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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.

Newer news

The Kosher Stand at FLL Has Closed

June 14, 2017: from the Yeahthatskosher and the ORB:

The kiosk that provided kosher sandwiches in Terminal 3, JetBlue, at Fort Lauderdale airport, has closed. Please note, though, that the kiosk was never under the ORB's supervision. Their food products came pre-wrapped from an ORB-supervised facility.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W585

NY Court Upholds Kaparos As A Constitutionally Protected Religious Rite

June 7, 2017: from the Vosizneias

A Manhattan Appellate court affirmed a lower court’s decision that refused to ban live kaparos because of claims that it is cruel and unsanitary. "Supreme Court Justice Debra James ruled in 2015 that the Alliance to End Chickens as Kaparos did not present proof that the ritual was inhumane or a public nuisance."
"The Alliance to End Chickens as Kaparos vowed to continue the legal battle, noting that the fact that two out of five justices in the Appellate court disagreed with the ruling opened the door to escalating the case to the New York State Court of Appeals."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W584

Appliance Light Bulbs

June 7, 2017: from the Star-K

Please note for all STAR-K certified Sabbath Mode appliances, we strongly advise you not to replace the incandescent bulb that came with your appliance (refrigerator, oven) with the newer LED bulbs. The Sabbath Mode feature may not operate correctly with a bulb type that is different from the one supplied by the manufacturer.
>Contact STAR-K: info@star-k.org or call 410-484-4110.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W583

Shabbos/Yom Tov mode update on Classic Kitchen Pump Pots

June, 2017: from the cRc

We are happy to report that, in consultation with cRc, Classic Kitchen has redesigned their pump pots and urns so that all opinions will agree that cold water can be added on Yom Tov, when the device is in Shabbos/Yom Tov mode. The upgraded models can be identified by checking the “copyright date”; the upgraded models are copyright in 2016, while the older models will show an earlier year.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W582

Kashrus alert on knife sharpening at Cutco, Wilmette, IL

May 19, 2017: from the cRc

Effective immediately, due to recent revelations regarding the knife sharpening process, the Chicago Rabbinical Council (cRc) no longer recommends using the Cutco Kitchen store at 3207 W. Lake Avenue, Wilmette, IL to sharpen kosher knives. Consumers are reminded that knives should only be sent for sharpening to stores which do not pose a kashrus concern. The two main concerns are that the sharpening companies might wash your kosher knife with other non‐kosher knives, and that they might switch your knife for an identical non‐kosher one. [See http://www.crcweb.org/kosher_articles/knife_sharpening.php" target='crc'>www.crcweb.org/kosher_articles/knife_sharpening.php.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W581

StarKist’s former senior vice president of sales charged in ongoing tuna price-fixing scandal

June 5, 2017: The SeafoodSource:

"Stephen L. Hodge, a former senior vice president of sales for StarKist, has been charged with price-fixing in the latest development in a federal investigation that has shaken up the canned tuna industry in the United States."
"The scandal, which originated out of a joint criminal antitrust investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has engulfed the so-called “big three” tuna companies - Bumble Bee Foods; Thai Union-owned Tri-Union Seafoods, which controls Chicken of the Sea; and StarKist, owned by Dongwon Industries, South Korea’s largest seafood company. Last month, Bumble Bee Foods became the first of the three to plead guilty to price-fixing and was subsequently fined USD 25 million (EUR 22.8 million). Two Bumble Bee executives also pled guilty to price-fixing earlier this year and are awaiting sentencing."
"Separately, several large retailers, including Wal-Mart, have filed a civil lawsuit against the "big three" tuna companies, which remains on hold until the criminal investigation is completed."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W580

FDA sampling finds high level of compliance with gluten-free standards

June 2, 2017: from The FDA and IFT_:

"More than 99.5% of sampled food products labeled 'gluten-free' are in compliance with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) requirement that such foods have less than 20 ppm (parts per million) of gluten. This is the finding of an FDA sampling assignment in which 702 samples from more than 250 products labeled 'gluten-free' were collected and analyzed from July 2015 to August 2016."
"The FDA found that only one of the products sampled did not comply with one of the major FDA requirements that went into effect in August 2014 for manufacturers using the term 'gluten-free' on their labeling. This product was recalled and subsequent sampling by the FDA did not find levels of gluten that violated the regulation."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W579

Following Plumber’s Death, Electric Ranges Recalled by Arçelik A.S. Due to Shock and Electrocution Hazards

May 19, 2017: The CPSC:

Blomberg and Summit electric ranges have been recalled because the electric ranges can become energized, posing electric shock and electrocution hazards to a consumer who touches the range

