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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.

Bertolli Olive Oil Class Action Lawsuit Settled for $7M

April 6, 2018 from the TopClassActions:

"Deoleo USA Inc. has reportedly agreed to pay $7 million to settle a class action lawsuit alleging it made misrepresentations about Bertolli olive oil."
"According to the Bertolli class action lawsuit, Deoleo misrepresented Bertolli olive oil as being “Imported from Italy” and that it qualified as “extra virgin” olive oil through the “best by” date."
"The plaintiffs note that Deoleo has already removed the phrase “Imported from Italy” from its products and will not use similar phrasing unless the oil is entirely derived from olives grown and pressed in Italy."
"Deoleo has also reportedly started bottling its “extra virgin” olive oil in dark green bottles to protect the product from light degradation. Further, the plaintiffs say that Deoleo agrees to stricter testing protocols during the bottling process, to shorten the “best by” period, and to disclose the date of harvest on every bottle of Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil to help ensure the product meets “extra virgin” standards at the time of sale and use."
"Class Members of the proposed Bertolli settlement include anyone in the United States who purchased Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil since May 23, 2010 and anyone who purchased Bertolli olive oil labeled as “Imported from Italy” between May 23, 2010 and Dec. 31, 2015. Under the terms of the proposed Bertolli olive oil settlement, each Class Member will be entitled to a cash refund of up to $7.25 per bottle purchased. No proof of purchase will be required for Class Members submitting a claim for up to five bottles."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W709

One-third of spices sold in Canada spiked with fillers, says federal agency

April 8, 2018 from the Radio Canada International:

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) conducted 925 tests on 304 samples of sipeces in the 2016-17 fiscal year, compared to only 16 tests on four samples in the 2013-14 fiscal year.
"he tests show that nearly one third of spices sold in the country do not conform to the list of ingredients posted on product labels. Maple syrup and honey on the other hand get almost perfect scores – 99 per cent and 89 per cent compliance respectively."
"Food commodities and ingredients that are expensive and are part of complex supply chains are particularly vulnerable."
"An assessment of 54 suspected adulterated oregano samples revealed that almost 90 per cent of them contained at least one bulking agent, with a median level of adulteration of 50 per cent."
"Several experts say the best way to reduce the risk of buying spiked ground spices (and get much better flavour) is to buy the spices in their whole form and then grind them at home."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W708

Britain’s sugar tax on soft drinks comes into effect

April 6, 2018 from the GlobeAndMail and New Food Magazine

"Britain’s sugar tax on soft drinks came into effect on Friday, a move that will lead to some higher prices as the country seeks to battle childhood obesity."
"The levy applies a 24p rate to every litre of soft drinks that contain more than eight grams per 100 millilitres and an 18p rate to every litre of soft drinks that contain between five and eight grams of sugar per 100 millilitres."
"Over 50 percent of manufacturers have reformulated their products to be below the levy’s sugar threshold."
Editor's note: many of these reformulations have used white grape juice as a substitute for sugar, causing many products to no longer be kosher.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W705

Storeowner Forgets to Sell Chometz, Has to Burn 30,000 Shekels Worth of Products

April 8, 2018 from the Matzav.com:

"A supermarket owner in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood of Yerushalayim forgot to sell the chometz in his store, so, in the middle of Pesach, a local rov appeared in the store and ordered the chometz to be burned."
"Last year, the store’s mechiras chometz was taken care of by the owner’s brother."Last year, the brother "stopped working in the store, and the responsibility that lay on his shoulders fell to me, but I forgot to sell the chometz"
"On Thursday, the seventh day of Pesach, the rov of the neighborhood, Rav Matisyahu Deutsch, learned that the chometz was not sold. He entered the store at about noon and told the owner that all the chometz, worth tens of thousands of shekels, must be removed. Thus, in the midst of the chag, the entire stock of chometz was burned." "The inventory he burnt was worth about NIS 30,000."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W707

Vegan Ice Cream Market Expected to Grow

April 6, 2018 from the SpecialtyFoodNews:

"The global vegan ice cream market is expected to grow at a CAGR of about 9 percent from 2018-2022. The expanding global vegan population is a major factor driving the market's growth, and a key market trend is the rising popularity of vegan ice cream among millennials."
"The Americas dominated the vegan ice cream market in 2017 with around 45 percent share."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W706

Nothing Kosher About a Cloned Pig

March 26, 2018 from the TheJewishVoice:

The kosher status of cultured meat products generates lots of speculation as demostrated by the article below from Newsweek.
TheJewishVoice interviewed "Rabbi Menachem Genack, the head of the Orthodox Union’s division of kosher products told the NYP that a cloned pig is no more kosher than a traditional pig which has split hooves but does not chew its cud which renders it absolutely not kosher. 'That which derives from something that is not kosher is not kosher,'.


