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The following new story is from Forward on February 6, 2014.

Chabad in Sochi is providing kosher food and minyanim. They launched a website www.jewishsochi.com to provide information on the kosher resources that they provide.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W205

The following new story is from FoodManufacturing.com on December 11 2013.

3-D Printing is starting to be looked at to beused for 3-D printed confections, chocolate based sculptures, pasta and NASA. 3-D printing can produce unique foods on demand.

The following new story is from Forbes and gizmag on December 11 2013.

A Spanish company named Natural Machines Foodini has developed a 3-D printer called a Foodini can can "print" food. This product extrudes ingredients that put into the machine like play dough. The product then needs to be baked. It will be interesting to see how this technology will be used in the future in the food industry.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W195

The following news is from Israelhayom on February 4, 2014.

"Religious Services Minister Naftali Bennett (Habayit Hayehudi), his deputy MK Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan (Habayit Hayehudi) and Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi David Lau on Monday presented a reform in the kashrut system and in the labeling of kosher food." The new system, is designed to increase transparency and uniformity in kosher labeling.
"Among the planned changes is the introduction of a definitive three-tier kosher rating scheme. Businesses selling kosher food products will label their food with Stars of David. One star will represent the most basic level of kashrut, two stars will represent the stricter mehadrin level and three stars will represent the highest standard, known as mehadrin min hamehadrin."
"The labeling is meant to push out the private rabbinical designations of kashrut, which promise stricter levels of observation, and to return authority to the rabbinate."
"Another major change is in the way kashrut supervisors are paid. Currently, business owners pay the supervisors directly. They determine the fee between them, and there is no regulating body to oversee the supervisors. According to the Religious Services Ministry, this system leads to a lack of motivation on the part of supervisors to visit businesses and regulate them, and creates inconsistencies in standards and requirements between cities and between rabbis."
"The Religious Services Ministry plans to regulate the relationship between supervisors and businesses by creating a company dedicated to employing kashrut supervisors, which will pay them and eliminate the employer-employee relationship they now have with business owners."
There are also plans underway to create online databases accessible to the public that give information about kosher standards in various businesses. Kosher standards will also be enforced with the addition of more inspectors."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W203

The following safety alert from the CPSC, on January 28, 2014.

Bodum® rose gold glass coffee presses have been recalled because the glass carafe can fall out of the metal frame and plastic base of the coffee press and break or shatter, posing laceration and burn hazards to consumers.
This recall involves Bodum® rose gold Chambord locking lid 8-cup glass coffee presses. The coffee press’ glass carafe, screen and plunger are held in place by a metal frame which is rose gold-colored with a black molded plastic base. Consumers put ground coffee and hot water in the glass carafe and push the plunger and screen down through the water to brew coffee. The coffee presses are 10 inches high by about 4 inches in diameter. The coffee press has a locking lid. Bodum is printed on the glass carafe. Bodum and SKU number 11029732 are printed on a white label on the bottom of the base. Bodum and Made in Portugal are embossed on the bottom of the black plastic base.
Consumers should stop using the recalled coffee presses immediately and return them to the Starbucks store where purchased or contact Bodum for a full refund. Consumers who purchased the coffee presses online should contact Bodum for a pre-paid return label to return the coffee presses to receive a full refund. The product wazs sold exclusively at Starbucks nationwide and online at starbucks.com from November 2013 through December 2013 for about $40.
Consumers can contact Bodum toll-free at (855) 378-6864 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, email Bodum at recall@bodum.com, or online at www.bodum.com and click on Product Advisories for more information.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W202

The following news is from the Domains Name Wire and Jewish Journal posted on January 28, 2014.

Dot-Specific domain names are being assigned on the web. OK-Kosher applied in November 2012 to manage the .kosher gTLD. The OU, Star-K, Kof-K, Chicago Rabbinical Council and the COR filed a complaint in March, e013 that "OK-Kosher might use its control over the .kosher string to attain an unfair competitive advantage in the market for kosher certification services." The Jewish Journal reported that Rabbi Elefant said: "If one kosher certifying agency has control over which businesses could obtain web addresses ending in .kosher, Elefant said, any business that wanted to have such a presence on the web would be forced to sign up with OK-Kosher."
"On Jan. 14, 2014, an expert working for the International Chamber of Commerce, Luca G. Radicati di Brozolo, a law professor at the Catholic University of Milan, rebuffed their objection, and awarded the right to manage “.kosher” to a subsidiary of OK-Kosher called Kosher Marketing Assets, LLC. Luca G. Radicati di Brozolo said that the complaintants “has not convincingly proven its claim that the Application will impact negatively on itself, the community of [kosher certification organizations] or the broader community of persons or entities with a stake in kosher.”
"The expert adjudicator appeared to rely on assertions made by OK-Kosher that the gTLD will be used in ways that will benefit all kosher certification agencies.
The Jewish Journal quoted Timothy Lytton, a professor at Albany Law School and author of Kosher: Private Regulation in the Age of Industrial Food saying that the .kosher disupte and ownership can tip the balance agencies have between rivalry and cooperation and that " that awarding control over .kosher to OK-Kosher could bring to the certification agency a difficult-to-quantify ancillary benefit, namely, increased internet traffic."

