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Legal fight starts for Belgian kashrut

November 30, 2017 from thejc.com

"A ban on shechita in Belgium is being legally challenged by the country’s Jewish community."
"Earlier this year the parliaments of the country’s two main regions, Wallonia and Flanders, passed laws to outlaw religious slaughter, covering both kosher and halal meat."
"Wallonia unanimously voted to do so in May while Flanders, home to half of the country’s Jewish community and the majority of kosher facilities, followed suit in July."
"The Belgian Federation of Jewish Organizations, known by its French initials CCOJB, submitted the lawsuit against the Walloon decision yesterday." "A similar lawsuit may be filed against the Flanders legislation in early 2018."
"Denmark abolished an exemption that allowed religious groups to circumvent restrictions on the slaughter of any animal that was not previously stunned, creating a total ban in the country."

Why Kosher Butchers in Western Europe Are Preparing to Close Shop

November 28, 2017 from VirtualJerusalem

Kosher butchers in France "have been suffering both from declining revenues due to emigration from France by Jews fearful of jihadist violence and anti-Muslim measures targeting the ritual slaughter of animals."
"In Holland, the viability of the country’s only kosher slaughterhouse, Slagerij Marcus, and its meat shop are under threat from a new deal signed in July by the government with the Jewish community.""The measure limits the production of kosher meat to local consumption, a stipulation that Loonstein says amounts to an export ban that may render the business nonprofitable."
"In Belgium, meanwhile, legislation was passed this year in two of the federal kingdom’s three regions — including Antwerp’s Flemish region, with its predominantly haredi Orthodox Jewish community of 18,000 – that starting in 2019 bans all slaughter performed without first stunning the animal."
"Slaughter without stunning is now illegal in five European Union member states – Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Lithuania and Slovenia — as well as three other non-EU countries in Western Europe: Norway, Switzerland and Iceland. EU members Austria and Estonia enforce strict supervision of the custom that some Jews there say make it nearly impossible."
In France many meat products are now labeled that they come from an animal that has been stunned before slaughter. This has eliminated a good part of the market for the parts of the animal that is not used for kosher. Muslims acceptance of post-cut stunning would end the kosher meat industry in France.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W659

Greek Police Arrest 7 For Selling Bogus Olive Oil

November 27, 2017 from FoodManufacturing

"A Greek prosecutor on Sunday charged seven people for fraudulently selling large quantities of adulterated sunflower oil as olive oil in Greece and abroad."
"They were found operating a workshop where they added a dye to turn the yellow sunflower seed oil into a green hue resembling olive oil."
"The adulterated oil was sold in five-liter (1.32-gallon) cans, off-market, to Greek consumers and exported, in one-ton pallets, mainly to Germany."
"The product was peddled as "extra-virgin olive oil, straight from the producer." Its domestic price was 12-15 euros ($14.30-$17.90) per five-liter can, compared to the retail price of 26-30 euros ($31-$35.80) for the real thing."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W658

Kosher Meals Are Starting To Make A Comeback On Domestic Flights

November 7, 2017 from DansDeals

"Kosher meals, or KSML in airline speak, can be a hit or miss, " The article mentions from where and what airlines one can get a kosher meal. Kosher meals are available on overseas flights and on some long distance domestic flights with flighing in a premium class.

Ed. note: Availablity of meals can be spotty, so always pack your own food

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W657

Polish lawmakers draft bill to ban non-stun slaughter

November 22, 2017 from GlobalMeatNews

Poland's ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS) has introduced a draft bill to ban non-stun slaughter. Meat industry associations are objecting since this will hurt Poland's meat exports to the Middle East. About 80% of Polish meat production is intended for foreign markets. About 30% of their production goes to halal and kosher meat. Poland's average beef consumption is only about 1.5kg per year.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W656

UK MPs vote that ‘animals can’t feel pain or emotion’ as part of Brexit bill

November 20, 2017 from metro.co.uk

"MPs have voted to reject a bill that recognises that animals feel pain and emotion."
"Affecting the EU Withdrawal Bill, the clause would have enshrined into UK law the recognition that animals feel pain and emotion, an admission currently covered by EU law."
"Some 80 per cent of animal welfare legislation currently comes from the EU but after March 2019 European law will no longer apply in the UK."
"While most EU law relating to animals will be automatically brought over into UK law, this will not apply to the recognition of sentience."
"During a debate in parliament the Government said animal sentience is covered by the Animal Welfare Act 2006."
Animal activists are very unhappy with this action.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W655

Don’t be a turkey, practice food safety for Thanksgiving meals (and other meals)

