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Duped In The Deli Aisle? 'No Nitrates Added' Labels Are Often Misleading

August 29, 2019 - from NPR and Consumer Reports:

"Many health-conscious consumers look for products with words like "no nitrates added" or "uncured" on the packaging" believing them to be healthier.

A new Consumer Reports report finds that deli meats with those labels actually contain similar levels of nitrates as meats that don't carry these labels.

"Part of the explanation lies in federal labeling rules for processed meats. When hot dog or bacon manufacturers use natural curing agents, such as celery powder, in lieu of synthetic sodium nitrite, they can be required to use terms such as "no nitrates added" and "uncured." In other cases, food manufacturers may add these claims voluntarily, perhaps for marketing reasons."

Consumer Reports tests found that cold cuts containg celery powder or containing added nitrates had similar nitrate and nitrite levels.

"There is little evidence that preserving meats using celery is any healthier than other added nitrites."

"A body of evidence suggests that processed meats are linked to elevated cancer risk. Experts think part of the problem is the nitrites used to cure them. 'All nitrites can be converted in the food, during cooking, or in the body to nitrosamines, which are carcinogenic.'"

Truly nitrite-free cold cuts are grey and have a off flavor and last as long as a similar piece of meat.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W939

Potential Foie Gras Ban Remains Controversial in NY

August 30, 2019 - from the New York Times:

"As a proposed ban of foie gras makes its way through the City Council, duck farmers and animal rights activists are scrambling to make their respective cases."

"About 1,000 New York City restaurants serve foie gras, a calling card of fine dining and proof of a chef’s classical training."

"But foie gras, which can be made from geese as well, has also been at the center of a debate over whether the process of producing the delicacy is humane or, as animal rights activists suggest, torture."

"The New York City Council is leaning toward torture: It is now considering proposed legislation that would effectively ban foie gras from being sold in New York, one of the country’s largest markets for the product."

"The bill could come up for a vote in the fall; more than half of the Council has signed on as co-sponsors, and Mayor Bill de Blasio said he supports the intent of the proposal."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W938

Whirlpool Recalls Glass Cooktops with Touch Controls Due to Burn and Fire Hazards

August 28, 2019 - from CPSC in conjunction with Healthy Canada:

Whirlpool, KitchenAid and JennAir brand glass cooktops with touch controls have been recalled because the recalled cooktop surface elements can turn on by themselves, posing burn and fire hazards.

This recall involves cooktops with a glass cooking surface, touch controls, radiant and downdraft radiant models sold under the Whirlpool, KitchenAid and JennAir brands with the following model numbers. They were manufactured from December 2016 through July 2019. The brand name is printed on the cooktop and the model number and serial numbers are printed on the underside of the cooktop. The model numbers beginning with K are KitchenAid models, the model numbers beginning with W are Whirlpool models, and the model numbers beginning with J are JennAir models.

Model Numbers

Radiant Model Numbers Begin With:















Downdraft Radiant Model Numbers Begin With:





Consumers should immediately contact Whirlpool to arrange for a free installation of a replacement cooktop. When not in use, turn the unit off at the circuit breaker. Do not leave flammable materials or empty cookware on or near the cooktop.

Consumer Contact: Whirlpool toll-free at 888-900-7897 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or online at repair.whirlpoolcorp.com. Consumers can also visit either www.whirlpool.com, www.kitchenaid.com, or www.jennair.com and click on “Recall Information” at the bottom of the page for more information.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W937

Contigo Recalls 5.7 Million Kids Water Bottles Due to Choking Hazard

August 27, 2019 - from CPSC in conjunction with Healthy Canada:

Contigo Kids Cleanable Water Bottles have been recalled because the water bottle’s clear silicone spout can detach, posing a choking hazard to children.

This recall involves Contigo Kids Cleanable water bottles. The base and cover of the clear silicon spout will always be BLACK. Only black color spout base and spout cover models are included in this recall. Contigo is printed on the rim and along the front near the bottom of the bottle. The water bottles come in three sizes (13 ounce, 14 ounce and 20 ounce) and four bottle colors (solid color, graphics, stainless steel and stainless steel solid colors). The water bottles were sold individually as well as in two-packs and three-packs.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled water bottles, take them away from children and contact Contigo for inspection instructions and a free replacement lid.

Contigo has received 149 reports of the spout detaching including 18 spouts found in children’s mouths.

Sold At: Costco, Walmart, Target and other stores nationwide and online on various websites from April 2018 through June 2019 for between $9 and $24.

Consumer Contact: Contigo toll-free at 888-262-0622 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or online at www.gocontigo.com/recall or www.gocontigo.com and click on Recalls at the bottom of the page for more information.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W936

800kg Of Fresh Meats For Vacation Confiscated From Chareidi Group At The Swiss Border

August 15, 2019 from Yeshiva World:

"A group of chareidim from England and Belgium on their way to vacation were apprehended at the border crossing between Switzerland and Germany with 800kg (1,763 pounds) of fresh meat. The meat was intended for their bein hazmanim vacation. They were compelled to pay tens of thousands of euros in fines, and the meat was confiscated and destroyed."

"Thousands of Jews from around the world will be heading to Switzerland during bein hazmanim, taking advantage of one of the many vacation venues offered. Chareidim often bring along food for a number of reasons, mainly due to the high price one is required to pay in Switzerland."

"Two full buses of chassidim from London and Antwerp were heading to their vacation destination in Switzerland. They brought food for the two-week vacation. When they arrived at the border crossing, the inspector requested to open the baggage compartments of the buses. To the surprise of the inspectors, they found 800kg of fresh meats and poultry. According to the law, they may not bring them into Switzerland."

