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Food News


Israeli Health Ministry advises some to don masks again as Jews gather for Rosh Hashanah

September 14, 2023 from the Times of Israel:

"The Health Ministry has advised some Israelis to start wearing masks again in reaction to a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations as the Jewish New Year begins. It also promised that COVID booster vaccines effective against the predominant new variants would be available soon.

"With families and friends getting together for Rosh Hashanah meals and large groups gathering in synagogues for prayer beginning Friday, the ministry recommended that the elderly and those with underlying health issues or compromised immune systems mask up, at least in indoor and enclosed spaces. Anyone— regardless of age or medical history — wanting to minimize their chances of catching COVID should consider wearing a mask.

"n an announcement released on Tuesday, the ministry also advised those with signs of illness to remain isolated at home until they are completely symptom-free. If they must go out, they should wear a mask to avoid infecting others. The ministry also recommended that people buy home COVID test kits and use them to determine whether their illness is caused by the SARS‑CoV‑2 virus."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1444

TJX Recalls Foldable Bistro Set Chairs Due to Fall Hazard; Sold at Marshalls, T.J. Maxx, HomeGoods and Homesense Stores

September 14, 2023 from the CPSC:

Foldable Bistro Set Chairs have been recalled because the wooden frame of the chair can break or collapse when a consumer is seated in the chair, posing a fall hazard.

Consumer Contact:

This recall involves wooden folding chairs sold as part of three-piece foldable bistro sets under the Panama Jack and House & Garden brands. The sets consist of one small wooden table and two foldable chairs made with wood frames and black, anthracite, navy blue, beige, olive green, or off-white roping on the seat and back. They have either a Panama Jack or House & Garden hangtag that includes the chair and table dimensions and “Made in Vietnam.” Chair dimensions are 16.53” x 20.47 x 32.28” and the folding table dimensions are 23.62 x 23.62 x 28.74.

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled chairs and contact TJX for instructions on how to receive a full refund and dispose of chairs. Consumers can also return the recalled chairs to any HomeGoods, Marshalls, T.J. Maxx, or Homesense store for a full refund.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1443

How a mere 12% of Americans eat half the nation’s beef, creating significant health and environmental impacts

August 30, 2023 from the Tulane.edu:

"A new study has found that 12% of Americans are responsible for eating half of all beef consumed on a given day, a finding that may help consumer groups and government agencies craft educational messaging around the negative health and environmental impacts of beef consumption.

"Those 12% – most likely to be men or people between the ages of 50 and 65 – eat what researchers called a disproportionate amount of beef on a given day, a distinction based on the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which suggest 4 ounces per day of meat, poultry, and eggs combined for those consuming 2200 calories per day.

"The study, published in the journal Nutrients, analyzed data from the CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which tracked the meals of more than 10,000 adults over a 24-hour period. The global food system emits 17 billion tons of greenhouse gases a year, equivalent to a third of all planet-warming gases produced by human activity. The beef industry contributes heavily to that, producing 8-10 times more emissions than chicken, and over 50 times more than beans.

"The study, published in the journal Nutrients, analyzed data from the CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which tracked the meals of more than 10,000 adults over a 24-hour period. The global food system emits 17 billion tons of greenhouse gases a year, equivalent to a third of all planet-warming gases produced by human activity. The beef industry contributes heavily to that, producing 8-10 times more emissions than chicken, and over 50 times more than beans.

"Of the beef consumed on a given day, almost a third came from cuts of beef such as steak or brisket. But six of the top 10 sources were mixed dishes such as burgers, burritos, tacos, meatloaf or spaghetti with meat sauce. Some of these foods may offer an easy opportunity for disproportionate beef eaters to alter their dietary habits.

"Those below the age of 29 and above the age of 66 were least likely to eat large amounts of beef. Rose said this indicated that the younger generation might be more interested in mitigating the effects of climate change. "

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1442

Kroger, Albertsons plan to offload over 400 stores for close to $2 billion, sources say

September 6, 2023 from the Reuters:

"Kroger Co (KR.N) and Albertsons Cos Inc (ACI.N) are nearing a deal they hope will secure U.S. regulatory clearance for their proposed $24.5 billion merger, by selling more than 400 grocery stores to C&S Wholesale Grocers for nearly $2 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

"The deal would give privately held C&S, primarily a supplier rather than an operator of grocery stores, a much more significant footprint. It currently operates about two dozen stores under the Grand Union and Piggly Wiggly brands.

