K A S H R U T . C O M©

The Premier Kosher Information Source on the Internet

Kashrut.com uses cookies. By using kashrut.com, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy. That's Fine.

Subscribe to get e-mail when this site is updated
for: from:
Shop Artscroll and support Kashrut.com

Food News


Newer news

Toss or wash those usable grocery bags before they kill you

October 4, 2023 - from the Food Safety News:

"Those reusable grocery shopping bags have made the list of things to avoid at the grocery shore.

"So called one-time grocery plastic bags are now banned in many locations in the country, and in its recent posting of four foods to avoid at the grocery store, the liberal HuffPost Life had added a caution to its list about the food safety danger of the reusable shopping bags that many are now forced to use because of government dictates.

"The HuffPost reports that Kali Kniel, a University of Delaware microbiologist, added to their list by warning about those reusable grocery bags. “One important consideration today is the reusable grocery totes that many people use,” Kniel said. She called for people to clean and wash those reusable grocery bags between shopping trips or, more importantly, between use for other tasks.

"Reusable grocery grocery bags can transport deadly pathogens.

"Her warnings are among the first about how usable grocery bags and their forced use by various states might be a food safety danger.

"For example, don’t place soccer cleats in a bag one day and then fresh produce in it the next day without appropriate cleaning — or just don’t do that at all,” Kniel told HuffPost. 'Cross-contamination is a real thing.'

"Reusable grocery bags are often being used week after week, with many carrying raw chicken one week and fresh produce the next.

"Others on HuffPost’s list of foods to avoid were more traditional and included unpasteurized (raw) milk, raw sprouts, pre-cut produce, and hot food bars."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1448

California Bans Food Additives

October 7, 2023 - from CalMatters.com:

"The 'California Food Safety Act would prohibit the sale of food products containing several additives that are outlawed in the European Union and are thought to be harmful to the health of people who eat them.

"The bill made headlines as “the Skittles ban” earlier this year because the original version of it would have prohibited a chemical used to add color to the popular candy. Lawmakers last month amended the bill to allow the sale of products with that chemical, although it still would ban chemicals that are commonly used in other sweets.

"Manufacturers have until Jan. 1, 2027 to reformulate their products and comply with California law. That could lead the companies to remove the additives from their products nationwide because of the size of California’s market.

"The law bans red dye 3, propylparaben, brominated vegetable oil and potassium bromate from all foods meant for human consumption.

"Red dye 3 is a common color additive found in candies and other food products. It was banned from cosmetic use more than 30 years ago by the Food and Drug Administration due to concerns about it being a carcinogen. It is still used in popular candies like Peeps, as well as other foods such as cookies and colored drinks, according to the nonprofit organization Environmental Working Group.

"Propylparaben is a preservative used in baked goods like muffins and cakes, as well as in popular trail mixes.

"Brominated vegetable oil is added to popular citrus drinks to prevent the flavoring oils from floating on top. While many beverage companies stopped using it a while ago, brands like Sun Drop continue to use it in their citrus sodas, according to its parent beverage company Keurig Dr Pepper.

"Potassium bromate is a substance used to strengthen dough and can be found in all kinds of breads, cookies and tortillas. It has been banned in the European Union, United Kingdom, Canada and Brazil.

June 30, 2023 - from SFA:

"On June 28, the California Senate Committee on Health approved the first-in-the-nation bill to ban five harmful chemicals from candy, cereals, and other processed food.

"Assembly Bill 418, which has already passed California’s lower house, is getting close to a vote in the Senate that will put it on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk to be signed into law.

"Here’s what AB 418 does, according to the most recent staff analysis of the bill:

  1. Prohibits, beginning on January 1, 2025, an entity from manufacturing, selling, delivering, distributing, holding, or offering for sale a food product for human consumption that contains any of the following substances:
    1. Brominated vegetable oil;
    2. Potassium bromate;
    3. Propylparaben;
    4. Red dye 3; or,
    5. Titanium dioxide.
  2. Prohibits the provisions of this bill from impairing or impeding any other rights, causes of action, claims, or defenses available under any other law and specifies that the remedies provided by this bill are cumulative with any other remedies available under any other law.

"Therefore, B 418 would end the use of brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, propylparaben, Red Dye No. 3, and titanium dioxide in food products sold in California.

