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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.

Newer news

Starbucks unveiled braised pork latte in China for Lunar New Year

February 20, 2024 from the Euromeat:

"Starbucks is betting on that unusual combination with a new drink released in China to mark the Lunar New Year. Dubbed the “Abundant Year Savory Latte,” the brand describes it as having an “interesting” flavor.

"The drink combines Dongpo Braised Pork Flavor Sauce with espresso and steamed milk, with extra pork sauce and pork breast meat for garnish, according to Starbucks.

"The drink combines Dongpo Braised Pork Flavor Sauce with espresso and steamed milk, with extra pork sauce and pork breast meat for garnish, according to Starbucks."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1510

BRS and BULin Liquid Fuel Bottles Recalled Due to Risk of Poisoning, Burn, and Flash Fire; Violation of the Children’s Gasoline Burn Prevention Safety Act and the Portable Fuel Container Safety Act; Sold Exclusively on Amazon.com by WAOLi

February 15, 2024 from the CPSC :

BRS and BULin Liquid Fuel Bottles have been recalled because the portable fuel bottles do not meet the child-resistant requirements for closures under the Children's Gasoline Burn Prevention Act (CGBPA). The closure for the products is not child-resistant, posing a risk of burn and poisoning to children. The 530mL BRS bottle was manufactured after the Portable Fuel Container Safety Act (PFCSA) became effective and lacks a flame mitigation device, posing a flash fire hazard.

Consumer Contact: Email at lyuxia3k@163.com or online at their Amazon seller profile, Amazon.com Seller Profile: WAOLi.

Description: This recall involves WAOLi’s BRS and BULin portable liquid fuel bottles manufactured from February 2023 to July 2023, sold individually and as a pair. The BRS bottle is orange with a black cap and was sold in 500mL, 530mL, and 750mL capacities. The BULin bottle is red with a red cap and was sold in 1500mL capacity. “BRS” or “BULin,” the bottle’s volume, warnings, and/or directions appear in white lettering on the bottles.

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled fuel bottles and place them out of reach to children. To receive a full refund, WAOLi is asking consumers to initial and date the bottles, and then submit a photo of them in the trash along with their refund request.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1509

Electrolux Group Recalls Frigidaire Rear-Controlled Ranges Due to Electrical Shock and Electrocution Hazards

February 15, 2024 from the CPSC in conjunction with Government of Canada:

Frigidaire rear-controlled ranges have been recalled because the control panel (user interface) on the ranges can detach from the unit, posing electrical shock and electrocution hazards.

Consumer Contact: Electrolux Group toll-free at 877-232-6822 from 8:30 a.m. through 8 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, by email at rangeuirecall@electrolux.com, or online at www.rangeuirecall.com or www.frigidaire.com and click on “Recall Information” at the top of the page for more information.

This recall involves select Frigidaire brand rear-controlled ranges produced from October 2023 through November 2023 with electronic control panels and the following model and serial numbers within these ranges here.

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled Frigidaire rear-controlled ranges and contact Electrolux Group for a free repair/professional installation of a new control panel. Consumers should not use the range while awaiting the service call. Consumers should unplug the unit until repaired by an authorized servicer.

Sold At: Lowe’s and other appliance stores nationwide and online from October 2023 through December 2023 for between $790 and $1,050.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1508

Char-Broil Recalls Digital Electric Smokers Due to Risk of Electric Shock

February 15, 2024 from the CPSC in conjunction with Government of Canada:

Digital Electric Smokers have been recalled because the smokers can leak electrical current during use, posing an electric shock hazard.

Consumer Contact: Char-Broil toll-free at 833-206-4647 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET Monday through Saturday, email at recall@charbroil.com, online at www.charbroil.com and click on “Product Recalls” under “Parts & Support” or www.charbroil.com/recalls for more information.

This recall involves Char-Broil digital electric smokers with the following model descriptions: Digital Electric Smoker; Digital Electric Smoker w/Window; Digital Electric Smoker, Black w/Window; Digital Electric Smoker, Medallion; Digital Electric Smoker, Connected; and Digital Electric Smoker, XL. These electric smokers were designed and intended only for outdoor use to cook without charcoal. The smokers were sold in black and stainless-steel finishes. The “Char-Broil” logo plate is on the front of the unit. The product label is located on the outside back of the unit and includes the model and serial numbers and brand information. UPC codes, located on the packaging, are included in this recall with the model description and item numbers here :

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled electric smokers and contact Char-Broil for a free repair kit. The repair kit consists of a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (“GFCI”) plug (also known as a “pigtail”), a clamshell enclosure to secure the GFCI pigtail, and a cable clamp. Instructions for installing each of these repair kit items will also be provided.

Incidents/Injuries: Char-Broil received 79 reports of consumers who experienced a minor electric shock from touching the smokers while in use, including one report of a consumer developing a finger blister after the shock.

