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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.

American Screening LLC issues a Voluntary Nationwide Recall of American Screening Hand Sanitizer Packaged in 8 oz Bottles Because They Resemble Beverage Containers

November 19, 2021 - from FDA

American Screening LLC of Shreveport, Louisiana is voluntarily recalling 153,336 units of Hand Sanitizer, containing 70% ethyl alcohol gel to the consumer level. The hand sanitizer is packaged in 8 oz. containers that resemble water bottles posing a risk of consumption.

Consumers with questions regarding this recall can contact Wendy Laskowski by e-mailing wlaskowski@americanscreeningcorp.com or call 318-606-6037 Monday–Friday, 8:00 am–5:00 pm CST. Consumers should contact their physician or healthcare provider if they have experienced any problems that may be related to ingesting the hand sanitizer packaged in the 8 oz. water bottle style.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1215

Kellogg Brings in Cereal from Overseas Plants

November 4, 2021 from Food Processing:

"Kellogg Co. is continuing to try to keep up cereal production during a strike against all four of its U.S. RTE cereal plants.

"The company is importing cereal from its plants overseas, and running the four struck plants with a combination of replacement workers and management, CEO Steve Cahillane told Bloomberg.

"'We have plants in Mexico, Canada, the UK — Manchester is a very big cereal plant — and even as far away as Australia. So we’ll leverage the totality of our global network,' Cahillane said.

"The strike was declared Oct. 5 by the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union after its contract ran out. The two sides are so far apart that the union didn’t even bother to send the latest Kellogg proposal to members for a vote. One of the major sticking points is Kellogg’s desire to impose a two-tiered wage and benefit structure that is less generous to new employees; Kellogg says it no longer wants such an arrangement to be 'permanent.'"

November 17, 2021 From the OU in response to a question from the editor: The products that are being imported due to the strike are certified by the OU and bear a K or an OU.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1214

Strong Shekel Contributes to Rising US Prices

November 2, 2021 from Koshertoday:

"In case one wonders why the price of Israeli products is going up, a strong shekel is the answer. Already buffeted by soaring food prices in most categories, the rise in the pricing of Israeli goods is yet another blow to American kosher consumers. Says Globes, Israel’s leading business publication: 'The shekel is at its strongest ever level, according to the Bank of Israel’s nominal effective rate, which measures the shekel against the basket of currencies of Israel’s major trading partners. The shekel-dollar representative rate was set 0.188% lower, at NIS 3.185/$, the shekel’s strongest level against the dollar in over 10 months.' Kosher shelves are increasingly filled with Israeli imported foods by such major food importers as Kayco, Lieber’s, Paskesz, Foodco and others."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1213

Price of Mehadrin dairy products rise drastically in the US

November 10, 2021 - from Arutz Sheva

"Mehadrin Dairy Corporation, the largest distributor of Chalav Yisrael dairy and frozen foods in the US, has announced that they will be raising their prices, according to a COLlive reporter.

"In a letter to customers on Monday, the company based in Elizabeth, New Jersey wrote that “effective November 21, 2021, we will be increasing prices on some of our products” under the brands Mehadrin, J&J, Givat and Gevina.

"'“Due to the influence of many factors, including the continuing increase in prices of various raw materials along with rising transportation charges during this past year, we find it necessary to implement this price increase.' the letter read.

"Price changes will include the following products based on a list provided to COLlive.com: Cottage Cheese, sour cream, natural yogurts, Greek yogurts, coconut-based yogurts, kefir whole milk, Leben, farmer cheese, feta cheese, butter, margarine, Kendamil baby food, cheese snacks and puddings, blintzes and French fries."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1212

C&S To Purchase 12 Tops Markets Stores, Convert To Grand Union

November 9, 2021 - from Shelby Report

"Kene, New Hampshire-based C&S Wholesale Grocers Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase 12 Tops Markets stores that have become available due to the Tops Markets merger with Price Chopper/Market 32. C&S will convert these 12 stores to Grand Union supermarkets.

"The Grand Union stores will be in Cooperstown, Cortland, Norwich, Owego, Peru, Rome, Saranac Lake, Sherrill, Warrensburg and two locations in Watertown in New York, and Rutland, Vermont. The agreement is set to close in the coming weeks.