"The European Union has already banned the five substances from use in food, with a narrow exception of Red No. 3 in candied cherries. Given the size of California’s economy, AB 418 would set an important precedent for improving the safety of many processed foods.

"Requires an entity that violates 1) above to be liable, in an action brought by the Attorney General, a city attorney, a county counsel, or a district attorney, for a civil penalty of up to $5,000 for a first violation, and up to $10,000 for each subsequent violation.

"The state Senate Environmental Quality Committee will next hear and vote on the bill and after that, it should see a vote on the Senate floor."

California May Ban Five Food Additives

April 11, 2023 - from SFA:

"California may become the first state to ban the sale, manufacture, and distribution of foods that contain chemicals linked to increased cancer risk, reproductive harm, and behavior issues, reports CBS News.

"The five chemicals are as follows: red dye number 3, titanium dioxide, potassium bromate, bromated vegetable oil, and propylparaben. Titanium dioxide is used in many candies, including Skittles, and potassium bromate is used in some breads.

"These chemicals have already been banned in Europe, and potassium bromate has also been banned in China and India. Red dye number 3 has been banned in the U.S. for use in cosmetics." .

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1392

Dougie’s Kosher Grill in Baltimore Closes After More Than 12 Years

September 26, 2023 from the Vinnews.com and on September 21, 2023 on Baltimore Jewish Life:

"To Loyal Dougies Customers, Patrons and Fans: It is difficult and unfortunate to write this, but after 12+ wonderful years in the amazing Baltimore Community we are saddened to announce that, due to circumstances beyond our control, Dougies BBQ and Grill will be closing its doors as 10 PM Thursday 09/21/23."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1446

Agudath Israel Advocacy Continues to Ease Way for Arba Minim

September 21, 2023 from the Vinnews.com:

"As in past years, Agudath Israel of America’s Washington Office has worked closely with agencies of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to help avoid potential problems for travelers carrying arba minim.

"Both the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have notified their respective field personnel about the upcoming Sukkos holiday and the increased level of travel by persons of the Jewish faith, many of whom will be carrying arba minim. The agencies have also made this information available to the public – the TSA notice here and the CBP notice here.

"The notifications, which have been sent out to federal officials at airports and border crossings, emphasize the religious significance of these items and outline the rules and procedures that would help allay possible security and health issues that are of concern to the federal government. Prior to these agency steps, lack of familiarity regarding Sukkos and the arba minim had led to numerous incidents each year of inadvertent mishandling and mistreatment — including denial of entry — of these ritual objects.

"The TSA Notice makes clear that the arba minim carried in airports, through security checkpoints or on aircraft, are not on the “prohibited items list” and provides instructions for travelers needing “special accommodations” in regard to checkpoint screening. The CBP Guidance sets forth detailed information regarding the inspection process for personal sets of arba minim brought into the United States from foreign countries at select ports of entry and points out that the agency is “committed to treating all travelers, including travelers who may be observing Sukkot, with respect and dignity at all U.S. ports of entry.”

"Agudath Israel of America once again produced a one-page handout that travelers can print out – or save to their phones – to familiarize themselves with the rules before traveling.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1445

Israeli Health Ministry advises some to don masks again as Jews gather for Rosh Hashanah

September 14, 2023 from the Times of Israel:

"The Health Ministry has advised some Israelis to start wearing masks again in reaction to a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations as the Jewish New Year begins. It also promised that COVID booster vaccines effective against the predominant new variants would be available soon.

"With families and friends getting together for Rosh Hashanah meals and large groups gathering in synagogues for prayer beginning Friday, the ministry recommended that the elderly and those with underlying health issues or compromised immune systems mask up, at least in indoor and enclosed spaces. Anyone— regardless of age or medical history — wanting to minimize their chances of catching COVID should consider wearing a mask.

"n an announcement released on Tuesday, the ministry also advised those with signs of illness to remain isolated at home until they are completely symptom-free. If they must go out, they should wear a mask to avoid infecting others. The ministry also recommended that people buy home COVID test kits and use them to determine whether their illness is caused by the SARS‑CoV‑2 virus."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1444

TJX Recalls Foldable Bistro Set Chairs Due to Fall Hazard; Sold at Marshalls, T.J. Maxx, HomeGoods and Homesense Stores

September 14, 2023 from the CPSC:

Foldable Bistro Set Chairs have been recalled because the wooden frame of the chair can break or collapse when a consumer is seated in the chair, posing a fall hazard.