Sold At: Lowe’s, Menards, Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, Target and other stores nationwide, and online at Amazon.com, HSN.com and Charbroil.com from April 2015 through January 2024 for between $300 and $600.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1507

Experts Say Consumer Prices Will Stay High

February 15, 2024 from the Specialty Food News:

"In January, core consumer prices rose at a rate higher than expected: 3.9 percent, reports The Wall Street Journal. Companies continue to hold consumer prices as wages and expenses continue to take a larger share of profits, however, businesses could also be boosting profits as commodity prices decrease.

"The report notes that executives at companies across consumer-facing industries have said in recent earnings calls that they noticed commodity deflation in 2023; however, the only price cuts on the horizon are strategic, and in some cases, businesses are even raising prices.

"'Structural inflationary factors such as higher wage rates, transportation costs, and other overhead items are all still supporting higher product costs,' said Tractor Supply chief financial officer Kurt Barton.

"Although food prices at grocery stores have stabilized, inflation at restaurants was up 5.1 percent year-over-year in January, above the Fed’s two percent inflation target.

"One restaurant chain, Kura Sushi USA, experienced four percent deflation in commodities, but increased prices by nine percent, the company said in early January."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1506

Top EU human rights court upholds bans on halal, kosher slaughter in Belgium

February 13, 2024 from the The Times of Israel:

"The bans in Belgium on the slaughter of animals without stunning neither interfere with freedom of religion nor constitute discrimination, the European Court of Human Rights rules.

"he ruling Tuesday by the tribunal in Strasbourg, France, is on a petition filed by Muslim groups against the bans introduced in 2019 in two out of three Belgian regions. The ruling is final as the Strasbourg court is the highest instance with jurisdiction to review the bans.

"Jewish and Muslim groups in Belgium oppose the bans, which they view as an unreasonable infringement on religious freedoms. The bans cite the widespread view that slaughter without stunning is cruel to animals. Advocates of Jewish slaughter, or shechita, argue that when performed correctly, that technique does not result in excessive suffering for animals. Defenders of the Muslim variant, d’biha, argue the same.

"Many observant Jews and Muslims do not consume meat that isn’t kosher or halal, respectively. For meat to be labeled as such, the animals from which it is produced must be healthy and conscious when their necks are cut.

"Multiple countries in the European Union and beyond have laws limiting or outlawing slaughter without stunning.

"Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, President of the Conference of European Rabbis, calls the ruling 'a black day for Europe,' adding that 'the Jewish and Muslim communities of Europe will continue to fight for religious freedoms and equality,' but “that task is now made all the harder."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1505

IDF base to remain kosher for Passover as High Court rejects petition

February 11, 2024 from the Jerusalem Post:

"Leavened bread will remain banned from IDF bases during Passover as the High Court of Justice rejected a petition on Sunday that sought to limit the restrictions to common dining areas.

"The ruling found that the injury to the rights of those who wished to consume leavened food products was limited in proportion to the needs of the military and those keeping Passover dietary restrictions.

"The petition argued that the military’s orders banning leavened food, or “hametz,” violated Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty by infringing on the constitutional right of autonomy of choosing their food and freedom of religion of soldiers, forcing them to observe facets of the holiday.

"The army will continue to serve kosher food to its soldiers

"The IDF said that the military has no policy for searching soldiers entering bases or their personal belongings for hametz. The IDF also said that it would improve procedures for addressing complaints connected to the matter.

"There is an important public interest in the army’s provision of kosher food for soldiers. It would be difficult for religious soldiers to live in close quarters with others if they were in possession of Hametz, and the tensions that would arise would damage the routine and unit cohesion.

"Steinitz contended that the injury to rights was relatively low in the face of the need for a kosher for Passover base. The dietary restrictions were only in effect for a few days each year, and the number of those affected is small since many soldiers are given holiday leave or leave base at the end of the day.

"The petition was submitted in 2021 by the secular forum, the Hiddush organization for freedom of religion and equality, and parents whose children were serving or were to serve in the IDF."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1504

Israeli burger chains go strictly kosher to support soldiers, war effort

February 9, 2024 from the JNS:

"Some branches of Israel’s largest hamburger fast-food chains—McDonald’s, Burger Ranch and BurgerIM—will start enforcing the higher kosher standards to support Israel Defense Force soldiers who only eat mehadrin-certified meat, local media reported on Thursday.

"The move, an initiative of the Israel Defense Forces rabbinate in cooperation with global kashrut organizations, seeks to ensure that Jewish soldiers of different religious backgrounds can all enjoy food donated by Israeli civilians who seek to support the war effort.