"The stores that Kroger and Albertsons plan to shed are primarily in the Pacific Northwest and the Mountain states, along with some in California, Texas, Illinois, and the East Coast, the sources said.

"An agreement may be reached as early as this week, they said, adding it remained unclear whether it will allay regulators' fears that a combined Kroger and Albertsons would have too much control over grocery prices.

"C&S has been looking to build its own store presence in a fiercely competitive market for supplying groceries. It lost one of its largest customers when Ahold Delhaize (AD.AS) decided to transition to self-distribution in 2019."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1441

Orthodox Union: SuperMeat Cell Line Meets Mehadrin Kosher Standards, Initiating A Kosher Meat Certification Process For The Cultivated Poultry Industry

September 6, 2023 from the Food Industry Executive:

"OU Kosher, the Kosher certification division of the Orthodox Union (OU), and the world’s largest and most widely recognized kosher certification agency, determined that the chicken cell line of SuperMeat, a leading cultivated meat company, meets Kosher meat Mehadrin standards. Following this acknowledgement, the parties are embarking on a thorough examination of the entire supply chain and the cultivated meat production process. This will establish clear guidelines for other enterprises in the cultivated meat sector. This historic endeavor is a pivotal moment in the overlap of religious dietary standards and advanced food technology in the cultivated meat industry and indicates for the first time a wide consensus among Jewish religious factions.

"The OU’s recognition came after a series of in-depth halachic discussions and scientific reviews. These reviews focused on avian embryogenesis and stem cells, including the observation of the excision of embryonic stem cells from a fertilized chicken egg prior to the appearance of blood spots.

"s part of the review process, SuperMeat hosted two key rabbinic delegations. The first included Rabbi Hershel Schachter, Rosh yeshiva (dean) at Yeshiva University (YU), and halakhic advisor for the kashrut division of the OU; Rabbi Asher Weiss, among the leading halachic judges in Israel, founder and head of Beis Din Darchei Torah and Beis Midrash Minchas Osher and Rav Yosef Zvi Rimon, Rabbi of the Gush Etzion Regional Council, Rabbi of Mada Toratecha (Science and Torah) and Rosh Yeshiva of the Jerusalem College of Technology (JCT) and founder of Sulamot. Each is an important, contemporary arbiter of Halacha (Jewish Law) and has written numerous books and decisions on the subject. They were accompanied by students and colleagues. On the second visit, SuperMeat hosted Rabbi Menachem Genack (see above). He was accompanied by students, Israeli rabbis and colleagues.

"Based on in-depth discussions and reviews, the OU has determined that SuperMeat’s poultry cell line development process has broad acceptance as the basis for a kosher, Mehadrin, meat product – the most stringent level of kosher supervision.

"With this decision, OU Kosher and SuperMeat embark on a groundbreaking project to bring high-quality, cultivated, poultry products produced with the highest level of kashrut supervision to future customers. This joint effort will serve as a guide for other cultivated meat companies seeking Kosher certification, opening new avenues for the kosher food industry.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1440

CPSC Warns Consumers to Immediately Stop Using iCraves Infant High Chairs Due to Suffocation, Entrapment, and Fall Hazards; Failure to Meet Federal Safety Standards

August 31, 2023 from the CPSC:

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is warning consumers to immediately stop using iCraves high chairs because they do not comply with federal safety standards for high chairs and for infant sleep products and pose a suffocation risk, as well as entrapment and fall hazards to infants.

The high chairs fail to meet performance requirements under the mandatory safety standard for high chairs, posing entrapment and fall hazards. The high chairs also fail to meet the safety requirements of CPSC’s Infant Sleep Products Rule and the Safe Sleep for Babies Act, because they were marketed for infant sleep and have an incline angle greater than 10 degrees, posing a suffocation risk. The high chairs and their packaging also lack a tracking label containing certain required information, such as the date of manufacture, which is required for children’s products including durable infant or toddler products.

The seller, Brosishop Ltd, of United Kingdom, doing business as iCraves, has been unresponsive to CPSC requests to recall the high chairs.

The high chairs were sold online at www.icraves.com for about $260. However, the website is no longer operational. The high chairs were sold in the following colors: peach pink, green, purple, and blue. The high chairs contain a recline feature to allow the baby to sleep. Bestbaby and model BS-806 are listed on the packaging. All labeling on the high chairs are in Mandarin.

