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The following information on a kashrus seminar for women in kashrus that will be held in Israel was posted on December 7, 2010.

On Dec 19,2010, the religious council of Efrat is sposoring a Kashrut Seminar for women in the Food Industry. The Program will be held in Hebrew. Among the speakers will be Rav Metzger, CHief Rabbi of Israel, Rav Riskin, Chief Rabbi of Efrat, Rav Weitman, Rav of Tnuva, Rav SHimon Golan of the local Moatza Datit, Rav Shmuel Semelman,expert for the Rabbinute on the Kashrut of alcoholic beverages, Rav Yechiel Spira, noted journalist on Kashrut. It is open to women who would like to increase there knowledge of Kashrut. For further information and to register please contact Alizah Hochstead alizahh@hotmail.com.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W014

The following news is from the JerusalemPost.com and JTA posted on December 2, 2010 with addional information posted on December 5, 2010.

On Nov. 26, agreement was reached to allow the kosher slaughter of poultry on a limited scale after a prohibition was put in place last May. Beef is being imported from Australia.
The local government dropped its objections to the practice only two days before it was scheduled to be debated in court, where a judge would have determined whether or not the ban was an infringement on religious rights. A ban on the preparation of kosher mutton and beef remains in effect, but is being negotiated.
New Zealand authorities had forbidden the local preparation of kosher meat on grounds of animal welfare concerns, saying the method, which does not allow the stunning of livestock before slaughter, was inhumane.
It seems that the agriculture minister made this decision to preserve trade with Muslim countries that could be adversely affected if kosher slaughtering was allowed while the government required that halal meat be stunned prior to being slaughtered.

New Zealand's small Jewish community of about 6,800 people is having trouble paying the legal fees from their legal challenge to protect Scheta in New Zealand. They are asking people to make a contribution to help by sending a check to L.S.S., 200 Amsterdam Ave., New York, NY 10023. Make the check payable to Lincoln Square Synagogue, and be sure to write "New Zealand" in the memo line.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W013

The following news is from the JerusalemPost.com and senator-kruger posted on November 25, 2010.

The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets will eliminate its last two state kosher inspectors as part of a statewide effort to achieve $250 million in work force savings, according to the Times Union in Albany. The department once had 11 kosher inspectors. This decimates the kosher law, since there wil be no threat to companies that a state inspector will catch then not adhering to the standards that they claim.
Information on how to contact the New York Governor can be found at www.state.ny.us/governor/contact/index.html.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W012

The following potential future kashrus problem is from the RSSL.com posted on November 15, 2010.

Researchers at Oregon State University have developed edible coatings to slow rot and increase shelf life in pre-washed, fresh blueberries. "The coatings used in the study were Semperfresh, acid-soluble chitosan, water-soluble chitosan, calcium caseinate and sodium alginate. Semperfresh is a sucrose ester; chitosan is a derivative of chitin-a natural substance often found in the exoskeletons of insects and crustaceans; and alginate is a polysaccharide commonly found in the cell walls of brown algae."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W011

The following safety alert from the CPSC on November 2, 2010.

Haier America Trading LLC, New York, N.Y. is recalling chest freezers because a capacitor in the freezer's circuitry can overheat, posing a fire hazard.
This recall involves the Black & Decker(r) Model BFE53 and Haier(r) Model ESNCM053E 5.3 cubic foot capacity white chest freezers. "Black & Decker" is printed at the front upper-right corner or "Haier" is printed on the front upper-left corner of the freezer. "Black & Decker" or "Haier," the model number, the unit's serial number and other information are printed on a rating label at the top center of the back of the freezer. Only Model BFE53 and Model ESNCM053E freezers with serial numbers beginning as follows are included in this recall:
Beginning of Serial Number on Rating Label: 1001, 1002, 1003, 1004, 1005, 1006, 1007
Sold at: Black & Decker Model BFE53 was sold exclusively at Wal-Mart nationwide from January 2010 through September 2010, for about $150. Haier Model ESNCM053E was sold through Amazon.com and other retailers from May 2010 through October 2010 for between $220 to $290.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W010

The following interesting news story which may be useful for kosher certification is from the /www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE69S57G20101101 on November 1, 2010.

