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U.S. authorities issue Sukkot advisories & link to information from the MK for travelers to the United States from Canada

October 2, 2017 from the jta and Agudath-Israel:

“TSA’s screening procedures do not prohibit the carrying of the four plants used during Sukkot – a palm branch, myrtle twigs, willow twigs, and a citron – in airports, through or security checkpoints, or on airplanes.”
TSA Notice

"U.S. Customs and Border Protection also noted that the four species were allowed entry, but noted a number of restrictions subject to inspection."
“Travelers will be asked to open the container with the ethrog and unwrap it,” its advisory stated. “The agriculture specialist will inspect the ethrog. If either insect stings or pests are found, the ethrog will be prohibited from entering the United States. If neither is found, the traveler will be allowed to rewrap and re-box the ethrog for entry into the United States.”
Twigs of willow from Europe are banned, it continued, and any sign of pests or disease will mean confiscation of the product.
US Customes and Border Patrol Notice

Jewish Community Council of Montreal informtion on traveling with lulav and esrog to the United States is here

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W625

Israeli Chief Rabbinate fines J’lem restaurant for independent kashrut supervision

September 27, 2017 - Jerusalem Post and Haaretz:
"The owner of a Jerusalem restaurant fined by the Chief Rabbinate on Tuesday for posting an alternative kashrut certificate said he has no intention of paying the 2,000 shekel ($567) levy. He added that his kashrut notice met all the requirements set down in a High Court of Justice ruling earlier this month."
"The fine was issued against the pasta restaurant located in the capital’s Mahaneh Yehuda market on Tuesday, one day after Hashgacha Pratit issued new certificates for the restaurants under its supervision following a High Court of Justice ruling earlier this month that loosened restrictions on non-rabbinate kashrut supervision."

Independent authority defies Israeli Rabbinate, issues kosher certificates

September 25, 2017 - Jerusalem Post:
"The independent, Orthodox kashrut authority Hashgacha Pratit has taken advantage of new legal rights it gained following a High Court of Justice decision earlier this month by issuing new kashrut certificates, which legally cannot be called kashrut certificates, to restaurants and other food businesses under its supervision."
The Israeli "High Court’s decision stated that although the Chief Rabbinate is still the only legally authorized body that can declare a product or business to be kosher in writing, restaurants can provide in writing a “true presentation” of the kashrut standards they keep, as long as they state they do not have a kashrut license."
"Hashgacha Pratit’s new certificates now specify the exact kashrut practices which restaurants and businesses under its supervision observe."
"For dairy restaurants this includes stating that all products are dairy or pareve (without meat or milk); that the milk products are from supervised kosher milk; that flour is sifted for insects according to kashrut standards; and that leafy vegetables are correctly washed to remove insects, among other specifications."
"For restaurants serving meat, the certificates declare that all meat is from kosher slaughter."
"The certificates also bear a declaration that they are assisted by Hashgacha Pratit’s head of kashrut Rabbi Oren Duvdevani and his representatives in sourcing and preparing food."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W623

Chicago Rabbinical Council information on Hadassim and Schach for Sukkot 2017

September 26, 2017 from the cRc:

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W624

Seafood Fraud Is A Bait And Switch That Hurts Honest Canadians

September 25, 2017 - HuffpostCA and Oceana:
Oceana found that "on average, one in five of the more than 25,000 samples of seafood tested worldwide were mislabelled. Canada is no exception: studies have found that up to 41 per cent of Canadian seafood samples tested were mislabelled."

Study on food fraud attracts attention in Europe: 1 in 3 fish dishes on menu mislead consumers

September 13, 2017: The NewFoodMagazine:

Oceana analyzed fish samples from restaurants in Europe and found that the "fish served was not the fish mentioned in the menu in over 30% of cases."
"EU regulation 1379/2013 which came into force in 2014, requiring fishery products to be labelled with both the commercial name and the scientific name. Moreover, the production method, the fishing gear and the fishing area must be labelled."
"A further study in 2015 demonstrated that there had been a significant decrease of mislabelling with under 5 % of samples found to be mislabeled. However, the analysis only included fish products sold in supermarkets; however the problem still exists in restaurants."
"The journal Conservation Biology published a study which examined more than 300 samples in the USA from 26 sushi restaurants. The study found that 47 percent of the samples were mislabeled with high occurrences of mislabelling for halibut, red snapper and yellowfin tuna."
"Modern technologies can help to combat food fraud. For example, PCR tests for fish authentication allow authorities to detect mislabelling. And the so-called block chain technology could contribute to greater transparency and traceability of fishery products in the future."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W619

Saber Grills Recalls Grills and LP Regulators Due to Fire and Burn Hazards

September 26, 2017: The CPSC in conjunction with HealthyCanadians:

Saber Grills is recalling Gas grills and liquid propane (LP) regulators because the grills’ LP regulator can allow gas to flow at a higher pressure than intended, which can result in a gas leak and flame burst from the burner knobs, posing fire and burn hazards to consumers.
This recall involves Model RA329 LP regulators with a date code in the range of 1120 to 1344, which were:

  • sold with certain SABER LP grills, warranty part kits, and natural gas to LP conversion kits;
  • installed as warranty or service parts in certain other SABER LP grills; or
  • installed in SABER natural gas grills and burners if they have been converted to use LP instead of natural gas.

