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American Airlines to Launch New Direct Flights Between New York and Israel

January 24, 2021: from the Algemeiner:

"American Airlines is scheduled to begin a new direct flight this spring between New York and Israel, traveling to and from John F. Kennedy International Airport and Ben-Gurion International Airport."

"While the new direct route was announced in July, the date for the new launch (May 6) and the date for ticket sales (Jan. 25) are new."

"Flights will feature kosher food available for pre-order and kosher wine for passengers, regardless of their seating."

"Additionally, a direct American Airlines route between Dallas and Tel Aviv is scheduled to begin in September."

"American Airlines previously operated flights between Philadelphia and Tel Aviv; that route ended in 2015."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1143

Rapala USA Recalls Rechargeable Fillet Knives Due to Fire Hazard

January 19, 2021 - from CPSC :

Rapala® Rechargeable Fillet Knives (Item No. RRFN) has been recalled because the battery can overheat and catch fire if non-Rapala chargers are used to charge the battery.

This recall involves the Rapala Rechargeable Fillet Knife with item number RRFN. The knife handles are black and gray. The Rapala logo is printed in red on the handle, along with the word ION in white.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled rechargeable fillet knife, remove the battery and look for a white ETL label on the battery. If the battery does not have a white ETL label, consumers should contact Rapala USA for a free replacement battery and for pre-paid return of the old battery to Rapala for proper disposal.

Rapala USA has received reports of 12 batteries overheating and catching fire, in some cases causing damage to surrounding areas. No injuries have been reported.

Sold At: Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Fleet Farm and sporting goods stores nationwide and online at rapala.com from March 2011 through December 2018 for about $101.

Consumer Contact: Rapala USA at 800-874-4451, by email atcustserv@rapalausa.com, or online at rapala.com and click the recall button for more information.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1142

Sea to Summit Recalls Camping Pots Due to Burn and Scald Hazards

January 13, 2021 - from CPSC :

Sea to Summit Alpha and Sigma camping pots have been recalled because the nylon latch can disengage from the pot and cause the handle to detach, posing burn and scald hazards.

Consumer Contact: Sea to Summit toll-free at 888-201-4977 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. MT Monday through Friday, email at productsafety@seatosummit.com or online at www.seatosummit.com/productsafety or www.seatosummit.com and click on “Product Safety” at the bottom of the page for more information.

This recall involves Sea to Summit aluminum Alpha and stainless-steel Sigma camping pots with a black Nylon latch that keeps the handle in the open position while in use. Both the Alpha and Sigma camping pots also come with a lid. These pots were sold in 1.2, 1.9, 2.7- and 3.7-liter sizes and are used for cooking while camping. The Alpha pots are a matte gray and the Sigma pots are polished stainless steel and black. The pots have “Sea to Summit” written on the front, along with the pot size. The Alpha pots state “Hard Anodised Compact Cooking System” below the name and size; the Sigma pots state “Premium Stainless-Steel Compact Cooking System.” Handle usage guidelines and warnings are also written on the side of the pot. Only pots with a black latch that does NOT have a screw are part of this recall. The pots were sold individually and as part of camping cookware sets.

The full list of recalled products is here

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled Alpha and Sigma pots with a black Nylon latch and contact Sea to Summit for a free latch repair kit.

Sold At: REI stores and other sporting goods stores nationwide and online at REI.com nationwide from January 2019 through November 2020 for between $40 and $130.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1141

This new delivery service cuts down on takeout waste by sending your food in reusable packaging

January 7, 2021 from the Fast Company

"If you order from DeliverZero, a third party delivery service in New York City, your food will look different than the usual pile of plastic containers: instead, it will come in reusable clamshells. Then, the next time you order takeout from the platform, you can hand over those containers to the delivery driver and they’ll be returned to a participating restaurant, washed, and reused for another delivery."

"Nationwide, food and packaging containers together account for almost 45% of landfill materials in the U.S. That’s not all takeout waste, but with the online food delivery market growing—it’s expected to be worth $200 billion by 2025—it’s easy to see how single use waste from food delivery adds up, especially during a pandemic that’s forcing more people to order in."

"DeliverZero replicates other third party delivery services like GrubHub or UberEats: You go to the website, enter your address, place your order; and the restaurant will see the order come in on a tablet. But when they fill that order, they’ll pack it up in DeliverZero’s reusable containers, and use delivery drivers who know to accept those empty containers back."

"The platform has more than 100 restaurant partners, up from five when it first launched in November 2019, and Farbiarz says they’re adding about five to ten new restaurants a week. DeliverZero chose to make its own delivery platform, rather than partner with existing ones like other reusable container companies, because it solves the often-annoying problem of returning the reusables."

"Customers can also return the containers—which are made out of a sturdy, BPA-free polypropylene plastic and good for up to 1,000 uses, the company says—by dropping them off at any participating restaurant. After ordering food, customers have six weeks to return the containers, and if they don’t, they’ll be charged $3.25 plus tax for each container they keep."