"The grand openings are planned for mid-January through mid-February. GU Markets LLC, an affiliate of C&S Wholesale Grocers, will operate these stores. C&S will continue to recognize the union workforce at these locations.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1211

Macy’s Recalls Martha Stewart Collection Oil & Vinegar Cruets Due to Laceration Hazard

September 29, 2021 - from CPSC

Martha Stewart Collection Oil & Vinegar Cruets has been recalled because the glass portion of the cruets can break during use, posing a laceration hazard.

This recall involves the Martha Stewart Collection Oil & Vinegar Cruet, which is a tapered clear glass vessel with a square base and a metal spout. UPC number 608356787608 is printed on the hang tag tied to the product. A clear, plastic adhesive label with the Martha Stewart logo may also be affixed near the base of the cruet.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled product and return it to a Macy’s store or contact Macy’s to return the product with free shipping for a full refund.

Macy’s has received six reports of the glass cruets breaking, resulting in three lacerations, two of which required stitches.

Sold Exclusively At Macy’s stores nationwide and online at www.macys.com from July 2017 through July 2021 for about $22.

Consumer Contact: Macy’s toll-free at 888-257-5949 from 9 a.m. to 12 a.m. ET seven days a week or online at www.macys.com and click on “Product Recall” for more information.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1210

Plan for major kashrut reform advances through Knesset committee

October 27, 2021 - from The Times of Israel

"Legislation proposed by Religious Services Minister Matan Kahana aimed at significantly reforming the kosher certification industry in Israel passed through a Knesset committee hearing on Wednesday, after weeks of intense debate.

"Ultra-Orthodox lawmakers reiterated their fierce opposition to the plan, which will now advance to a second and third reading in the Knesset plenum. A small protest was held in Tel Aviv on Wednesday against the bill, which seeks to weaken the Chief Rabbinate’s monopoly over the matter.

"Kahana’s proposal would establish a series of private kosher certification agencies that will be required to uphold religious standards established by the Chief Rabbinate, instead of only the rabbinate itself issuing kosher certifications. The move is aimed at increasing competition to reduce costs for businesses seeking certification.

"The private agencies will be authorized to issue certifications that note they are “under the supervision of the Rabbinate.” Each agency is expected to be headed by a rabbi who is certified by the city’s local rabbinate. The agencies — which will also need to demonstrate financial viability — will make public the religious standards they are maintaining in their certification.

"The proposed plan would also see the creation of an overarching supervisory body of the Chief Rabbinate to monitor the private agencies and ensure they uphold the standards they have promised to meet.

"After intense debate in the committee, several amendments were adopted, including allowing local religious councils to also provide kosher certifications as well as local municipal rabbis.

"Opposition MKs submitted more than 1,000 amendments to the legislation, the vast majority of which were thrown out.

"ozens of activists and kosher supervisors protested on Ibn Gabirol Street in Tel Aviv on Wednesday against the reform proposal, charging that it will put hundreds of them out of work. Calling for Kahana’s resignation, the protesters blocked traffic on a busy street next to Rabin Square in central Tel Aviv.

"Earlier this week, some activists cooked shrimp and other non-kosher seafood in a protest outside Kahana’s home in the Beit Gamliel moshav. Protesters believe that the legislation, which takes some power away from the Chief Rabbinate, will lead to the establishment of kosher certifying agencies without sufficiently stringent oversight or regulation."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1209

Greece: Kosher slaughter 'under direct attack'

October 27, 2021 - from Arutz Sheva

"Jewish freedom of religion is under direct attack across Europe from the very institutions that have vowed to protect our communities, says European Jewish Association Chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin, after the Greek Supreme Court ruled that slaughter without stunning violates EU law.

"The move comes as a consequence of the European Court of Justice Ruling last December that member countries may ban the practice of ritual slaughter in order to promote animal welfare, without infringing the rights of religious groups.

"The December ruling said that the EU’s animal slaughter regulation 'does not preclude member states from imposing an obligation to stun animals prior to killing which also applies in the case of slaughter prescribed by religious rites', but encouraged member states to find a balance.

"It is now clear that a number of member states are zealously applying the former whilst ignoring the latter.

"In a statement this evening, the Chairman of the Brussels-based European Jewish Association, which represents hundreds of communities across the continent, said: 'We warned in December about the downstream consequences that the European Court of Justice ruling carried with it, and now we see the outcome. Jewish Freedom of Religion is under direct attack. It started in Belgium, moved to Poland and Cyprus and now it is Greece’s turn.