"The meats and poultry were confiscated, and the travelers were fined tens of thousands of euros. The names of the heads of families were recorded as well, and it is likely that they will be charged with trying to illegally smuggle illegal meats into the country."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W935

StarKist to Court: Fine Will Break Us

August 9, 2019 from Food Processing News
"StarKist’s lawyer says it can’t afford the criminal fine and other financial consequences of its price-fixing, and may go bankrupt if it tries to pay."
"StarKist agreed last fall to plead guilty to price-fixing charges brought by the U.S Justice Department against it and competitors. The suit charged that the companies planned “to fix, raise and maintain” the cost of canned tuna and other seafood, but the charging papers did not give details."
Starkist's lawyer "Lynch complained to the federal judge overseeing the case that the government was inflexible in its demand for the $100 million maximum fine. He asked that the fine be reduced to $50 million to help StarKist avoid bankruptcy and pay potential creditors in the civil cases."
"A Justice Department lawyer suggested that StarKist could sell or borrow against a packaging subsidiary owned by its parent company, but StarKist maintains it is unable to do so."
"Bumble Bee Foods, a StarKist competitor caught in the price-fixing case, is having trouble paying its fine of $25 million. The company has hired a turnaround firm to help it restructure its debts."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W934

San Francisco International Airport banning plastic bottle sales

August 03, 2019 from https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/456069-san-francisco-international-airport-banning-plastic-bottles-sales" target='th'>The Hill:

"The San Francisco International Airport, one of the largest airports in the country, announced it will ban the sale of single-use plastic water bottles later this month."

"Starting Aug. 20, tenants, vendors and permittees will be prohibited from providing or selling “bottled water in containers that contain plastic or aseptic paper packaging, including in vending machines."

"Reusable water bottles, recyclable aluminum, glass and certified compostable water bottles can instead be provided or sold

"The airport added that the ban will apply to purified water, mineral water, carbonated water and electrolyte-enhanced water but will exempt flavored water." The airport hopes to expand this ban to teas and juices and other flavored beverages.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W933

Kashrus Updates for the 9 Days from Mehadrin Kashrus, NYC

August 02, 2019 from Mehadrin Kashrus

New Amsterdam Burger has just opened under Mehadrin Kashrus supervision. They have a special 9 days menu.
West Side Wok/ Konata (at the location that was formerly Gan Asia) has a 9 days menu.
Kosher Marketplace has an enlarged menu of pareve items for the 9 days.
Boru Boru has closed permanently.
Talia’s has a special fish and parev menu.
Alibaba falafel and salads are pareve and made in separate utensils
Grill 212 has an enlarged pareve selection for the 9 days.
Fairway 74th Street baguettes are under Mehadrin Kashrus supervision and the abelling now indicates that they are certified kosher.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W932

Glatt Meat & Poultry Shortage Expected In Israel During And After The Nine Days

August 2, 2019 a repost from the Yeshiva World:

"A shortage is expected in glatt meats and poultry in Israel in the coming weeks because of two reasons; the decision of the kashrus network not to shecht during the Nine Days and the five days of a Muslim holiday during which the many Muslim workers in slaughterhouses will not be at work."

"The marketing networks have been expecting and fearing a shortage of glatt shechita; both poultry and meats, due to the lack of shechita from the ‘chareidi’ badatzim and the upcoming Muslim holiday which lasts for five days and begins on 10 Av, the day Tisha B’Av is observed this year."

"No shechita will be carried out during the Nine Days, affecting the various ‘badatz’ hechsherim, in line with the ruling of the Rema that one should not shecht during the Nine Days as poultry and meat are not eaten by ashkenazim."

"For most badatz hechsherim, the policy is not new, but one that has been in place in past years. In addition, the Muslims observe the 'Feast of the Sacrifice' and combined with the Nine Days, there will be a shortage of meat and poultry in the coming weeks. The Feast of the Sacrifice is observed from Sunday, August 11, 2019 until Thursday, August 15, 2019."

"While the shortage will primarily impact fresh supply, some stores may have a quantity of frozen products in storage for the coming weeks."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W931

Settlement wines cannot be labeled ‘Made in Israel,’ Canadian court rules

July 29, 2019 - from TimesofIsrael:

"Canada’s Federal Court on Monday ruled that wines produced by Israelis in the West Bank can no longer be labeled as 'Made in Israel.”'

"Challenging a previous decision by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Judge Anne L. Mactavish determined that labels describing wines made in the settlements as Israeli products are 'false, misleading and deceptive.' "

In her ruling, she did not take a position on how exactly such wines should be labeled, saying this was for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to decide."

"Mactavish also noted that settlements are not considered part of the State of Israel, as Canada does not recognize Israeli sovereignty beyond the pre-1967 borders."

"The Canadian case started in early 2017, when David Kattenburg, a Winnipeg-based university lecturer and self-declared “wine lover,” filed a complaint with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency about the fact that wines made in Israeli settlements were labeled as 'Products of Israel.'"

"Kattenburg, who is Jewish, reasoned that since Canada does not recognize the settlements as part of sovereign Israel, labeling wines produced there as Israeli violated consumer protection laws.

"The Food Inspection Agency initially agreed and removed wines produced by the Shiloh and Psagot companies from store shelves. But after pressure from B’nai Brith Canada, which was recognized by the court as an “intervener” on behalf of the settlements, the decision was rescinded and the wines were made available again. One of the arguments from the decision underlined that the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement applies in “the territory where the customs laws of Israel are applied,” including the West Bank."

"Kattenburg appealed the agency’s decision, and the case was brought to the Federal Court in Ottawa."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W930
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