"Though each container is a bit pricey compared to disposables (which can cost around 75 cents a piece), DeliverZero says its reusables will save restaurants money in the long run. The platform doesn’t charge per container so restaurants don’t feel pressured to use fewer than necessary, or have fees for signing up or using its tablet. It does charge a commission based off of the amount of food a restaurant sells, which the startup says is typically about half of what the larger delivery services take for restaurants that handle their own delivery and two-thirds for restaurants it delivers for."

"DeliverZero will expand to Amsterdam this winter and then to Chicago. "

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1140

USDA plans to change ‘no nitrate or nitrite added’ regulations

January 5, 2021 from the Food & Beverage Insider

"USDA recently responded to a petition filed by two consumer groups over certain statements on processed meats.

"An agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture intends to propose barring the statements, “No Nitrate or Nitrite Added” and “Uncured” on products that have been processed using any source of nitrates or nitrites—substances that preserve processed meats like bacon, hot dogs and deli corn beef.

"The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) made the disclosure in a Dec. 10 letter to a representative of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), which along with another consumer organization, requested the relief more than a year ago."

"While “No Nitrate or Nitrite Added” statements containing non-synthetic sources of nitrates or nitrites must contain a disclaimer that identifies the non-synthetic source, the disclaimer is confusing to consumers, according to a 2019 petition by CSPI and Consumer Reports. And the consumer groups argued labels like “Uncured” and “No Nitrate or Nitrite Added” for meats processed from non-synthetic sources, such as celery powder, may mislead consumers into thinking the products are healthier than their competitors."

"'Both synthetic and non-synthetic nitrates and nitrites may cause cancer, and product testing results released today by Consumer Reports show that processed meats made with celery powder and other non-synthetic sources of nitrates and nitrites can contain residues of these substances, just as do meats that use synthetic sources,' the consumer groups wrote in their Aug. 29, 2019 petition to FSIS."

"The petition was met with opposition from the National Turkey Federation, which urged FSIS to keep its current regulations, noting the role of nitrates and nitrites in eliminating the risk of botulism in certain products."

"In the recent letter to Sarah Sorscher, CSPI’s deputy director of regulatory affairs, an FSIS official, Rachel Edelstein, said her agency was partially granting the consumer groups’ petition. In addition to plans to bar the statements, "No Nitrate or Nitrite Added" and "Uncured" on products that have been processed using any source of nitrates or nitrites, FSIS also intends to approve non-synthetic sources of nitrates or nitrites as curing agents."

"'However, rather than requiring disclosure statements about the use of nitrate or nitrites on labels of meat and poultry products, as requested in the petition, FSIS intends to propose to amend and clarify its meat and poultry labeling regulations to establish new definitions for ‘Cured’ and ‘Uncured,’' Edelstein wrote.

"'When consumers see a claim like ‘no nitrates added’ on meat, they think the product is healthier,' Sorscher said in a press release in response to FSIS’ letter to her. “A lot of us are surprised to find out that a healthy food like celery can be extensively processed to make the same compounds in the body as synthetic nitrites do when eaten. Removing the ‘no nitrates’ claims will help, but without a clear disclosure many consumers are not going to recognize that these meats are processed with nitrates and nitrites.”?

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1139

Aleph Farms in agreement to make cultured steaks for Japan

January 5, 2021 from the Meatingplace

"Israel-based Aleph Farms Ltd. has signed a memorandum of understanding with Mitsubishi Corp.’s Food Industry Group to bring cultivated whole muscle meat to the Japanese table as early as 2022."

"Aleph Farms will provide its scalable manufacturing platform (BioFarm) for cultivation of whole-muscle steaks. Mitsubishi will provide its expertise in biotechnology processes, branded food manufacturing and local distribution channels in Japan.'

"The agreement also ties in with the Japanese government's goal of achieving zero greenhouse gas emissions. In April 2020, Aleph Farms committed to eliminating emissions associated with its meat production by 2025 and reach the same net-zero emissions across its entire supply chain by 2030."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1138

Is cleaning, sanitizing enough to establish 'sanitary' conditions?

October 12, 2020 from the National Provisioner

"According to industry estimates, at least one-third of food recalls in North America may directly be related to sanitation, hygiene and material handling issues in food facilities. On an associative note, the CDC lists unsanitary equipment and surfaces as one of the top five contributing factors of foodborne illness outbreaks."

"In summary, we cannot rely only on cleaning and sanitizing surfaces to achieve the broader sanitation goal of keeping food safe across the process chain. An emphasis on hygienic zoning, building and tools combined with personnel hygiene and preventive maintenance are other key controllability factors that need to be explored in this vital risk-based decision equation."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1137

Essaar Inc. Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Rubbing Alcohol Contaminated with Methanol

January 4, 2020 from the FDA

Essaar Inc. is voluntarily recalling lot 200528303 of Soho Fresh 70% Rubbing Alcohol in 33.81 oz. clear plastic bottles to the consumer level. FDA analysis of the product revealed it is contaminated with methanol.