"Also on Thursday, Domino’s Pizza Israel opened strictly kosher branches in Tel Aviv Port and the nearby suburb of Givatayim. The chain intends to open two additional mehadrin branches in central Israel’s Sharon district."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1503

The Shortsighted Effort to Ban Cell-Cultivated Meat in Some States

February 6, 2024 from the Time:

"Cell-cultivated meat—meat grown from animal cells rather than taken from slaughtered animals—seems to be the hottest topic in food right now. Everyone from veteran chefs to tech moguls seem eager to get involved. Lawmakers in a growing number of states, however, aren’t quite as jazzed about it.

"At the end of January, Florida’s House and the Senate Agriculture Committee approved a bill introduced by Republican Rep. Danny Alvarez that would not only ban the production and sale of cell-cultivated meat, but would make it a second-degree misdemeanor. If the bill is passed by the state Senate, effective this summer the culinary crime would be punishable with a fine of up to $1,000, plus suspension or closure of the restaurant, store, or other business in question. Similarly, Arizona Republican Rep. David Marshall proposed a bill on Jan. 16 banning the sale of cell-cultivated meat. The bill would also allow Arizona business owners to sue cell-cultivated meat companies for damages to their profits.

"It’s hard to believe that these measures are really designed for “consumer protection,” especially when so many of the people supporting the legislation have expressed their actual motivation: money, and in the pockets of a select few. One Arizona Republican explicitly stated that his desire is to “protect” the cattle ranching industry; another Arizona representative is a cattle rancher himself. It doesn’t take a detective to realize that defending the status quo is really what it’s all about.

"But interfering with the rise of cell-cultivated meat is almost certainly a bad economic decision in the long run. The idea of the government deciding to privilege one industry over another should already be abhorrent to free market Republicans on principle. Anyone who believes in capitalism should theoretically bristle at the thought of the government overriding the laws of supply and demand. If it’s a bad product for whatever reason, the people won’t want it and it will fail anyway, so the logic goes. If “real” beef is truly all-around better, what does the cattle industry have to fear?

"The states expressing hostility toward cell-cultivated meat are just limiting their own opportunities for economic growth. By all appearances, cell-cultivated meat will continue to grow in popular interest, and an innovation gap is going to develop between the states that support progress and those that reject it.

"Meanwhile, other countries like Israel, Singapore, and China are actively funding or otherwise supporting the development of cell-cultivated meat, perhaps out of recognition that factory farming—how 99% of meat is produced in the U.S.—is a nasty business. It’s responsible for 15% of greenhouse gas emissions; it produces antibiotic-resistant bacteria and zoonotic diseases; and it is unkind to animals, to say the least. Cell-cultivated meat sidesteps all these issues. If we seriously want America to continue to be a nation that leads in technology and innovation, we can’t continue draconically resisting change while other countries forge ahead. Even some of the world’s biggest meat conglomerates are developing cell-cultivated meat.

"By refusing to change with the times, politicians may be helping local cattle ranchers in the short term, but in the long run their state may become economically stymied. At the end of the day, falling behind technologically is an unstrategic, reactionary response to the threat of something new and unfamiliar entering the world. It’s a betrayal of their own values, and they’re not doing the residents of their states any favors—they’re just hindering American progress."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1502

Vornado Recalls Two Million Handheld Garment Steamers Due to Serious Burn Hazard

February 8, 2024 from the CPSC in conjunction with Government of Canada:

Steamfast, Vornado and Sharper Image-branded handheld garment steamers have been recalled because the recalled garment steamers can expel hot water from the steam nozzle while heating or during use, posing a serious burn hazard to consumers.

Consumer Contact: Vornado toll-free at 888-240-2768 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday; or online at www.vornado.com/recalls/hhgs or www.vornado.com, www.steamfast.com, or www.sihomecomfort.com and click on “Product Recalls” at the top of the page for more information.

This recall involves three different brands of handheld garment steamers: Steamfast model numbers SF-425, SF-435, SF-440, SF-445, and SF-447; Vornado model number VS-410; and Sharper Image model number SI-428. The recalled steamers were sold in the following colors: SF-435 (white, black, light pink, hot pink, sage green, orange, and teal blue); SF-425, SF-440, SF-445, SI-428, and SF-447 (white); and VS-410 (black). The recalled steamers are handheld electrical appliances which use hot steam emitted from a nozzle to remove wrinkles from clothing and other fabrics. The steamers’ brand name appears on the side of each unit and on a label located on the bottom of the steamer. The model number also appears on the label.

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled garment steamers and contact Vornado for a full refund or free replacement handheld garment steamer, depending on model.

Incidents/Injuries: Vornado has received 122 reports of hot water spraying or spitting from the steam nozzle, including 23 reports of burn injuries.

Sold At: Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, and other stores nationwide and online at Amazon.com, Vornado.com, sihomecomfort.com, Steamfast.com and other websites from July 2009 through January 2024 for between $14 and $35.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1501
Older news

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