CPSC urges consumers to stop using the high chairs immediately, disassemble the seat from the frame, cut the padding, and dispose of all the parts separately. Report any incidents involving injury or product defect to CPSC at www.SaferProducts.gov.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1439

TOMY Recalls Boon Flair and Flair Elite Highchairs Due to Fall Hazard

August 31, 2023 from the CPSC in conjuntion with Government of Canada:

Boon Flair & Flair Elite highchairs have been recalled the bolts used to secure the seat of the recalled highchair to the pedestal base can become loose and allow the seat to detach, posing a fall hazard.

Consumer Contact: TOMY toll-free at 866-725-4407 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. CT, Monday through Friday, or online at https://recall.tomy.com, or https://us.tomy.com and click on “Product Recalls” at the top of the page for more information.

This recall involves Boon Flair highchairs manufactured before September 2016, and all Boon Flair Elite highchairs. The recalled Flair Elite highchair has a white and orange molded plastic seat with a white tray and metal pedestal base. The Flair highchairs have a gray plastic pedestal base and were sold in 10 color combinations, including blue/white, white/orange, pink/white, green/white, gray/green, white, gray, white/gray, white/blue and red/white. The model numbers of the recalled highchairs are listed below. The model number and manufacturing date code are printed on a label located under the base of the highchair.

Flair Elite Highchair

Model No.



White / Orange

Flair Highchair

Model No.



Blue / White


White / Orange


Pink / White


Green / White


White / Orange


White / Blue


Red / White


Red / White


Green / White


White / Orange


White / Blue


White / Orange


Gray / Green


White / No Pad


Gray / No Pad


White / Gray

Remedy: Consumers should stop using the recalled highchairs immediately and contact TOMY for a free repair kit. Consumers will receive a set of bolts and split and flat washers to repair the recalled highchair.

Sold At: Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, Toys ‘R’ Us, and other stores nationwide, and online at Amazon.com, Target.com, Walmart.com, and BedBathAndBeyond.com. The Flair Elite was sold from 2008 to 2009 for about $380. The Flair models were sold from January 2008 through February 2017 for between $230 and $250.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1438

Electrolux Group Recalls Frigidaire Gas Cooktops Due to Risk of Gas Leak, Fire Hazard

August 31, 2023 from the CPSC:

Frigidaire Stainless-Steel 30-inch 4 Burner and 36-inch 5 Burner Gas Cooktops have been recalled because the plastic control knobs with a black shaft on the cooktop can crack or break during use, posing a risk of gas leak, fire hazard.

Consumer Contact: Online at www.Cooktopknobrecall.com or online at www.Frigidaire.com and click “Recall Information” under the “Owner Support” tab at the top of the homepage or under Customer Service at the bottom of the homepage for more information or by phone at 800-314-3998 Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET or via email at cooktopknobrecall@electrolux.com.

Description: This recall involves all Frigidaire Stainless-Steel 30-inch 4 Burner Gas Cooktops (model FFGC3026SS) and Frigidaire Stainless-Steel 36-inch 5 Burner Gas Cooktops (model FFGC3626SS) with control knobs with black shafts. The model number and serial number are located on a label on the underside of the unit. The cooktops have “FRIGIDAIRE” on the front, lower left corner. The following serial numbers are included in this recall:

Model Numbers Serial Numbers Serial Numbers
FFGC3026SS 1F00590006 through 1F11090155 3F53705075 through 3F01309052
FFGC3626SS 1F00590020 through 1F10390342 3F53703455 through 3F00806110

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1437

Listeria Outbreak – Where Was Soft Serve on the Go Made?

August 28, 2023: from the Food Poisoning Bulletin:

"A Listeria outbreak linked to Soft Serve on the Go ice cream has sickened at least two people, both of whom were hospitalized. The recalled ice cream cups were distributed to 19 states, Washington DC, and some international locations. But just where the products were made has been a mystery, until now.

"Real Kosher Ice Cream of Brooklyn issued a recall for the ice cream cups on August 9 and halted distribution of the products. A statement on the company’s website, says “Serve on the Go Cups are manufactured at their own dedicated facility.” But neither the recall nor the website statement indicates where that facility is located.

"It turns out, the mystery facility is located just blocks from Real Kosher Ice Cream. Soft Serve on the Go ice cream was made at Ice Cream House, LLC, located at 2 Church Avenue, in Brooklyn, a spokesperson for the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYDAM) told Food Poisoning Bulletin today. The agency conducted an inspection of the facility on August 7 and plans additional inspections as part of the outbreak investigation, she said.

"Ice Cream House makes several novelty ice cream products that are sold under different brand names. To date, tests on samples of those products have all been negative for Listeria, the spokesperson said.