"'These direct attacks are coming from many of the same governments and institutions who have sworn to protect their Jewish Communities. What we are witnessing is rank hypocrisy. When it comes to antisemitism, governments and institutions rightly stand behind us. But when our faith and practice is assailed left and right by laws, they are nowhere to be seen, nowhere to be found. What use is it to protect Jews while legislating fundamental pillars of our religion out of existence?

"'We will be urgently making representations to the highest levels of the Greek government to get direct answers to this simple but fundamental question: How can there be Jews in Europe if you keep bringing in laws against us?'"

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1208

artnaturals® Issues Voluntary Recall of Limited Batches of 8oz Bottles of Scent Free Hand Sanitizer Due to Presence of Impurities

October 26, 2021 - from FDA

artnaturals is voluntarily recalling ten manufacturing lots of artnaturals 8oz Scent Free Hand Sanitizer. FDA testing identified 8oz bottles of Scent Free Hand Sanitizer from a single manufacturing lot: G20128A, contained several impurities. Upon being contacted by the FDA, artnaturals responded immediately to proactively address the matter out of an abundance of caution. After multiple communications with the FDA, the two groups have mutually agreed that artnaturals will issue a voluntary recall of 10 manufacturing lots of 8oz Scent Free Hand Sanitizer.

The product is used to remove germs on hands that may cause illness when soap and water are not available and is packaged in 8 oz clear bottles. The voluntarily recalled ten manufacturing lots of artnaturals 8oz bottles of SCENT FREE hand sanitizer are as follows:

MFG Date

MFG Batch #

MFG LOT #

EXPIRE DATE

UPC #

5/5/2020 8737 G20126E 5/1/2022 816820028205
5/6/2020 8730 G20127D 5/1/2022 816820028205
5/6/2020 8730 G20127A 5/1/2022 816820028205
5/6/2020 8737 G20127A 5/1/2022 816820028205
5/6/2020 8733 G20127E 5/1/2022 816820028205
5/7/2020 8735 G20128D 5/1/2022 816820028205
5/7/2020 8739 G20128F 5/1/2022 816820028205
5/7/2020 8733 G20128A 5/1/2022 816820028205
5/7/2020r 8733 G20128A 5/1/2022 816820028205
5/8/2020r 8735 G20129B 5/1/2022 816820028205
5/8/2020 8739 G20129C 5/1/2022 816820028205
5/9/2020r 8735 G20130B 5/1/2022 816820028205

Product purchased from Walmart, Target, Costco, RiteAid, Publix, HEB and Amazon were not affected. artnaturals has notified the affected retailer by letter and arranged a return of all affected product. Consumers that have this recalled product should stop using and appropriately discard it.

Consumers may contact artnaturals Customer Experience with questions or to request a refund by calling 1-855-278-4488 Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm Pacific Time. Consumers should contact their physician or healthcare provider if they have any questions or concerns related to using this drug product.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1207

Liberman’s Tax Pushes Up Coke Prices, Sugar & Diet

October 21, 2021 from The Jewish Press:

"Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman on Wednesday signed the decree imposing a tax on sugary drinks (more than 5 grams of sugar per 100 ml of drink) and diet drinks. The tax on sugary drinks will be about 30 agorot (9¢) less than was planned and will amount to one shekel (31¢) per one liter (quart) of drink. The tax on diet drinks will not change – 70 agorot (22¢) per liter. The taxes will take effect on January 1.

"The tax is determined by the quantity and will be especially significant when it comes to family-size bottles. A family-size Coca-Cola bottle, for example, which currently costs NIS 6.9 ($2.15) at the popular Shufersal chain, will increase by NIS 1.5 and will cost NIS 8.4 ($2.62), making the tax 21% of the original price. A family-size bottle of Cola Zero will cost NIS 7.95 ($2.48) after the tax instead of the current NIS 6.9 – a tax of 15% of the original price.

"The tax on canned drinks will be less significant: a 330 ml sweet drink can will increase by 33 agorot (10¢) (about 6% of the can’s price), while a diet can will increase by only 23 agorot (7¢).

"Liberman’s signing of the order was preceded by great pressure from the soft drinks industry and its lobbyists in recent weeks in an attempt to abolish the tax or at least abolish the tax on diet drinks, which have the largest and ever-expanding market share. Among other things, attempts were made to challenge the professional determinations of the Health Ministry regarding the harm of sugar and sugary drinks, which were based on studies from 20 years ago.

"Haredi politicians as well as the Haredi press claim that this government decree is aimed against their constituents and directly harms the Haredi public who is a significant consumer of sugary drinks."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1206
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