The product is used as an external purpose use rubbing alcohol and is packaged in 33.81 oz. clear plastic bottles with lot number 200528303 and UPC 7502268987367.

Soho Fresh was distributed nationwide to retail stores. Essaar Inc. is notifying its distributors and customers by email and mail and is arranging for the return of all recalled product to Essaar Inc. Consumers that have product which is being recalled should stop using and discard or return to place of purchase or to Essaar Inc. contacting via email or phone or mailing address mentioned above for arrangements of return.

Consumers who have purchased this product should not open the package or use the contents. Instead, they should return the product to the location of purchase for a full refund or call Essaar Inc. at 201-647-7606 Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, Eastern Standard Time. Essaar Inc. can also be reached via email at essaarinc@yahoo.com. Consumers should contact their physician or healthcare provider if they have experienced any problems that may be related to taking or using this drug product.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1136

Trump administration rejects stricter advice on alchol and sugar

December 30, 2020 from the Politico

"The Trump administration has rejected an external scientific advisory committee’s recommendations that men should cut back on alcohol and that all individuals should further limit their intake of added sugars."

"The latest iteration of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, jointly released Tuesday by the Agriculture Department and the Department of Health and Human Services, mirrors what the government has long urged Americans to eat: more fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean meat; less sugar, salt and saturated fat."

"Rejecting stricter alcohol, added sugars advice: Government officials ultimately decided to not adopt the stricter alcohol recommendation, which had sparked furious pushback and lobbying from the alcohol industry."

"The advisory committee had also suggested the guidelines should take a harder line against added sugars, but USDA and HHS decided to keep the Obama-era advice that individuals try to not consume more than 10 percent of their calories from added sugars. (The committee had recommended dropping the limit down even further to 6 percent)."

"USDA and HHS officials said there wasn't enough evidence to recommend stricter limits for alcohol and added sugars, but they still emphasized that people cut back on both. The agencies said more research should be done."

"New advice for infants, toddlers, pregnant and lactating women: For the first time, the guidelines explicitly include advice for infants and toddlers as well as pregnant and lactating women."

"The government recommends that infants should be exclusively fed human milk until 6 months of age, when possible, and if not then fed iron-fortified infant formula. When infants are ready to begin adding solid foods, usually around 6 months, the government recommends that caregivers focus on nutrient dense foods to ensure babies get enough key nutrients like iron and zinc. Infants and toddlers should avoid foods with added sugars and limit foods that are higher in sodium." "The government recommends pregnant and lactating women consume a variety of nutrient-dense foods and beverages, including fruits and vegetables, seafood, eggs, lean meats, beans, lentils and low-fat dairy, while paying special attention to crucial nutrients, including folate/folic acid, iron, iodine and choline."

"New theme: Nutrient density: The theme for the 2020-2025 edition of the guidelines is “Make Every Bite Count,” a message that’s meant to encourage choosing nutrient dense foods and beverages, something that is particularly important for infants and toddlers."

"The guidelines recommend that 85 percent of an individual's calories should come from "nutrient dense" foods in five categories: vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy and protein. Just 15 percent of calories should come from foods that are higher in added sugars, salt or saturated fat or alcoholic beverages (this pencils out to between 250 to 350 calories for most people.)"

"In a media briefing, health officials acknowledged it is tricky to communicate what "nutrient dense" means to the public. Health officials suggested small shifts can be made, such as choosing sparkling water over soda; plain shredded wheat over the frosted kind; or plain low-fat yogurt with fruit instead of full fat yogurt with added sugars."

"Other examples include: choosing dark green, red and orange vegetables, whole fruits, eggs, lean meats, seafood, whole grains, low-fat dairy and fortified soy products."

Dietary Guideliens executive summary

Dietary Guidelines Report

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1135

US Policy Of Labeling West Bank Products As ‘Made In Israel’ Takes Effect

December 30, 2020 from the Vosizneias

"The U.S. policy of requiring products made in Israeli settlements in the West Bank as “Made in Israel” took effect last week, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection."

"CBP published a notice in The Federal Register, the daily journal of the U.S. government, on Dec. 23."

"The notice allows for a three-month transition period (until March 23) for manufacturers to comply with the new guidelines, which were issued by the U.S. State Department last month, requiring products manufactured in Israeli-controlled settlements in the West Bank to be labeled as “Israel,” “Product of Israel” or “Made in Israel” when exported to the United States."

"Products made in Palestinian Authority-controlled areas of the West Bank will be marked as products of “West Bank,” and goods produced in Gaza will be marked as products of “Gaza.” This rejects the “West Bank/Gaza” label that had been allowed since 1997."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1134
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