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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 following news from the IFT on June 22, 2012.

"N.Y. Mayor proposes ban of large sugary drinks; NYC Board of Health approves
According to The New York Times, New York City plans to enact a far-reaching ban on the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, movie theaters, and street carts, in an effort by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to combat rising obesity. The proposed ban would affect virtually the entire menu of popular sugary drinks found in delis, fast-food franchises, and even sports arenas, from energy drinks to pre-sweetened iced teas. The sale of any cup or bottle of sweetened drink larger than 16 oz would be prohibited under the first-in-the-nation plan, which could take effect as soon as next March. The measure would not apply to drinks with fewer than 25 calories per 8-oz serving, such as diet sodas, enhanced water, or fruit juices. In addition, the ban would not apply to dairy-based drinks like milkshakes or alcoholic beverages. It also would not extend to beverages sold in grocery stores or convenience stores. Restaurants, delis, movie theater, and ballpark concessions would be affected, because they are regulated by the health department. Carts on sidewalks and in Central Park would also be included, but not vending machines or newsstands that serve only a smattering of fresh food items."
"In other news, according to The Washington Post, New York City’s Board of Health has unanimously advanced Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal to ban sweetened drinks above 16 oz at foodservice establishments throughout the city.
The proposal only needs to win approval from one government body to become law, the city’s unelected board of health, and the panel took the first step toward making that happen June 13 with a unanimous vote to begin a six-week public comment period. A public hearing has been scheduled for July 24. A formal vote whether to approve the measure isn’t scheduled to take place until Sept. 13."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W078

The following news is from Radio Netherlands and religionclause.blogspot on June 22, 2012.

"As reported by Radio Netherlands Worldwide and JTA, the Dutch Senate on Tuesday voted not to ratify a law that would have banned Jewish and Muslim ritual slaughter. While the bill passed the House of Representatives in Parliament last year by a large majority (see prior posting), 51 out of 75 Senators voted against it after a compromise agreement was reached between the Deputy Minister of Agriculture on the one hand, and Jewish and Muslim groups on the other. The agreement (Radio Netherlands Worldwide and Chabad.org ) allows ritual slaughter without first stunning the animals to continue, but a veterinarian must be present during slaughter, and must anesthetize the animal if it is not unconscious within 40 second after slaughter. The protocol, which also contains other protective measures, will be overseen by a committee of scientists. Animal Rights Party leader Marianne Thieme remains unhappy with the compromise."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W079

The following safety alert from the CPSC on June 7, 2012.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with California Innovations Inc., of Toronto, Canada announced a voluntary recall of the Ice/Hot and Ice Gel Packs. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.
About 880,000 (about 248,000 units associated with lunch boxes and 55,000 associated with food carriers were previously recalled in January 2012). See below. If the packs become damaged, they can leak gel that could contain diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol, which can cause illness if ingested in large amounts.
The recalled products are Cryofreeze ice/hot packs and Arctic Zone ice packs. The packs are gel-filled plastic pouches with either transparent or opaque sealed wrappers. They are used to keep food hot or cold. The gel packs were sold separately and with a variety of lunch boxes, coolers and thermal carriers. Six gel pack styles are being recalled:

  • Cryofreeze ice/hot packs in small and large styles. Both have opaque blue wrappers with the words "Cryofreeze," "Ice Pack/Hot Pack," "Non-toxic" and "Reusable" printed on the front:
    • The small gel pack is 6 inches wide and 5.5 inches high
    • The large gel pack is 8.5 inches wide and 8 inches high
  • Cryofreeze Transparent Cell ice/hot packs in three styles. Each has a transparent wrapper with the words "Cryofreeze," "Ice Pack/Hot Pack," "Non-toxic" and "Reusable" printed on the front:
    • One 3-cell pack has three connected rectangular-shaped pouches of blue gel and is 7.85 inches wide and 5.5 inches high.
    • Another 3-cell pack has three connected square-shaped pouches of blue gel and is 7.6 inches wide and 3 inches high.
    • The 2-cell pack has two connected square-shaped pouches of blue gel and is 5 inches wide and 3 inches high.
  • Arctic Zone ice pack is 6.25 inches wide and 4 inches high and has an opaque blue wrapper. The Arctic Zone logo and a picture of an iceberg appear on the front of the wrapper. The words "ICE," "Personal Ice Pack" and "Non-Toxic Leak Proof Gel" are also printed on the front of the wrapper.
Sold at mass merchandise and warehouse stores, other retailers, distributors and on-line sellers nationwide between July 2007 and December 2008 in items that retailed between $5 and $28. Consumers should immediately stop using the gel packs and dispose of them according to federal, state and/or local regulations. It is recommended that consumers contact their local waste disposal authority for instructions. Consumers can contact California Innovations to receive a $6 cash refund for large (8.5-inch x 8-inch) Cryofreeze gel packs or a $5 cash refund for all other gel packs. Consumer Contact: For additional information, call California Innovations at (800) 722-2545 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, e-mail ci-recall@ca-innovations.com or visit the firm's website at www.californiainnovations.com