Consumer Contact:

This recall involves wooden folding chairs sold as part of three-piece foldable bistro sets under the Panama Jack and House & Garden brands. The sets consist of one small wooden table and two foldable chairs made with wood frames and black, anthracite, navy blue, beige, olive green, or off-white roping on the seat and back. They have either a Panama Jack or House & Garden hangtag that includes the chair and table dimensions and “Made in Vietnam.” Chair dimensions are 16.53” x 20.47 x 32.28” and the folding table dimensions are 23.62 x 23.62 x 28.74.

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled chairs and contact TJX for instructions on how to receive a full refund and dispose of chairs. Consumers can also return the recalled chairs to any HomeGoods, Marshalls, T.J. Maxx, or Homesense store for a full refund.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1443

How a mere 12% of Americans eat half the nation’s beef, creating significant health and environmental impacts

August 30, 2023 from the Tulane.edu:

"A new study has found that 12% of Americans are responsible for eating half of all beef consumed on a given day, a finding that may help consumer groups and government agencies craft educational messaging around the negative health and environmental impacts of beef consumption.

"Those 12% – most likely to be men or people between the ages of 50 and 65 – eat what researchers called a disproportionate amount of beef on a given day, a distinction based on the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which suggest 4 ounces per day of meat, poultry, and eggs combined for those consuming 2200 calories per day.

"The study, published in the journal Nutrients, analyzed data from the CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which tracked the meals of more than 10,000 adults over a 24-hour period. The global food system emits 17 billion tons of greenhouse gases a year, equivalent to a third of all planet-warming gases produced by human activity. The beef industry contributes heavily to that, producing 8-10 times more emissions than chicken, and over 50 times more than beans.

"The study, published in the journal Nutrients, analyzed data from the CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which tracked the meals of more than 10,000 adults over a 24-hour period. The global food system emits 17 billion tons of greenhouse gases a year, equivalent to a third of all planet-warming gases produced by human activity. The beef industry contributes heavily to that, producing 8-10 times more emissions than chicken, and over 50 times more than beans.

"Of the beef consumed on a given day, almost a third came from cuts of beef such as steak or brisket. But six of the top 10 sources were mixed dishes such as burgers, burritos, tacos, meatloaf or spaghetti with meat sauce. Some of these foods may offer an easy opportunity for disproportionate beef eaters to alter their dietary habits.

"Those below the age of 29 and above the age of 66 were least likely to eat large amounts of beef. Rose said this indicated that the younger generation might be more interested in mitigating the effects of climate change. "

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1442

Kroger, Albertsons plan to offload over 400 stores for close to $2 billion, sources say

September 6, 2023 from the Reuters:

"Kroger Co (KR.N) and Albertsons Cos Inc (ACI.N) are nearing a deal they hope will secure U.S. regulatory clearance for their proposed $24.5 billion merger, by selling more than 400 grocery stores to C&S Wholesale Grocers for nearly $2 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

"The deal would give privately held C&S, primarily a supplier rather than an operator of grocery stores, a much more significant footprint. It currently operates about two dozen stores under the Grand Union and Piggly Wiggly brands.

"The stores that Kroger and Albertsons plan to shed are primarily in the Pacific Northwest and the Mountain states, along with some in California, Texas, Illinois, and the East Coast, the sources said.

"An agreement may be reached as early as this week, they said, adding it remained unclear whether it will allay regulators' fears that a combined Kroger and Albertsons would have too much control over grocery prices.

