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The following news is from the Matzav on October 21, 2015.

Federal Judge Patricia A. Seitz's ruling requiring Florida prisons to serve kosher food has had positive effects. Florida prisoners are now getting kosher food and Georgia is starting to revamp their kosher meal plan to conform to the Florida ruling.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W355

The following information is from the IFT and Chicago Council on October 21, 2015.

Two interesting articles

  • The U.S. leads surge in GMO-free labeling: The free-from catagory in the US is growing including lactose-, dairy-, and gluten-free foods and drinks as well as GMO-free foods.
  • Another related story is that a study by The Chicago Council on Global Affairs found Americans prioritize affordability, nutrition over non-GMO foods.
    "Three quarters (78%) of Americans are very or somewhat interested in how the food they buy is produced, the survey finds. A majority deem it very important that the food they buy is affordable and nutritious (59% and 57%, respectively). Additionally, minorities of Americans named other food attributes very important, including: not genetically modified (32%), antibiotic-free (31%), locally grown (20%), organically grown (17%), from a family farm (16%) or from a nationally known brand (11%)."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W354

The following information is from the foodsafety.com on October 20, 2015.

The FDA has published the final versions of the Food Safety Management Act (FSMA). "FSMA is built around what FDA refers to as its 7 Pillars. These Pillars include Preventive Controls for Human Food, Preventive Controls for Animal Food, Produce Safety, Sanitary Transportation, Food Defense, Foreign Supplier Verification and Third-Party Auditor Rules. The preventive control rules for both human and animal food were released by FDA and published in the Federal Register on September 17, 2015." Companies will need to have a Written Food Safety Plan and Current Good Manufacturing Practices.
Deadlines for compliance and more information are listed in the this article

The following information is from the FDA and foodsafety.com on September 10, 2015.

The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Preventive Controls for Human Food rule is now final, and compliance dates for some businesses begin in September 2016.
Broadly, the rules require registered food facilities to maintain a food safety plan, perform a hazard analysis, and institute preventive controls for dealing with those hazards. Facilities also have to verify and document that their controls are working.
Very small businesses have three years to comply with the rules, small businesses have two years, and the rest have one year.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W342

The following product safety alert is from the CPSC on October 14, 2015.

TCC Cooking Company recalls CHEFS Vertical Roasters because the vertical roasters can break or shatter, posing burn and laceration hazards. This recall involves CHEFS-branded flameproof ceramic vertical roasters. The black roasters consist of a round roasting pan with handles and a removable insert. The roasting pan measures 11.75 in diameter on the inside and 2.5 inches high and the removable insert measures 7.5 inches in diameter at the base and 4.5 inches high. The underside of the handles are slightly recessed for grip. The CHEFS logo is at the center of the rimmed base.
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled roasters. Consumers who purchased the roaster through Target.com should return the product to any Target store for a full refund. All other consumers should discard the product and contact TCC Cooking Company to receive a gift card equal to the purchase price.
Sold at Chefscatalog.com, Cooking.com, Target.com and other online retailers from April 2014 through May 2015 for between $35 and $50.
Consumer Contact: TCC Cooking Company at 800-338-3232 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. MT Monday through Friday, or online at www.chefscatalog.com and click on the Product Recalls link under the Need Help section. Consumers can also write to the firm at CHEFS Customer Care, 5070 Centennial Boulevard, Colorado Springs, CO 80919. Consumers can contact Target at 800-440-0680 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT Monday through Friday or online at www.target.com and click on the Product Recalls link at the bottom of the homepage under the Help section or click on the Product Recalls tab on Target’s Facebook page for more information.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W353

The following news is from the theJC.com on October 14, 2015.

The European Parliament’s committee on agriculture and rural development rejected a proposal on October 13, 2015 that required pre-stunning for meat is to be labelled as organic. This proposal would have prevented kosher meat to be labeled as organic.

The following news is from the Global Meat News on October 7, 2015.

A proposal for the European Commision on Organic Farming Standards requires pre-stunning of animals before slaughter in order for them to called organic.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W349

The following information is from the KVH and TDGarden on October 8, 2015.

