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Fruit and Vegetable Policy

Copyright © 2005 by the Chicago Rabbinical Council. All rights reserved.

Reprinted with permission of the Chicago Rabbinical Council

January 11, 2006
11 Tevet  5766

cRc Fruit & Vegetable Policy

During the last several weeks, the cRc has been conducting an intense review of its policy regarding insect infestation in fruits and vegetables. Although the policy may still change in the future, the following is the current cRc position on the proper checking and use of various fresh, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables. It is impossible to cover all of the different varieties, so if a particular product is not found on this list, please call the cRc office.

When we refer to a “chazaka check,” three samples or batches must be checked and if no bugs are found, the remaining product may be used without further checking. In all cases, if bugs are found in the initial inspection, the product should be washed and checked again, or not be used.

Vegetables

  1. Artichokes - Fresh, frozen and canned artichokes are not to be used without reliable hashgacha, with the exception of artichoke bottoms. All artichoke bottoms are permissible when packed in water, with exception of canned product from China.
  2. Asparagus – GreenFresh must have the tips cut off and the side leaves must be checked with a chazaka. Canned & frozen only with a reliable hashgacha
  3. Asparagus – White- All are permissible without further checking after rinsing with water.
  4. Bok Choy – Must be washed very well with either a vegetable wash or a food grade soap solution, and checked with a chazaka.
  5. Boston, Butter or Bib Lettucenot pre washed - Must be washed very well with either a vegetable wash or a food grade soap solution, and checked with a chazaka. Pre washed may be used without hashgacha only after checking each leaf of the product.
  6. Broccoli It is very impractical and close to impossible for the average consumer to properly check fresh or frozen broccoli. It is therefore highly recommended that only product with a reliable hashgacha be used.  Broccoli stems (no florets) may be used without checking after rinsing with water.
  7. Brussel Sprouts – Fresh may not be used. Frozen may be used only with a reliable hashgacha. Canned needs a reliable hashgacha.
  8. Cabbage – Remove outer leaves, cut head into quarters, and wash well with water. Only spot checking is necessary.
  9. Carrots – A general inspection is needed to rule out obvious infestation. All plain frozen carrots are acceptable. Canned would need a hashgacha.
  10. Cauliflower - It is very impractical and close to impossible for the average consumer to properly check fresh and frozen cauliflower. It is therefore highly recommended that only product with a reliable hashgacha be used. Canned or jarred needs a reliable hashgacha.
  11. Celery Stalks – Must be washed and checked well, especially around the bottom of the stalk and around the leaves.
  12. Corn – on the cob - A general inspection is needed to rule out obvious infestation. All frozen is acceptable. Canned would need a hashgacha.
  13. Cucumbers - A general inspection is needed to rule out obvious infestation. Canned requires a reliable hashgacha.
  14. Dill – Must be washed very well in either a vegetable wash or a food grade soap solution, and checked with a chazaka.
  15. Endive - Must be washed very well in either a vegetable wash or a food grade soap solution, and checked with a chazaka.
  16. Flowers – Must be spot checked for bugs. If they are found, the batch should not be used.
  17. Garlic Cloves - A general inspection is needed to rule out obvious infestation
  18. Herbs - Must be washed very well in either a vegetable wash or a food grade soap solution, and checked with a chazaka.
  19. Iceberg Lettuce:
    Not pre washed
    – Outer leaves must be removed and the head should be quartered, rinsed with water and a cursory inspection is needed.
    Pre washed
    may be used after a chazaka check. No further washing is required.
  20. Lettuce – all other than iceberg:
    Not pre washed -
    Must be washed very well with either a vegetable wash or a food grade soap solution, and checked with a chazaka.
    Pre washed may be used without hashgacha only after checking each leaf of the product.
  21. Mint - Must be washed very well in either a vegetable wash or a food grade soap solution, and checked with a chazaka.
  22. Mushrooms – Fresh mushrooms must be rinsed and a cursory inspection is needed. Portabella mushrooms should have the brown under part removed. All frozen mushrooms are acceptable. Canned mushrooms must have a reliable hashgacha.
  23. Onions – the outer peel should be removed. Frozen and fresh cut onions must have a reliable hashgacha. Frozen and fresh pearl onions are acceptable without hashgacha. Canned would need a reliable hashgacha.
  24. Parsley - Must be washed very well in either a vegetable wash or a food grade soap solution, and checked with a chazaka.
  25. Peas – Fresh - A general inspection is needed to rule out obvious infestation. Any frozen may be used. Canned must have a hashgacha.
  26. Peppers – Both hot and sweet may be used after a general inspection to rule out obvious infestation. Canned would need a reliable hashgacha.
  27. Romaine Lettuce: Not pre washed - Must be washed very well with either a vegetable wash or a food grade soap solution, and checked with a chazaka.
    Pre washed may be used without hashgacha only after checking each leaf of the product.
  28. Scallions (green onions) – Cut along length of scallion and check for bugs inside scallion and around the area protruding from the bulb. Use a chazaka check.
  29. Shallots – peeled and washed - A general inspection is needed to rule out obvious infestation.
  30. Spinach – It is very impractical and close to impossible for the average consumer to properly check frozen spinach. It is therefore highly recommended that only product with a reliable hashgacha be used. Pre washed may be used without hashgacha only after checking each leaf of the product. Canned needs a reliable hashgacha.
  31. Spring Mix:
    Not pre washed
    - Must be washed very well with either a vegetable wash or a food grade soap solution, and checked with a chazaka.
    Pre washed may be used without hashgacha only after checking each leaf of the product.
  32. Squash – A general inspection is needed to rule out obvious infestation. Any frozen may be used.
  33. Tomatoes - A general inspection is needed to rule out obvious infestation. All jarred and canned tomato products need a reliable hashgacha.
  34. Zucchini - A general inspection is needed to rule out obvious infestation. Any frozen maybe used.

Fruits

  1. Blackberries – Fresh must be washed and checked well. All frozen are acceptable. All canned needs a reliable hashgacha.
  2. Blueberries – Fresh must be rinsed in water and a cursory inspection is needed.
  3. Dates - A general inspection is needed to rule out obvious infestation.
  4. Figs - A general inspection is needed to rule out obvious infestation.
  5. Raspberries – Fresh raspberries are not permitted. Frozen are acceptable. Canned needs a reliable hashgacha.
  6. Strawberries – Fresh must have the tops must be cut off and the strawberries must be rinsed in water. All frozen are acceptable.

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