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Food News


THIS SECTION IS FOR NEWS AND INTERESTING STORIES RELATED TO FOOD, NUTRITION AND FOOD PROCESSING. THEY ARE NOT NECESSARILY RELATED TO KOSHER BUT MAY BE OF INTEREST TO THE KOSHER CONSUMER, MANUFACTURER OR MASHGIACH.

TECH 361 Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of All Clean Hand Sanitizer and Moisturizer and Disinfectant Due to The Potential Presence of Undeclared Methanol (Wood Alcohol)

July 6, 2020 from the FDA

ITECH 361 is voluntarily recalling 18,940 bottles of All Clean Hand Sanitizer, Moisturizer and Disinfectant sold in one liter bottles to the consumer level. The products are being recalled due to the potential presence of methanol (wood alcohol).

The product is used as a hand sanitizer and moisturizer and is packaged in one (1) liter plastic bottles with UPC Code 628055370130. All Clean Hand Sanitizer and Moisturizer was distributed Nationwide to wholesale distributors and retailers.

ITECH 361 is notifying its distributors by a Notice of a voluntary recall and consumers via this press release. ITECH 361 is arranging for return/replacement or refund of all recalled products.

Consumers/distributors/retailers that have the product subject to this recall should stop using All Clean Hand Sanitizer, Moisturizer and Disinfectant and return it to the place of purchase.

Consumers with questions regarding this recall can contact Corina Enriquez by phone number (888)405-4442 or e-mail at corina@itech361.com, Monday through Friday beginning July 6, 9:00a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (MDT). Consumers should contact their physician or healthcare provider if they have experienced any problems that may be related to using this product.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1046

Due To COVID-19: Increased Demand In Tel Aviv For Kashrus Certification

July 2, 20120 - from Yeshiva World:

"The Tel Aviv Religious Council has recorded a significant increase in the number of food businesses seeking a teudat kashrus as a result of financial fallout in the wake of the coronavirus crisis."

"Food establishments, including restaurants, stands and stores, that suffered significant losses during the lockdown, are hoping that appealing to a broader swath of Israel society will help pick up business."

"'The coronavirus has led to a significant rise in demand for teudot kashrus from businesses in Tel Aviv,' said Eldad Mizrachi, chairman of the Tel Aviv Religious Council. 'Thirty businesses already received teduot or are in the last stages of receiving it.'"

"'This phenomenon in Tel Aviv and other places reflects a change of direction for business owners by appealing to a broader sector such as the shomrei kashrus community which constitutes a significant market segment with great potential for all businesses.'"

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1045

UVT, INC. Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of SANIDERM ADVANCED HAND SANITIZER Due to the Potential Presence of Undeclared Methanol (Wood Alcohol)

June 29, 2020 from the FDA

UVT, INC. is voluntarily recalling 38,830 liters of SANIDERM ADVANCED HAND SANITIZER, packaged in 1-liter bottles to the consumer level. The products are being recalled due to the potential presence of methanol (wood alcohol).

The product is used as a hand sanitizer and is packaged in 1-liter plastic bottles. The affected SANIDERM ADVANCED HAND SANITIZER includes lot number 0530, Expiration date 04/2022. The product can be identified by the label below. Product was distributed Nationwide in the United States.

Consumers with questions regarding this recall can contact UVT, INC. by phone (951) 427- 3108 or e-mail to customerservice@uvt.world Monday to Friday from 9:00 am and 3:00 pm Pacific Time. Consumers should contact their physician or healthcare provider if they have experienced any problems that may be related to taking or using this drug product.


Saniderm Products Voluntarily Issues Regional (Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey) Recall of 1 L Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer bottles produced by Eskbiochem SA de CV Due to the Potential Presence of Undeclared Methanol (Wood Alcohol)

June 27, 2020 from the FDA:

Saniderm Products (Saniderm) is voluntarily recalling Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer, packaged in 1-liter bottles to the consumer level. The products are being recalled due to the potential presence of methanol (wood alcohol).

Out of an abundance of caution, Saniderm has initiated a voluntary recall of all products produced by Eskbiochem SA de CV with a “Made in Mexico” origin.