TDGarden, Boston Kosher Concession: Kosher Café at Section 4 is under the certification of the Rabbinical Council of New England is now open.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W352

The following Shmitta esrog disposal information is from the Star-K on October 12, 2015.

Esrog Disposal

"Esrogim exported from Eretz Yisroel for Succos 5776 (2015) have kedushas sheviis (sanctity of fruit of the Shmittah year), and must be disposed of in an appropriate manner. There are a couple of ways to accomplish this:
  1. An esrog may be used to make esrog jelly. The remnants of the esrog should be discarded in the manner described below. The esrog jelly must be eaten and not be wasted.
  2. An esrog may be wrapped in plastic and left to rot, after which it may be discarded. [If it is not wrapped in plastic, it will dry out and will not rot. Furthermore, after rotting, the plastic serves the purpose of covering the esrog, so that it will not come into direct contact with the trash.]

If the esrog has not rotted by the first day of Shevat 5776 (January 11, 2016), there is an obligation of biur at that time. The esrog should be placed in a public area in front of three Jewish male adults, and the owner should announce that he is declaring the esrog to be hefker (ownerless). He (or any Jew) should then take the esrog and dispose of it in the manner described above. It is preferable to send the esrog back to Eretz Yisroel if it is known that biur will take place there.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W351

The following Schach storage information is from the Star-K on October 9, 2015.


"Stored improperly, schach can become a target and breeding ground for insects. These insects could then drop onto the table and into your food.
When schach is wrapped in plastic or any similar non-breathing material, ambient temperature changes may lead to development of condensate inside the wrapper. This can create a moist environment ideal for breeding insects.
People tend to keep schach mats in their original bags and then store it in areas that are not climate-controlled (e.g., basement storage rooms, garages, sheds). These types of conditions often lead to infestation.
While we do not have statistics to show how often schach is infested, it would seem prudent to prevent schach infestation by not storing it in plastic. If you must wrap it, use paper, or leave the plastic open so it can vent. Under dry conditions – whether temperatures are cool or hot – insects won’t thrive.
If you are concerned your schach may be infested, take advantage of some sunny days before Sukkos to dry it out. Unroll it and leave it out in the hot sun. A few days of exposure to the dry heat, followed by shaking the schach out, will rid the schach of possible insect problems.
The STAR-K thanks Mr. Don Brody of On The Fly Pest Control for his advice and input in this matter. He can be reached at (443) 340-2675."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W350

The following news is from the Parliamentary Assembly News, Vosizneias.com and Matzav.comm posted on October 3, 2015.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe passed the following resolution which guarantees circumcision and the right to do religious slaughter in Europe: "Religious communities should be able to exercise the right to freedom of religion “without impediment and without discrimination” and to practise their faith publicly and freely in accordance with their own rites."
"The council recommended that states require circumcisions to be performed by people trained to do so, in appropriate medical and health conditions, and that parents be informed of any medical risk to their child."
"The resolution also addresses ritual slaughter, stating that PACE is not convinced it should be banned and recommending following the French or German model of protecting animals from unnecessary suffering while respecting religious freedom."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W348

The following product safety alert is from the CPSC on September 29, 2015.

Calphalon is recalling Pizza Wheels because the handle of the pizza cutter can detach during use, posing a laceration hazard. The pizza cutter consists of a circular metal blade that is approximately 3 ½ inches in diameter, connected to a gray hand guard and black handle. The word “Calphalon” is embossed on the top of the black handle. Model number GT112, 1793513 or 1793521 are printed near the barcode on the packaging.
The firm has received 11 incident reports, including 6 reports of finger lacerations. One person required stitches and another person received medical attention to close their wounds. Remedy
Consumers should immediately stop using the pizza wheel and contact Calphalon for a full refund.
Sold at Bed Bath & Beyond, J.C. Penney, Kohls, Target, Walmart and other stores nationwide, and online at amazon.com, bedbathandbeyond.com, sears.com, target.com and other online retailers between January 2006 and August 2015 for about $15.
Consumer Contact: Calphalon at 800-809-7267 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or online at www.calphalon.com and click on “Calphalon Pizza Wheel Recall Information” in the center of the page for more information.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W347
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