The following news is from the TheDomains.com and change.org posted on on July 17, 2013.

In a letter to ICANN, the OU, Star-K, cRc, Kof-K and COR, responsible for certification of approximately 63% of kosher ingredients worldwide, objected to the "unequal treatment of the new gTLD applications for .Kosher and .halal. Kosher Marketing Assets LLC of Brooklyn New York, whose mission of the .KOSHER TLD is to promote Kosher food certification in general, and OK Kosher Certification and its clients in particular has applied for the top level domain name .kosher. "In a letter to ICANN, several Kosher certification organizations, responsible for certification of approximately 63% of kosher ingredients worldwide, objected to the "unequal treatment of the new gTLD applications for .Kosher and .halal." ICANN has acknoledged to Saudi Arabia that they will not honor the application for the .halal and .islam names from a Shia group associated with Iran. The kashrus agencies are reminding ICANN that they should give .kosher the same consideration as .halal.

Ed. note: This will be decided in the following weeks
https://gtldcomment.icann.org is the website to comment on new GLDT applications.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W159

The following information from New York Times and Jerusalem Post and http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/12/17/3823024/judge-orders-kosher-meals-at-state.html">Miami Herald posted on January 21, 2013.

On December 5, 2013 a federal judge has ordered the Florida Department of Corrections to offer kosher meals to "all prisoners with a sincere religious basis for keeping kosher" by July 1. " The lawsuit concerns the state's Religious Diet Program, or RDP, currently in place only at Union Correctional Institution. According to Seitz's ruling, the state has continuously changed its timeframe for expanding the program, first saying it would be available statewide this year, then saying kosher meals would be available at five institutions next month, and then announcing an implementation date for just three of those locations.
The state has also maintained that it is not required to offer kosher meals under federal laws protecting religious liberty.
Seitz barred DOC from enforcing four rules used in the kosher program at Union:

  • A 90-day waiting period that the state said it will no longer enforce.
  • A requirement that inmates undergo a "test" to determine whether they qualify for the program, including answering a question about the specific religious laws that require them to eat kosher.
  • The "10 percent rule," which drops a prisoner who fails to eat at least 90 percent of his or her meals.
  • The "zero-tolerance rule," which removes an inmate from the program for a period of time if he or she is found to eat something prison officials say is not kosher.

The state of Florida was worried that the cost of kosher food was higher and prisoners who were not Jewish or did not keep kosher were requesting kosher food Florida's prison system has a $58 million deficit. The cost of 3 kosher meals a day si $7 vs the cost of non-kosher food at $1.54. The demand for kosher meals jumps when they are first offered, since they are something different. The demand is reduced as people realize that there is little variety in the meals.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W201

The following news story is from Foodmanufacturing.com on January 21, 2013.

The kitchen of the hotel where Pope Francis lives was kashered by Rabbi Yaakov Spizzichirino because Pope Francis hosted a dinner for about sixteen Argentine rabbis who came to Rome from Buenos Aires to visit their old friend. A Rome kosher restaurant Ba'Ghetto catered the dinner.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W200

The following information from yeahthatskosher was posted on January 20, 2013.

The Conference of European Rabbis has established a database of kosher products in Europe. A link to the database can be found here.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W199

The following news is from the bloomberg news on December 20, 2013.

The New York City Council voted on Dec 19th to prohibit restaurants, food carts and stores from selling or providing single-use cups, clamshells and trays, as well as peanut-shaped packing materials, made from a type of thermoplastic petrochemical called expanded polystyrene.
"An amendment gives officials a year to determine whether the substance can be recycled in an “environmentally effective, economically feasible and safe” way. If not, the ban will take effect as passed July 2015."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W198

The following safety alert from the CPSC, on December 18, 2013.

Libbey Glass Inc., Toledo, OH is recalling Bristol Valley Cocktail Glasses with Sheer Rim have been recalled because the glasses can break unexpectedly, posing a laceration hazard. This recall involves Bristol Valley, model 8555SR, cocktail glasses with sheer rims. The glasses are made of clear, colorless glass in a 7.75 ounce cocktail design with a thin rim. The glasses measure about 6¼ inches high, 3¼ inches wide at the base, and 4¼ inches wide at the top. They were sold individually and in 24-piece cartons for commercial users.
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled glasses and return them to the store where purchased for a refund. Commercial customers should contact Libbey Glass Inc. to arrange for destruction of the product and receipt of a credit, refund or replacement. Consumers can contact Libbey Glass at (800) 982-7063 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit the firm’s website at www.libbey.com and click on “Product Recall” for more information.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W197
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