The product is a hand sanitizer and is packaged in 1-liter plastic bottles with an orange twist-top cap. The affected Sandiderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer include lot number 53131626, manufactured date April/1/20, clear bottle that can be further distinguished by looking at the back side label and identifying “Made in Mexico” and “Produced by: Eskbiochem SA de CV”. No other bottles distributed by Saniderm match the description above, hence all products as described above are subject to the voluntary recall. The product can be identified by the photos below. The product was distributed in Virginia, Maryland, and New Jersey on April 15,2020.

Consumers with questions regarding this voluntary recall can contact Saniderm at +1 (415) 562-5502‬ or info@sanidermproducts.com from Monday-Friday 9am-6pm, PST. Consumers should contact their physician or healthcare provider if they have experienced any problems that may be related to using this drug product.


FDA advises consumers not to use hand sanitizer products manufactured by Eskbiochem

June 23, 2020 from the FDA:

FDA advises consumers not to use any hand sanitizer manufactured by Eskbiochem SA de CV in Mexico, due to the potential presence of methanol (wood alcohol), a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested. FDA has identified the following products manufactured by Eskbiochem:

FDA tested samples of Lavar Gel and CleanCare No Germ. Lavar Gel contains 81 percent (v/v) methanol and no ethyl alcohol, and CleanCare No Germ contains 28 percent (v/v) methanol. Methanol is not an acceptable ingredient for hand sanitizers and should not be used due to its toxic effects.

Consumers who have been exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol should seek immediate treatment, which is critical for potential reversal of toxic effects of methanol poisoning. Substantial methanol exposure can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death. Although all persons using these products on their hands are at risk, young children who accidently ingest these products and adolescents and adults who drink these products as an alcohol (ethanol) substitute, are most at risk for methanol poisoning.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1040

New Irish Government Rejects Effort To Boycott Israeli Products

June 28, 2019 from the Matzav.com:

"The anti-Israel movement in Ireland has suffered a major defeat. Earlier this month, the political parties working on forming the next government in Ireland eliminated a key bill that would have placed a boycott on products produced in Israeli settlements."

"Jonathan Turner, chief executive of UK Lawyers for Israel, told JNS that the bill was 'carefully drafted so as to pretend to be about ‘occupied’ territories generally, but in fact would apply to just one disputed territory in the world, which happens to be the heart of the ancient Jewish homeland.'"

"The bill, he said, was 'blatantly anti-Semitic.'"

"Turner said there was a 'serious risk' that it would be approved by the Irish parliament 'because so much of the Irish political class are hostile to Israel and believe the propaganda defaming Israel.'"

"Had the bill passed in Ireland, noted Turner, 'we feared other countries would follow.'"

"When the bill was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Frances Black in January 2018, pro-Israel group Irish4Israel, with the assistance of UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI), took prompt action and pointed out to Irish politicians that the bill would contravene E.U. law. This remained a central sticking point throughout the ensuing debates in the Irish parliament and media."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1044

Abattoir's cooling system helped spread virus: German expert: Entire Teams Infected with COVID-19

June 24, 2020 - from Medical Press:

"The air cooling system used in a German slaughterhouse helped spread the coronavirus among hundreds of workers, a hygiene expert said Wednesday, a day after the mass outbreak triggered renewed lockdowns in the area."

"More than 1,500 out of 7,000 employees have tested positive so far at the Toennies meat processing plant in the western district of Guetersloh in the country's single biggest COVID-19 cluster to date."

"The plant's air filtration system had contributed to the spread of virus-laden aerosol droplets. The ventilation system is aimed at keeping temperatures at a cool 6-10 degrees Celsius but continually recycles the same untreated air into the room."

" The cooling system was just "one factor" to explain the rapid spread of the virus in the slaughterhouse, and that wearing face masks and keeping a safe distance were key to controlling the transmission."

"Abattoirs have emerged as hotspots of coronavirus outbreaks in a slew of countries, including the United States, France and Britain."

"The technology is there to fix the problem" including "high-performance mobile air filters that remove pollutants or the microbe-killing UV lights that are used in hospital air conditioning systems."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1043

Belgium Curbing Religious Freedom With Ban on Kosher Slaughter, Top European Rabbi Says

June 22, 2020 - from Arutz 7 :

"One of Europe’s top rabbis has warned that Jews on the continent may no longer be able to consume kosher meat because of legislation targeting “shechita” — the Jewish method of slaughtering animals for human consumption."