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Arçelik A.S. of Turkey and Beko US, of Bolingbrook, Ill. are announcing the voluntary recall of about 6,300 Blomberg and Summit brand freestanding electric ranges. The electric ranges can become energized because a screw was not installed to secure the grounding strap during manufacturing, posing electric shock and electrocution hazards. In August 2016, a 52-year-old professional plumber from Portsmouth, New Hampshire died from electrocution when he came in contact with an energized range and a grounded object. This recall involves Blomberg BERU 24200 SS, BERU 24100 SS and Summit CLRE24 24-inch wide freestanding glass top electric ranges. The ranges were sold in stainless steel and black. A label on the lower frame of the range inside the over door has the brand name “Blomberg” or “Summit,” the model name and number BERU 24200 SS, BERU 24100 SS or CLRE24 and a 10-digit serial number. Serial numbers included in the recall are:

12 XXXXXX XX

15 XXXXXX XX

16 XXXXXX 03

16 XXXXXX 06

13 XXXXXX XX

16 XXXXXX 01

16 XXXXXX 04

16 XXXXXX 07

14 XXXXXX XX

16 XXXXXX 02

16 XXXXXX 05

16 XXXXXX 08

 

The ranges were sold by AJ Madison, State Street Discount and other stores nationwide and online at Amazon.com from October 2012 through March 2017 for between $1,000 and $1,500.

They were manufactured by Arçelik A.S. in Turkey.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled ranges, and avoid all direct contact with the product until the electricity supply is shut off. Consumers should contact Arçelik A.S. to schedule a free on-site inspection and repair.

Contact Arçelik toll-free at 877-271-1489 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or online at www.blombergappliances.us and click on Recall Information at the bottom of the page.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W578

Israel issues new guidelines requiring more humane ways of kosher slaughter on imported beef

May 18, 2017: The JTA:

"Israel’s Agricultural Ministry has issued new guidelines that will require more humane ways of kosher slaughter on beef that is imported into the country."
"In the New Guidelines for Humane Kosher Slaughter, the Veterinary Services and Animal Health Division of the ministry mandated that imported meat must be slaughtered using a rotating restraint device, which is seen as more humane than the commonly used shackle-and-hoist method."
"The switch to a rotating restraint device must be made by June 1, 2018, and new suppliers must begin using the more humane method immediately."
"Forty percent of the beef consumed in Israel comes from Paraguay, which does not export beef to the United States. The practice is not permitted in Israel, which has limited kosher beef slaughter."
"The shackle-and-hoist method is common in slaughterhouses in Argentina and Uruguay, which do export to the United States."
"A petition by animal rights groups was filed with Israel’s Supreme Court after the investigative report went public, calling on the court to order that meat import licenses require foreign slaughterhouses to comply with Israeli law and other international ordinances and prohibit the use of the shackle-and-hoist method."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W577

Why is it so hard to know whether organic food is really organic

May 22, 2017: The WashingtonPost: :

"The USDA is in charge of regulating organic food, both when it is produced in the United States and when it is imported. It’s illegal to sell imported foods as organic in the United States unless the product meets USDA standards". "However, the USDA doesn’t actually administer the standards for imported foods. Instead, the certification — checking that the food meets U.S. standards - is done by USDA-recognized foreign regulators or USDA - authorized third-party organizations. This means the USDA outsources its authority to its equivalent agencies in other countries, as well as third-party certifiers. Not all countries have U.S.-recognized regulators."
In most cases the USDA is relying on third party regulators. "In practice, ensuring that imports labeled “organic” are actually organic is very hard, because global supply chains are complex and nontransparent. A number of suppliers or organizations may sell the product before they reach the final customer.This creates ample opportunity for things to go wrong. For instance, the USDA may not have any good way to know whether its accredited certifying agents have issued false certification documents to unqualified foreign suppliers. Middleman organizations can use real certification documents for products that are not actually organic."
"More regulatory oversight would make it easier for genuine organic producers abroad to sell their food to American customers."


Flaws in the ‘USDA Organic’ certification can allow ordinary products to be labeled organic

May 20, 2017: The WashingtonPost and the ColumbiaTribune: :

"A shipment of 36 million pounds of soybeans sailed late last year from Ukraine to Turkey to California. Along the way, it underwent a remarkable transformation."
"The cargo began as ordinary soybeans, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post. Like ordinary soybeans, they were fumigated with a pesticide. They were priced like ordinary soybeans, too."
"But by the time the 600-foot cargo ship carrying them to Stockton, Calif., arrived in December, the soybeans had been labeled “organic,” according to receipts, invoices and other shipping records. That switch - the addition of the “USDA Organic” designation - boosted their value by approximately $4 million, creating a windfall for at least one company in the supply chain." "About 21 million pounds of the soybeans have already been distributed to customers."
"While most food sold as “USDA Organic” is grown in the United States, at least half of some organic commodities - corn, soybeans and coffee - come from overseas, from as many as 100 countries."
The importer does not "need not trace the product back to the farm." "Farmers hire their own inspection companies; most inspections are announced days or weeks in advance and lack the element of surprise; and testing for pesticides is the exception rather than the rule.
One company testing for pesticide residues from organic tea leaves from China found 37% had more than traces of pesticide residues.
"The rise of imports has helped drop prices by more than 25 percent, hurting U.S. organic farmers, many of them small operations."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W576
Older news

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