress' Hisachdus Hurabbonim 85 Division Av. Brooklyn, NY (CRC) has said not to use Bodek strawberries because of insect infestation. The special Bes Din concerning kashrus together with our quality Mashgichim specialists in examining for worms have made intensive examinations on frozen strawberries from the firm Bodek which are made with a special system under our supervision and just as in this season the strawberries are very infested it has become known that with all our caution we have found in our examinations bugs. Therefore the pronouncement from the Bes Din:

  • Frozen strawberries from Bodek should not be used.
  • Concerning fresh strawberries we have already publicized on the 3rd of Sivan that we should not use them, even if the procedure which we have adopted is followed with cutting in halves.
  • Cooked or baked foods which have in them the above named strawberries may be used.
  • All pronouncements are valid until the next announcement from the Bes Din.

Links to texts of the alert: Central Rabbinical Congress

The Central Rabbinical Congress' Hisachdus Hurabbonim 85 Division Av. Brooklyn, NY (CRC) notified their establishments on Thursday May 17th, that for the time being they should not use fresh strawberries, due to a high infestation on all strawberries. The special soap wash instructions is not to be used until further notice, The CRC is monitoring the crop on a daily basis and is in contact with many other Kashrus agency's and professionals. All frozen strawberries from Bodek are under the CRC supervision and is insect & bug free and does not need any checking.
Links to texts of the alert: Central Rabbinical Congress and similar alert from New Square.

The following policy on strawberries was received from the Chicago Rabbinical Council on June 4, 2007.
There has reportedly been a recent high level of insect infestation in strawberries. The situation is being investigated, but in the meantime, the cRc recommends the following procedure:

  1. Cut off the leafy top of the strawberry, being careful not to cut too much as to open the cavity in the strawberry. (This will keep the soapy water from entering the center of the strawberry. If too much was cut, this does not invalidate the procedure.)
  2. Wash the strawberries in a soapy solution, rubbing them with a sponge. If the strawberries have creases and/or folds, then special care should be made in those areas.
  3. Rinse the strawberries and enjoy!

The following policy on strawberries was received from the Orthodox Union on June 4, 2007.
Fresh strawberries have long been recognized as being prone to insect infestation, including aphids, small mites and thrips, and should not be consumed unless prepared in a proper manner. These insects are found primarily under the green leafy crown at the top of the strawberries. They can also be nestled on the surface of the berry. The insects tend to migrate from the top of the strawberry downward.
Recent claims have been made questioning the viability of any cleaning and checking procedure for strawberries. These claims have caused much confusion and concern in the kosher consuming community. The OU has carefully investigated these claims, and a series of experiments were performed to address this issue. Research has determined that when prepared and washed properly, the insects will be removed from the strawberry (this result has been confirmed by a group of Rabbonim and experts in the field, meeting in Lakewood on May 29, 2007).
The following is the OU's recommended method for preparing strawberries as excerpted from the soon-to-be published "OU Guide to Checking, Fruits, Vegetables, and Berries" (2nd edition).

  1. Remove the green leaves from the top of the strawberries, careful to not make a hole in the top of the strawberry. If a hole was made, the strawberry should then be cut in half, allowing you to wash both the inside and outside of the strawberry.
  2. Place the strawberries in water that is concentrated with liquid soap.
  3. Vigorously agitate the strawberries in water.
  4. Allow the strawberries to soak in water for several minutes after agitation.
  5. Wash each strawberry individually under a strong stream of running water, ensuring that the entire surface of the strawberry is thoroughly washed.
  6. Dry strawberries, wiping their surface.

Cautionary note: This procedure must be performed meticulously to achieve desired results. A visual inspection should be made following the process.
Consumers wishing to receive additional direction from the OU how to prepare fresh strawberries according to OU guidelines should contact our office at 212-613-8241.

The following is the Star-K's recommended method for preparing strawberries:
  1. Strawberries should be topped, washed with water and detergent
  2. Rinse well.
  3. Inspect strawberry: Check for insects and/or evidence of infestation

Video of bug in strawberry at www.star-k.org/cons-appr-vegetables-videos10.htm
The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/Alerts/?alert=A2065

The following kashrus alert is from the Chicago Rabbinical Council and revised by the OU on July 26, 2007.

Kahlua is no longer OU certified.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/Alerts/?alert=A2122
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