"'Shechita is a vital religious practice within the Jewish faith that forms an inherent part of our religious identity, without which Jews would be deprived of the ability to eat meat,' Rabbi Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt — president of the Conference of European Rabbis (CER) — said in a statement on Monday."

"Goldschmidt was speaking ahead of a hearing at the European Court of Justice in July that is expected to rule on the legality of the ban on Jewish and Muslim slaughter methods adopted by Belgium in January 2019."

"The hearing had originally been scheduled for April 21, but was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic."

"Goldschmidt said that the supply chain of kosher meat in Europe was not strong enough to rely solely on imports."

"'In recent months, and particularly over the recent Passover holiday, which of course came at the height of the pandemic in Europe, the supply chain was simply not robust and many communities in Belgium — and indeed throughout Europe — suffered a shortage of meat due to the lack of supplies,' he stated. “The experience of Passover served as a stark reminder that Jewish communities cannot rely entirely on the international supply chain … Quite frankly, the option to import kosher meat into Belgium is unsustainable and the ban on the practice of religious slaughter is ultimately too restrictive.”

"If the ban was to be upheld, Goldschmidt remarked, the 'message would be clear: Jews are not welcome.'"

"He continued: 'Such a notion is abhorrent and so I implore the judges to look at the evidence in front of them and do not allow the processes to be hijacked by intolerance under the guise of a concern for animal welfare regulations.'"


Highest EU Court to Hold Hearings on Belgian Kosher Slaughter Ban

March 6, 2020 - from Arutz 7 :

"The European Court of Justice is to open hearings into the legality of measures adopted by Belgium’s Flanders and Wallonia regions effectively banning Shechita — the Jewish method of slaughtering animals for meat consumption — the main Belgian Jewish representative organization announced on Friday."

"The court — the supreme authority on disputes concerning European Union law — will hear parties to the appeal on April 21 in Luxembourg, the Coordinating Committee of Belgian Jewish Organisations (CCOJB) said in a statement.:
EU legislation allows exemption on religious grounds for non-stunned slaughter provided that they take place in authorized slaughterhouses."

"The CCOJB said it would present its position during the hearings. The court will be asked to address issues concerning the competence of national governments to supersede EU legislation, freedom of religion, the neutrality of the state and fundamental rights.

"The ban, initially legislated in 2017 to prevent both Jewish and Muslim methods of animal slaughter, has been in effect since Sept. 1, 2019."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1006

Shechita Crisis in Europe: Entire Teams Infected with COVID-19

June 22, 2020 - from Jewish Press:

"The coronavirus crisis has reached its long tentacles into the kosher food industry in Europe, according to a report published by the Hebrew-language Hadrei Haredim news outlet. Specifically, the world of shechita, which has in any case been challenged by lawmakers there in recent years, is contending with dropping supplies, fewer staff and shorter availability of trained personnel."

"Training for those who are entering the world of kosher slaughter in Europe also has taken a serious blow."

"Many teams of kosher shochtim (slaughterers) and inspectors (bedikah) have contracted COVID-19, the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus"

"A shochet (butcher) from London who traditionally spends each Pesach in one of the European countries for his work told Hadrei Haredim that this last Passover “there was no work because so many of the workers were infected with the virus.” The butcher requested anonymity, but emphasized, 'The situation is not good.'"

"Hundreds of slaughterers and related workers at non-Jewish meat factories also have become been infected."

"This has affected production throughout Europe and is slowing meat processing and packing down to a halt."

"As a result, meat prices are skyrocketing throughout Europe both on the kosher market and even for gentiles."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1042

Chief Rabbinate Senior Official on Trial for Issuing Kashrut Certificates in Exchange for Bribes

June 23, 2020 - from Jewish Press:

"Rabbi Yitzhak Cohen Arazi, a former senior Chief Rabbinate official who was in charge of issuing kashrut certificates to imported products, will face criminal indictments in court next week for receiving bribes worth NIS 150,000 ($44,000) over several years."

"On Monday, Kan 11 News showed a compilation of videos taken by a hidden camera in Rabbi Arazi’s vehicle, showing him receiving envelopes full of money from importers seeking his services. Police investigators received a court order to plant the camera when they learned of the suspicions that the Rabbinate senior official was giving kosher permits in exchange for bribes."

"Rabbi Arazi claims that he transferred all the money he received from importers to charity. He served as director of the Chief Rabbinate import department from 1997 until the start of the investigation against him."