November 20, 2017 from FoodSafetyNews

"Proper handling and cooking can prevent foodborne illness from spoiling a table of food, family, friends, and fun. Tips and tricks for a successful turkey day aren’t just for the kitchen."
Traveling: "Do not drink water, coffee, tea or anything with ice on a plane. In an Environmental Protection Agency study, one in eight planes do not meet water safety standards." "Do not eat directly off the tray table." Tray tables house almost 10 times more bacteria than the flusher for the toilet."
"“Research shows that washing meat or poultry can splash bacteria around your kitchen by up to 3 feet, contaminating countertops, towels and other food.” The only way to eliminate bacteria is to cook your turkey to the correct internal temperature."
"The turkey’s temperature should be taken in three areas to make sure the entire bird is done: the thickest part of the breast, the innermost part of the wing and the innermost part of the thigh. All three of these locations must reach 165 degrees F."
"All perishable foods should be tossed after sitting out for longer than two hours at room temperature. After two hours, these foods reach the “Danger Zone” of temperatures between 40 degrees and 140 degrees where bacteria multiplies the quickest."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W654

Germany consumed more UCO biodiesel last year than RME

November 6, 2017 from Biodiesel Magazine

Germany’s Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE) has said that "for the first time, consumption of biodiesel from used cooking oil (UCO) in Germany exceeded that of rapeseed biodiesel (RME). The total consumption of waste oil biodiesel in 2016 was approximately 868,000 metric tons (more than 260 million gallons) while use of rapeseed biodiesel topped off at 860,000 tons."

Ed. note: Biodiesel is produced from waste cooking oils and is traife. A bi-product is glycerin which may end up being used in foods.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W653

Allergic Reaction: Allergens Cause Dangerous Spike In FDA Recalled Food Units In Q3

"Recalled FDA food units increased 19 percent to 106.6 million in the third quarter of 2017 — higher than 20 of the last 22 quarters — and public health risks rose sharply due to a spike in undeclared food allergens found in food products, according to the Q3 2017 Recall Index from Stericycle Expert Solutions."
"Of the FDA recalled food units in Q3, 95.6 percent were considered Class I threats – the most serious health-threatening classification. Nearly all (96.9 percent) of the recalled units were because of undeclared allergens, which have been a consistent cause of all food recalls (38.9 percent) for the last four quarters. The top allergens from Q3 2016 through Q3 2017 were milk, followed by nuts, soy, and wheat. The number of pounds of food recalled by the USDA dropped (by 27 percent) but allergens accounted for 62.5 percent of recalls."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W652

Knesset Debates Complaints that Restaurants Employing Olim Lose Kosher Certification

November 9, 2017 from the JewishPress:

"The Committee on Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs on Tuesday heard complaints that kosher certifications of restaurants are being revoked because they employ new immigrants."
"It is illegal to discriminate against anyone in employment, school, wages, or kosher certification, regardless of whether the person is a new immigrant or a long-time resident of Israel"
"According to Amichai Kreiger, head of the Chief Rabbinate’s Kashrut Fraud Division, the Jewishness of an employee in the food industry affects the measure of kashrut at the place of business. There are many non-Jewish workers in the food industry, and those who do not prepare food need not be Jewish. These procedures are anchored in regulations that were approved by the Knesset in 1988 in the framework of the Law Against Kashrut Fraud, way before the immigration from the Commonwealth of Independent States."
"Jerusalem Religious Council Chairman Yehoshua Yishai said, “According to the Halacha, only the person who cooks the food must be Jewish; the other workers do not have to be Jewish. "

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W651

Can frozen cod be just as good as fresh?

November 7, 2017: The FoodIngredientsFirst:

"New research reveals that frozen cod can be just as good as fresh, as long as it is handled properly. On average it takes three days for a fresh cod to reach most sales counters. And for both retailers and customers, a three-day-old fresh fish is stretching it a bit. However, if the fish is frozen on board the vessel and thawed properly before it reaches the sales counter, its quality can be just as good as if it had never seen the inside of a freezer. "
The following factors should be done for an optimal product:

  • "Firstly, the fish must be frozen as soon as they are hauled on board the fishing boat. In other words, they must be frozen on the vessel before rigor mortis sets in."
  • "The fish must then remain frozen at a stable and low temperature for the entire time leading up to thawing. There can be no interruptions in what researchers call the 'cooling chain.'"
  • "Thawing itself must then take place immediately before the fish are put on sale, and carried out in water under controlled conditions. If air bubbles are added to the water, the quality of the cod will be even better."

      Researchers now recommend that fish should not be thawed for longer than 28 hours at 10 degrees C..

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W650
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