"C&S has been looking to build its own store presence in a fiercely competitive market for supplying groceries. It lost one of its largest customers when Ahold Delhaize (AD.AS) decided to transition to self-distribution in 2019."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1441

Orthodox Union: SuperMeat Cell Line Meets Mehadrin Kosher Standards, Initiating A Kosher Meat Certification Process For The Cultivated Poultry Industry

September 6, 2023 from the Food Industry Executive:

"OU Kosher, the Kosher certification division of the Orthodox Union (OU), and the world’s largest and most widely recognized kosher certification agency, determined that the chicken cell line of SuperMeat, a leading cultivated meat company, meets Kosher meat Mehadrin standards. Following this acknowledgement, the parties are embarking on a thorough examination of the entire supply chain and the cultivated meat production process. This will establish clear guidelines for other enterprises in the cultivated meat sector. This historic endeavor is a pivotal moment in the overlap of religious dietary standards and advanced food technology in the cultivated meat industry and indicates for the first time a wide consensus among Jewish religious factions.

"The OU’s recognition came after a series of in-depth halachic discussions and scientific reviews. These reviews focused on avian embryogenesis and stem cells, including the observation of the excision of embryonic stem cells from a fertilized chicken egg prior to the appearance of blood spots.

"s part of the review process, SuperMeat hosted two key rabbinic delegations. The first included Rabbi Hershel Schachter, Rosh yeshiva (dean) at Yeshiva University (YU), and halakhic advisor for the kashrut division of the OU; Rabbi Asher Weiss, among the leading halachic judges in Israel, founder and head of Beis Din Darchei Torah and Beis Midrash Minchas Osher and Rav Yosef Zvi Rimon, Rabbi of the Gush Etzion Regional Council, Rabbi of Mada Toratecha (Science and Torah) and Rosh Yeshiva of the Jerusalem College of Technology (JCT) and founder of Sulamot. Each is an important, contemporary arbiter of Halacha (Jewish Law) and has written numerous books and decisions on the subject. They were accompanied by students and colleagues. On the second visit, SuperMeat hosted Rabbi Menachem Genack (see above). He was accompanied by students, Israeli rabbis and colleagues.

"Based on in-depth discussions and reviews, the OU has determined that SuperMeat’s poultry cell line development process has broad acceptance as the basis for a kosher, Mehadrin, meat product – the most stringent level of kosher supervision.

"With this decision, OU Kosher and SuperMeat embark on a groundbreaking project to bring high-quality, cultivated, poultry products produced with the highest level of kashrut supervision to future customers. This joint effort will serve as a guide for other cultivated meat companies seeking Kosher certification, opening new avenues for the kosher food industry.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1440

CPSC Warns Consumers to Immediately Stop Using iCraves Infant High Chairs Due to Suffocation, Entrapment, and Fall Hazards; Failure to Meet Federal Safety Standards

August 31, 2023 from the CPSC:

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is warning consumers to immediately stop using iCraves high chairs because they do not comply with federal safety standards for high chairs and for infant sleep products and pose a suffocation risk, as well as entrapment and fall hazards to infants.

The high chairs fail to meet performance requirements under the mandatory safety standard for high chairs, posing entrapment and fall hazards. The high chairs also fail to meet the safety requirements of CPSC’s Infant Sleep Products Rule and the Safe Sleep for Babies Act, because they were marketed for infant sleep and have an incline angle greater than 10 degrees, posing a suffocation risk. The high chairs and their packaging also lack a tracking label containing certain required information, such as the date of manufacture, which is required for children’s products including durable infant or toddler products.

The seller, Brosishop Ltd, of United Kingdom, doing business as iCraves, has been unresponsive to CPSC requests to recall the high chairs.

The high chairs were sold online at www.icraves.com for about $260. However, the website is no longer operational. The high chairs were sold in the following colors: peach pink, green, purple, and blue. The high chairs contain a recline feature to allow the baby to sleep. Bestbaby and model BS-806 are listed on the packaging. All labeling on the high chairs are in Mandarin.

CPSC urges consumers to stop using the high chairs immediately, disassemble the seat from the frame, cut the padding, and dispose of all the parts separately. Report any incidents involving injury or product defect to CPSC at www.SaferProducts.gov.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1439
Older news

The information posted is from secondary sources. We cannot take responsibility for the accuracy of the information.
Comments to webmaster@kashrut.com 
© Copyright 2022 Scharf Associates
Phone: (781)784-6890 
E-mail: ajms@kashrut.com
URL: "http://www.kashrut.com/"
Arlene J. Mathes-Scharf  
Food Scientist - Kosher Food Specialist
Scharf Associates
P.O. Box 50
Sharon, MA 02067