"Rabbi Arazi worked with kashrut supervisors, importers and consultants who sought to obtain kosher certificates – which he had the exclusive authority to issue – for all the food products imported into the State of Israel except meat. Which means he had a wide discretion in prioritizing applications submitted to his office."

"The bribes allegedly came in the form of cash, large amounts of alcoholic beverages, and the very consumer goods for which importers were seeking kosher certificates."

"n some cases, the bribe was allegedly given to Rabbi Arazi after he had told the importers that the cash money was intended for families in need, as financial support for yeshiva students, or to alleviate his own financial distress."

"The Chief Rabbinate issued a statement saying that 'without taking lightly the suspicions regarding the employee’s behavior, we would like to note that according to the police and the prosecutor’s office there is no suspicion of misleading the public in terms of kashrut.'"

"In other words, even if the senior Chief Rabbinate official did receive bribes to the tune of hundreds of thousands of shekels, the products he approved were kosher and so no harm was caused to the public."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1041

Study Finds 82 Percent of Avocado Oil Rancid or Mixed With Other Oils

June 15, 2020 from the UC Davis:

"Consumer demand is rising for all things avocado, including oil made from the fruit. Avocado oil is a great source of vitamins, minerals and the type of fats associated with reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. But according to new research from food science experts at the University of California, Davis, the vast majority of avocado oil sold in the U.S. is of poor quality, mislabeled or adulterated with other oils."

"In the country’s first extensive study of commercial avocado oil quality and purity, UC Davis researchers report that at least 82 percent of test samples were either stale before expiration date or mixed with other oils. In three cases, bottles labeled as “pure” or “extra virgin” avocado oil contained near 100 percent soybean oil, an oil commonly used in processed foods that’s much less expensive to produce."

Some of the samples did not contain any avocado oil. "But because there are no standards to determine if an avocado oil is of the quality and purity advertised, no one is regulating false or misleading labels."

"Wang and Hilary Green, a Ph.D. candidate in Wang’s lab, analyzed various chemical parameters of 22 domestic and imported avocado oil samples, which included all the brands they could find in local stores and online. Wang and Green received a $25,000 grant from Dipasa USA, part of the Dipasa Group, a sesame-seed and avocado-oil processor and supplier based in Mexico."

"Test samples included oils of various prices, some labeled extra virgin or refined. Virgin oil is supposed to be extracted from fresh fruit using only mechanical means, and refined oil is processed with heat or chemicals to remove any flaws."

"Fifteen of the samples were oxidized before the expiration date. Oil loses its flavor and health benefits when it oxidizes, which happens over time and when exposed to too much light, heat or air. Six samples were mixed with large amounts of other oils, including sunflower, safflower and soybean oil."

"Only two brands produced samples that were pure and nonoxidized. Those were Chosen Foods and Marianne’s Avocado Oil, both refined avocado oils made in Mexico. Among the virgin grades, CalPure produced in California was pure and fresher than the other samples in the same grade."

"Since avocado oil is relatively new on the scene, the Food and Drug Administration has not yet adopted “standards of identity,” which are basic food standards designed to protect consumers from being cheated by inferior products or confused by misleading labels. Over the last 80 years, the FDA has issued standards of identity for hundreds of products, like whiskey, chocolate, juices and mayonnaise. Without standards, the FDA has no means to regulate avocado oil quality and authenticity. "

"Avocado oil isn’t the only product without enforceable standards. Honey, spices and ground coffee are other common examples. Foods that fetch a higher price are especially ripe for manipulating, especially when adulterations can be too subtle to detect outside a lab."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1039

Illinois Court Gives Major Boost to Kosher Symbol; Warning to Unauthorized Users

June 17, 2020 from the Kosher Todazy:

"The kosher food industry has long been plagued by the unauthorized use of kosher symbols often causing major kosher certification agencies to spend significant sums of money to fight such abuses. Earlier this month an Illinois federal judge found that a Chicago grocery store infringed on a trademark used by the Chicago Rabbinical Council (cRc) to distinguish kosher products, enjoining the store and its related companies from using the mark and ordering it to pay $1 million in damages. The ruling by a federal judge will hopefully put other food industry entities on notice that the courts recognize the value of the kosher food symbol and that unauthorized usage will not be tolerated."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1038
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