"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) told Food Poisoning Bulletin that it has not inspected the facility where Soft Serve on the Go was made. The agency did, however, inspect Klein’s Real Kosher Ice Cream in May, the same month the first illness in the outbreak occurred. The agency gave that facility, located at 3614 15th Ave. in Brooklyn, just one voluntary citation."

The Kashrut.com recall information is here

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1436

Initiative Makes Kosher More Accessible in U.S. Navy

August 16, 2023: from the Chabad.org:

"When Petty Officer 2nd Class Daniel DiLiscia sets out this month for two years on the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier, the nuclear engineer and electrician is hopeful that his kosher-food experience will be better than it was during his first five years in the military. DiLiscia has endured long periods both on land and at sea, where he described himself as a “starving serviceman.”

"When he deployed on the USS Roosevelt just before Chanukah, 2020, kosher MREs (Meals, Ready to Eat—shelf-stable, self-contained food rations) did not arrive on the ship.

"'From Chanukah until Pesach, I ate salad with beans and tuna from cans. Your mouth goes numb. I started to look for kosher hot sauce to put on it. I worked 20 hours a day, was malnourished and lost 35 pounds.'

"As Passover approached, and DiLiscia and his shipmates were in the South China Sea, he was gearing up for a holiday without matzah and other kosher provisions. “The kosher kits were stuck in Australia,” he laments. 'Three hours before Pesach, a Pesach miracle occurred—boxes and boxes of matzah and other food arrived!'

"Thanks to a recent collaboration between the Navy, Chabad, the Aleph Institute and the Orthodox Union, eating nutritious kosher meals daily will be much easier for Jewish sailors on many of the 280 Navy vessels, which include aircraft carriers, cruisers and destroyers.

"New Agreements Cut Through Red Tape: While kosher food has technically been available for Jewish sailors for many years, sailors on board various naval vessels began sharing some of their frustrations and difficulties keeping kosher with Rabbi Elie Estrin, military personnel liaison for the Aleph Institute and editor of The Jewish-American Warrior.

"'There was kosher food on ships before,” said Estrin. “The issue was how to provide each type of ship with a unique and workable system.” He points out that different types of ships have different systems, storage capacities and methods for restocking at sea, and that keeping kosher aboard a naval vessel involves complex logistics, including carefully scripted food menus, limited storage space and resupply opportunities, and strict fire-safety and food-handling measures necessary on the Navy’s ships. “We set out to bridge the gap and show the Navy that they have kosher food on board and that it is not difficult to solve.'

"Standardizing New Systems With the Orthodox Union: After compiling feedback from kosher-observant sailors, Estrin patiently and systematically began to address the issues with the Navy in 2019. The process started with brainstorming sessions and phone conferences with the Navy’s senior Jewish chaplain, Cmdr. Aaron Kleinman, and a third individual, a Jewish Navy Supply Corps officer. They met with senior logistics officers who began studying the various problems and possibilities.

"While these conversations did not resolve every issue, a significant breakthrough occurred when Rabbi Eli Eleff got involved. Eleff, rabbinic coordinator and community relations for OU Kosher—the world's largest kosher supervisory agency—began consulting with Aleph on questions regarding military chaplaincy. Estrin quickly realized that Eleff had both the food systems knowledge and the organizational impact of the OU to move the process forward. A team got to work.

"Eleff worked closely with Kleinman, who was now stationed at Norfolk Naval Station in Virginia, and other senior Navy officials at Atlantic Fleet Force Command. Kleinman obtained permission for Eleff and senior OU kashrut supervisor Rabbi Daniel Sharratt to tour three ships docked at Norfolk Naval Base, including the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford, the amphibious assault vessel USS Bataan and the destroyer USS Cole. Chaplain Capt. Brian Stamm, Atlantic Fleet Force Command Chaplain, led the tour, accompanied by both Kleinman and Estrin.

"The work of the rabbis helped the Navy see that they were already on the road to providing a kosher experience to their sailors. The team found that 80% of dry foods and the fruits and vegetables used were already certified kosher or were inherently kosher.

"In addition, it became clear to the senior Navy staff that complications arise when foods are prepared in kitchens that cannot be made kosher. The rabbis helped the Navy see that there were usually simple ways to allow sailors to enjoy three nutritious kosher meals each day aboard most Naval vessels—as long as there is good communication and clear explanations about the basics of kashrut.

"Eleff and Sharratt next prepared a comprehensive report, which will be distributed to Naval supply officers, chaplains and Jewish sailors. It provides guidelines for requisitioning kosher supplies and how to use kosher meals on different classes of vessels."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1435
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