The model number of the grill is located on a rating label located on the underside of the grease tray. The regulator date code is stamped on the regulator adjacent to the gas tank connection, and the regulator model number is on the center of the regulator. Model numbers included in this recall are linked to here.
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled grills and regulators and contact Saber for a free repair kit with installation instructions. A video on how to install the replacement components is available at: www.sabergrills.com/Support/SafetyBulletins.aspx.
Sold At: Specialty outdoor living stores nationwide, including Family Leisure, Fortunoff Backyard Store, and Watson’s, and through authorized websites and catalogs including Bed, Bath & Beyond and Frontgate, from September 2011 to May 2017 for between $800 and $2,000. The price of the LP conversion kit ranges from $90 to $105. The warranty parts were also sold as service parts for between $50 and $110.
Consumer Contact: Saber Grills toll-free at 866-671-7988 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET Saturday, or online at recall.sabergrills.com for more information.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W622

California Reinstates Foie Gras Ban

September 16, 2017: The DenverPost and specialtyfood.com:

"A federal appeals court reinstated California’s ban on foie gras Friday, finding that a state law preventing sales of the luxury liver pate made by force-feeding ducks and geese was not pre-empted by federal authority to regulate poultry products."
"The ban was passed more than a decade ago after proponents said the process of fattening the livers of the birds was cruel and inhumane. The law took effect in 2011, but was blocked by a court in 2015."
"The unanimous decision by three judges won’t immediately take effect, giving farmers and a restaurant time to seek further review."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W621

Canada to Ban Trans Fats

September 15, 2017: The BizJournals and specialtyfood.com:

"Health Canada has taken the final step to ban partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs)—the main source of industrially produced trans fats—in all food sold in Canada. This includes both domestically produced and imported products and foods, as well as those that are prepared and served in restaurants and food service establishments." "Once the ban is implemented, any food containing PHOs cannot be legally sold in Canada."
" The ban will come into force one year from today on September 15, 2018, to give the food industry enough time to find suitable alternatives."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W620

Irma Devastates Florida Orange Crop, Harms Other Produce

September 13, 2017: The FoodManufacturing:

"Hurricane Irma dealt Florida's iconic orange crop a devastating blow, destroying nearly all the fruit in some Southwest Florida groves and seriously damaging groves in Central Florida."
"Still unknown: How much damage the crops suffered, how much producers might recover from crop insurance and how much more people might pay for their morning orange juice."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W618

Inspector General again finds weaknesses in organic imports

September 2o, 2017: The FoodSafetyNews:

USDA’s Inspector General has found that imported fruits and vegetables are sometimes doused with chemicals when they reach the United States to prevent pests or diseases from entering the United States. "Not every shipment of fruits and vegetables get a pesticide bath at the border. The IG said if no issues are detected, imported fruits and vegetables are released. If pests or disease are found in a shipment — organic or otherwise — it’s sent to quarantine. Those shipments often get pesticide showers before they are released."
"The inspectors found the process for determining organic standards equivalency between USDA and foreign governments is 'not fully transparent.'" " U.S. ports of entry are not in the business of verifying NOP import documents."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W617

Israel: High Court Delivers A Blow To Chief Rabbinate Kashrus

September 13, 2017: The YeshivaWorld:

The Israeli Supreme Court is permitting companies to list their commitment to halacha and kashrus without callling themselves "kosher".
"The Reform Movement in Israel had filed a petition with the High Court of Justice challenging the Chief Rabbinate of Israel’s exclusive monopoly on kashrus."
"By a majority of five judges against two, it was determined that a restaurant that does not hold a kosher certificate may not advertise itself as “kosher”, but judges ruled, the restaurant is entitled to present a “declaration of truth ” regarding the standards of kashrus that are maintained meticulously, and the manner of supervising their observance, which also includes an explicit clarification that he does not have a certificate of kashrut."
" This also permits private agencies to provide kashrus by displaying such a document in its name."

Israel - Consumers will demand to see kashrut supervision'

September 17, 2017: The Arutz 7:
"Rabbi Raphael Yochai, the director of the Chief Rabbinate division for Kashrut fraud, told Arutz Sheva that he is not comcerned by the Supreme Court decision allowing people to present their own private Kashrut without providing a certification."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W616
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