Israeli Rabbi Says Eating Cloned Pork is Kosher, Genetic Engineering Would Prevent Animal Suffering

March 21, 2018 from the Newsweek and JTA:

"Prominent Israeli Rabbi Yuval Cherlow says meat from a cloned pig would be considered kosher under Jewish dietary laws. Cherlow, who is a leading scholar on modern interpretations of Kashrut, is advocating for rabbinic approval of cloned meats in order to reduce animal suffering, decrease meat industry pollution and stamp out starvation."
"Cherlow says that because meat grown from cells in a lab would have lost its "identity," observant Jews would also be able to eat it alongside dairy products."
"Cherlow compares the rabbinic decision to allow for genetically engineered meat to the caveat decision allowing for consumption of gelatin mixed with the bones of 'forbidden' or 'unclean' animals." "'The leading halakhic authorities permitted eating gelatin from animal origin, claiming that in the process of production it loses its flavor, is not edible, and therefore is no longer considered edible, and there is no halachic prohibition against eating it.'"

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W704

Rabbi Berach Steinfeld Assumes Position of KIC Monitor

March 21, 2018 from the Matzav.com: :

Rabbi Steinfeld will serve as the monitor of the Kashrus Information Center KIC in Brooklyn after the retirement of Rav Moshe Weiner, who served as the KIC monitor for the last 19 years. The KIC monitors the kashrus standards of Flatbush food establishments.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W703

Threat to kosher slaughter in Canada averted: CIJA

March 15, 2018 from the CJN: :

"A possible threat to the production of kosher meat in Canada has been averted, according to the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), which intervened with federal authorities to rectify a situation it described as 'urgent.'"
"The problem arose following changes to the “interpretation” of Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) regulations concerning the prevention of animal suffering, which, according to CIJA, could have ended shechitah (Jewish ritual slaughter)."
"The veal production practices of three abattoirs in Ontario and Quebec were brought into question by the CFIA. They collectively supply all of Canada’s kosher veal market and 85 per cent of the U.S. market, said CIJA CEO Shimon Koffler Fogel."
"Moreover, he said that it 'became clear the ruling would quickly be applied to all abattoirs, threatening the entire range of kosher beef, calf and lamb products.'"
"The changes came about, at least in part, as a result of the free trade agreement reached between Canada and the European Union last year."
"CIJA appealed to Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay, to prevent the federal government from imposing regulations that would make shechitah illegal. A series of meetings and inspections culminated in a site evaluation by senior CFIA officials, CIJA and rabbinical representatives on March 7."
"Fogel said that, “A clear consensus was reached that confirms shechitah as a humane and approved method of animal slaughter.”
"He emphasized that, 'CFIA officials were deeply respectful and saw the continued supply of kosher meat as an important part of their own mandate.'"
"Fogel said that the section on animal welfare in the CFIA manual was at the centre of the matter." “In particular, the discussion revolved around the criteria used to determine ‘sensibility,’ or more precisely, ‘insensibility’ – that is, at what point does the animal become insensible to pain or stimulus?” he explained.
"The basic measurements include such signs as eye movement, tongue control, sounds made, ability to stay upright and breathing rhythm."
"In 2014, the CFIA updated its manual and since then, its regulations have become more in line with international standards, notably those outlined in the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, the free trade agreement between Canada and the EU, which came into force in September." "In the matter at hand, the criterion of “rhythmic breathing was confused with agonal breathing and triggered some concerns on the part of CFIA officials that animals were being hoisted before the onset of insensibility,” he said.|
"Veal production was singled out because of anatomical differences between calves and full-grown cattle, Fogel added. 'The criteria are less precise in calves, who have not fully developed the musculature of a mature animal. So anomalies in breathing patterns, for example, (may be) present in calves, but not once the animal reaches maturity.'"

"Fogel said that CFIA regulations will be rewritten “to reflect the consensus understanding achieved over the last couple of weeks,” which he is confident will prevent future disruptions at kosher slaughter facilities."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W702

InSinkErator® Recalls SinkTop™ Switch Accessory for Garbage Disposals Due to Fire Hazard

March 6, 2018 from the CPSC in Conjunction With Healthy Canadians: :

InSinkErator Single Outlet SinkTop Switches have been recalled because water can get into the power module, posing a fire hazard.
This recall involves InSinkErator Single Outlet SinkTop Switches. The air activated switch mounts to the sink or countertop and is an alternative to the traditional wall switch for a garbage disposal. The model numbers are 76703, STS-SOSN, 78251 and 74300, and can be found on the back of the power module. InSinkErator is written on the front of the power module. The switches were sold with a chrome, white, or satin nickel button/bezel as an accessory for garbage disposals. Garbage disposals activated by a wall switch are not affected by this recall.
The switches were sold between 2005 and October 2017 at home improvement stores, online websites and through plumbing contractors and outlets for between about $50 and $90.
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled switches and contact InSinkErator for a free SinkTop switch replacement.
Consumer Contact: InSinkErator toll-free at 855-215-5695 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or online at www.insinkerator.com and click on “Safety Notice”, or insinkeratorsafetynotice.expertinquiry.com for more information.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W701

Poll: Should non-stun slaughter be banned in the UK?

March 7, 2018

You can participate in a poll ast whether religious slaughter should be banned in the UK at www.fwi.co.uk/livestock/poll-should-non-stun-slaughter-be-banned-in-the-uk.htm

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W700
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