The following safety alert from the CPSC on January 23, 2012.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with California Innovations Inc., of Toronto, Canada announced a voluntary recall of Expandable Insulated Lunch Box with Freezer Gel Pack. The Gel that contains diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol can leak out of damaged freezer gel packs, posing a poisoning hazard if ingested by children or adults.
The firm has received two separate reports of a dog chewing and ingesting gel from the gel pack. One dog reportedly died from ingestion of the gel. The other was reported to have received treatment and has recovered.
The recalled product is a Ci Sport three-piece, expandable, insulated lunch box set, which includes the lunch box, aluminum bottle and the freezer gel pack. The lunch box of the recalled set has the code "1-61731-99-57" printed on one of the two white labels that are sewn under the white fastener inside the main compartment. The lunch box is 8 inches wide, 5 inches deep and 10.25 inches high. It is made of vinyl, polyester nylon and crushed nylon and has a logo with the words "Ci Sport" attached to the upper left corner. The lunch box has a carrying handle on the top and a mesh carrying pouch for the aluminum bottle on the side. The aluminum bottle measures 2.75 inches in diameter and 7.5 inches tall. The gel pack is a 6-inch by 4-inch transparent plastic pouch filled with blue liquid gel. The words "Cryofreeze" and "Ice Pack/Hot Pack" are printed in white letters on the front of the pouch. The lunch box was available in four colors: navy blue, red, black and denim blue. It was sold at: Costco Wholesale Clubs, Leon Korol and Cost U Less stores between May 2007 and September 2008 for about $10.
Consumers should immediately stop using the gel packs and dispose of them according to federal, state and/or local regulations. It is recommended that consumers contact their local waste disposal authority for instructions. Consumers may return the lunch box set to Costco for a full refund or may receive a $5 cash refund for the gel pack only by contacting California Innovations.
For additional information, call California Innovations at (800) 722-2545 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, e-mail ci-recall@ca-innovations.com or visit the firm's website at www.californiainnovations.com

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W059

The following safety alert from the CPSC on June 6, 2012.

Evenflo is recalling Convertable High Chairs because the activity tray on the high chair can unexpectedly detach and allow an unrestrained child to fall, posing a risk of injury to the child. This recall involves Evenflo high chairs that convert from a high chair to toddler-size table and chair. The convertible high chair can be identified by the model names and numbers listed below. Model numbers are located on a label on the lower portion of one of the high chair's legs.

Model NameModel Number
Dottie Lime29111259
Dottie Rose29111271
Marianna29111234
This product was sold at Toys "R" Us and Walmart stores nationwide and online at Walmart.com and Wayfair.com between December 2011 and June 2012 for about $40. Consumers with the recalled highchairs should immediately contact Evenflo for a replacement tray with installation and use instructions. For additional information, please contact Evenflo at (800) 233-5921 between 8 a.m. through 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit the firm's website at http://safety.evenflo.com.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W077

The following inews is from NIK and Gulftimes on June 5, 2012.

The Organisation of Jewish Communities in The Netherlands signed a historic covenant with the Dutch government to ensure the continued and undisturbed execution of Shechita, the Jewish method of slaughtering. The NIK is the sole executor of Shechita in The Netherlands, and the only Jewish body in the country which is permitted to perform Shechita. Besides the NIK the covenant is being signed by the under minister for Agriculture, Dr Henk Bleker, representatives of the Muslim community and of the slaughter industry. The agreement now established, attempts to ensure that a balance is created between the continuation of the slaughter according to religious rites, based on the traditionally strongly in Dutch society rooted freedom of religion, and conditions for the treatment of the animal before and during slaughter.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W076

The following safety alert from the CPSC on June 1, 2012.

