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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.

How the Orthodox Union is keeping kosher baby formula coming during the formula shortage

August 20, 2022 - from the eJewishPhilantropy:

"In February, a baby formula production facility in Sturgis, Mich., run by Abbott Laboratories, was shut down over reports of bacterial contamination. Combined with record inflation and supply chain issues, by May roughly 40% of baby formula products were out of stock across the U.S.

"Among the Americans hit hardest by the formula shortage are members of the Orthodox Jewish community, which has more than double the average U.S. birth rate and only uses kosher-certified formulas (deemed to be in accordance with Jewish dietary law) – meaning, more mouths to feed with fewer choices of formula.

"But soon came a way for the OU to ease the pressure on Orthodox Jewish families: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which traditionally blocks most baby formula imports, relaxed its rules to allow companies to bring in formulas from overseas to address the shortage.

"Kosher certification takes about 2-3 weeks, with rabbis checking both the ingredients of the formula, and what other ingredients are handled by factory equipment to avoid contamination with non-kosher material.

"After the ingredient check, rabbis do a physical inspection of the production facility to make sure their information is accurate, and to check any other issues that may come up. Once the OU’s requirements are met, the plant receives the certification. Companies pay a fee for the certification.

"For all the effort going into certifying overseas baby formula plants, it isn’t clear how long that certification will be relevant to the U.S. market. The FDA may restrict imports of baby formula once it feels the shortage is over."


USDA Extends Flexibility that’s Helping Manufacturers, States get Formula to WIC Families

September 1, 2022 - from the USD:

"The U.S. Department of Agriculture is extending a key funding flexibility in the WIC program that has allowed state agencies and their infant formula manufacturers to work together to provide more options for WIC families in need of formula. Under this flexibility – which is now extended through the end of October– USDA is covering the added cost of non-contract formula to make it financially feasible for states to allow WIC participants to purchase alternate sizes, forms, or brands of infant formula."

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