The International Barcode of Life Project (iBOL), which says it is the world's first reference library of DNA barcodes and the world's largest biodiversity genomics project, is being built by scientists using fragments of DNA to create a database of all life forms. Researchers hope handheld mobile devices will be able to one day read these digital strips of rainbow-colored barcodes -- much like supermarket scanners -- to identify different species by testing tissue samples on site and comparing them with a digital database. Within a week, the barcode can be viewed publicly, online, by signing up for a free account at www.boldsystems.org, the site for Barcode of Life Datasystems (BOLD). Smith describes it as being like a label on a filing cabinet. This technoicg can ensure the salmon or trout in markets and restaurants is accurately identified, or determining whether foods or other animal products crossing international borders are what they are claimed to be.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W009

The following British news item is from the barfblog and .times-series.co.uk posted on October 23, 2010.

A kosher food supplier has been ordered to pay £27,000 by the courts for selling a pot of chopped liver containing a potentially deadly bacteria. Bosses of Kosher Deli UK Ltd., based on the Claremont Industrial Estate, in Claremont Way, Cricklewood, admitted supplying 1kg of meat contaminated with Listeria to a residential care home in May 2008. An investigation into the company, lead by Barnet Council's environmental health team, was launched after an 89-year-old care home resident was diagnosed with listeriosis. A judge at Wood Green Crown Court on Monday said serious issues at Kosher Deli had been set out in an audit report by the Meat Hygiene Service, but accepted the offence represented a lapse over a short period of time in a business which had been operating for 74 years.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W008

The following safety alert from the CPSC on October 21, 2010.

Frigidaire and Electrolux ICON Electric Smoothtop Cooktops and Slide-In Ranges have been recalled due to fire hazard Liquids can pool under the control knob and cause the surface heating element to turn on unexpectedly, heat to temperatures other than expected and then not turn off, posing a risk of fire and burn hazards to consumers.
A list of the recalled cooktops and ranges can be found at http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml11/11016.html.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W007

The following regulatory news are from the New York Department of Health posted and barfblog on June 16, 2010 with additional information on July 28, 2010.

July 28, 2010: www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/rii/index.shtml has information on a number of kosher restaurants.

July 2010, New York City is requiring certain food service establishments to post letter grades that correspond to their sanitary inspection scores. In the first year or so of grading, most restaurants will earn a B grade. Restaurants with B or C grades should improve their overall food safety practices, but the Health Department immediately closes restaurants with conditions that may be hazardous to public health. Visit nyc.gov/health/restaurants to get more information and see inspection details and to search for restaurants by grade, neighborhood, cuisine and more. It will take a little over a year to grade all of the city's existing restaurants. New restaurants are not graded until they have been open for a few weeks.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W002

The following information is from the RSSL and UCDavis posted on JULY 25, 2010.

The UC Davis Olive Oil Chemistry Laboratory evaluated the quality of extra virgin olive oils sold on retail shelves in California. The laboratory tests found that samples of imported olive oil labeled as "extra virgin" and sold at retail locations in California often did not meet international and US standards. Sensory tests showed that these failed samples had defective flavors such as rancid, fusty, and musty. Negative sensory results were confirmed by chemical data in 86 percent of the cases. Chemical testing indicated that the samples failed extra virgin standards for reasons that include one or more of the following:

  • oxidation by exposure to elevated temperatures, light, and/or aging;
  • adulteration with cheaper refined olive oil;
  • poor quality oil made from damaged and overripe olives, processing flaws, and/or improper oil storage.
Their laboratory tests indicated that nine of ten California samples were authentic extra virgin olive oils, with one California sample failing the IOC/USDA sensory standard for extra virgin.

Over the past several years, trained olive oil tasters who have served on IOC-recognized sensory panels have reported to the UC Davis Olive Center that much of the olive oil sold in the United States as “extra virgin” does not meet this modest sensory standard. Moreover, there have been media reports of fraud in the olive oil business, where extra virgin olive oils have been adulterated with cheaper refined oils such as hazelnut oil. Another method is to adulterate extra virgin olive oil with cheaper refined olive oil, thereby making chemical detection of adulteration more difficult. More information about this study can be found at UCDavis.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W005
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