Black & Decker® SpacemakerTM 12-Cup Programmable Under-the-Cabinet Coffeemakers, Applica Consumer Products Inc. of Miramar, FL has been recalled because the coffee pot handle can break, causing cuts and burns to the consumer. This recall involves Black & Decker® brand 12-cup coffeemakers designed to mount under a cabinet. Available in either white or black models, the words “BLACK & DECKER® SPACEMAKER™” are printed in the top right-hand corner. The coffeemakers have a digital time display in the top left corner and five round buttons above the water reservoir. The 12-cup coffee pots are glass with a molded handle the same color as the machine and a silver metallic bracket running around the glass near the bottom. The recall includes model numbers SDC740, SDC740B, SDC740BR, SDC740C, SDC740DIS, SDC740R, SDC750, SDC750C and SDC750DIS. The model number is printed on the underside of the coffeemaker, directly below the water reservoir. This product was sold at major retailers nationwide from July 2008 through May 2012 for about $50-80.
Consumers should immediately stop using the coffeemakers and contact Applica to exchange their coffee pot for a free replacement. For additional information, contact Applica Consumer Products toll-free at (866) 708-7846 between 8:30 a.m. through 5 p.m. ET, or visit the firm’s website at www.acprecall.com.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W075

The following information from the Food Manufacturing News on May 31, 2012.

A number of major national conpanies including Tropicana, Tostidos, SunChips, Snapple and Ben & Jerry's have faced lawsuits over the "natural" claim on their prducts.
"The Food and Drug Administration, the agency that oversees packaged food labeling in the United States, has no definition of what counts as "natural." As long as a food labeled "natural" doesn't contain added color, artificial flavor or synthetic substances, the agency doesn't object."
Consumers and consumer groups have started lawsuits over the claims.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W074

The following safety alert from the CPSC on May 24, 2012.

Select Brands Inc., Lenexa, KN is recalling Kitchen Selectives® 6-Speed Blender because while in operation, the plastic pitcher can separate from the blade assembly, leaving the blade assembly in the base and exposing the rotating blades. This poses a laceration hazard to consumers. The recalled products are Kitchen Selectives® 6-Speed Blenders, model BL-15. The model number is located on the bottom of the base. The blender consists of a six-inch tall, white electrical base with five, white speed-selector buttons labeled 1 through 5, one gray button labeled "Pulse/Off" and the logo "Kitchen Selectives®" in black letters on the front; a clear plastic pitcher with a handle with U.S. and metric volume measurement markings; a white plastic lid with a removable clear plastic lid stopper; and a white plastic blade assembly with two angled, stainless steel blades.
They were sold in midwest retail stores Pamida and Sutherlands from June 2009 to April 2012 for about $20. Consumers should immediately stop using the blenders and return them to the retailer where purchased to receive a full refund. For additional information, contact Select Brands Customer Service at (866) 663-4500 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or visit Select Brands website at www.selectbrands.com.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W073

The following safety alert from the CPSC on May 17, 2012.

Circulon 13-Piece Cookware Set recalled by Meyer Corporation, Vallejo, CA due to laceration hazard from glass lid. The glass lid used with the 5-quart covered sauté pan can crack, break or shatter, posing a laceration hazard to consumers. The defective lid is 11 inches in diameter with a rubber and stainless steel handle and a metal rim. The code “IMCP1108” is stamped on the outside of the metal rim. The lid is part of the 13-Piece Circulon Premier Professional cookware set. The cookware is aluminum and stainless steel with rubber and stainless steel handles. In addition to the covered sauté pan, the sets include: 1-quart and 3-quart saucepans, a 4-quart saucepot, an 8-quart stockpot, 8.5-, 10- and 12-inch French skillets and four additional glass lids. Sold Exclusively at: Costco retail stores and Costco.com from about October 2011 through March 2012 for about $200 for the complete set. Consumers should stop using the 11-inch glass lid and contact Circulon customer service at (800) 326-3933, Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT, or visit the firm’s website at www.circulon.com to receive a replacement lid.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W071

The following story is from the Bloomberg on May 10, 2012 and Koshertoday.com on May 14, 2012.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (Manhattan)ruled in Commack Self-Service Kosher Meats v. Hooker, 11-3517 that the the New York law regulating the marketing and labeling of kosher food doesn't violate the U.S. Constitution. “The Kosher Act merely requires food products marketed as kosher to be labeled as kosher,” U.S. Circuit Judge Christopher Droney wrote. “The Kosher Act does not entangle the state with religion because it does not require the state to enforce laws based on religious doctrine or to inquire into the religious content or religious nature of the products sold.” The court also rejected a challenge to the law as unconstitutionally vague.
However, Koshertoday.com has pointed out that the New York State inspectors that insurered that this law is followed were fired in the waning days of the Paterson administration and have not been rehired.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W070
Older news

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