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Kashrus alert on Knife Sharpening

July 19, 2016: The cRc

Knives should only be sent for sharpening to stores which do not pose a kashrus concern. The two main concerns are that the sharpening companies tend to wash your kosher knife with other non-kosher knives, and additionally they might switch your knife with an identical non-kosher one.
More information is at www.crcweb.org/kosher_articles/knife_sharpening.php. The cRc has made an arrangement with the Cutco Kitchen retail store located at 3207 W. Lake Avenue, Wilmette, IL that Cutco Knives can be sharpened only at this location,if the consumer:

  1. makes sure their knives are clean before giving them in for sharpening,
  2. marks their knives with some identifying sign or the consumer records the 4-digit item code and the 2-letter year-code engraved on the knife, so that they can verify that the correct knives were returned to them after sharpening.
The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W458

Oven Mitts Recalled by Loot Crate Due to Burn Hazard

July 28, 2016: The CPSC

Marvel Thanos Infinity Gauntlet oven mitts have been recalled because the oven mitts lack thermal protection, posing a burn hazard to consumers.
This recall involves the Marvel Thanos Infinity Gauntlet oven mitts. The oven mitt’s outer shell is 100% polyester in primarily a golden yellow color with blue, purple, green, red and black accents. The Marvel logo can be found on the upper center part of the oven mitt. Made in China and UPC code 15129322 are printed on the care label on the inside seams of the oven mitts. The firm has received 241 reports of burn injuries, including reports of the glove melting and burning consumers’ skin.
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled oven mitts, destroy them and contact Loot Crate to receive a replacement product of equal or greater value.
Sold exclusively at www.lootcrate.com as an item included in their May 2016 subscription "Power"-theme box. The subscription was available from April 2016 through May 2016 for about $20.
Consumer Contact: Loot Crate toll-free at 855-456 6827 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT Monday through Friday or online at www.lootcrate.com and click "Important Oven Mitt Recall" at the top of the page for more information.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W457

Laceration Injuries to Children Prompt Starbucks to Recall Stainless Steel Beverage Straws to Provide New Warnings

August 2, 2016: The CPSC

Starbucks is recalling Stainless Steel Straws because the stainless steel straws are rigid and can poke children in the mouth, posing a risk of injury.
This recall involves reusable stainless steel Cold-to-Go food grade drinking straws in two sizes. The straws were packaged and sold in sets of three and were also sold as a component of two sizes of stainless steel beverage cups: Grande 16-ounce cups and Venti 24-ounce cups. The straws feature a ridge at the bottom that keeps the straw attached to the lid. The Grande straws measure approximately 9.5 inches and the Venti straws measure approximately 10.4 inches.
The firm has received three reports of mouth lacerations to young children while drinking. Remedy
Consumers should not allow children to handle or use the stainless steel straws.
Sold exclusively at Starbucks stores nationwide and online at Starbucks.com from June 2012 through June 2016 for about $6 for a set of three straws. The beverage cups with straws were sold for between $11 and $30.
Consumer Contact: Starbucks at 800-782-7282 from 3 a.m. to Midnight PT daily or online at https://news.starbucks.com com and click on “stainless steel straw warnings” for more information.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W456

Obama signs bill requiring labeling of GMO foods

July 29, 2016: from The WashingtonPost:

"President Barack Obama has signed into law a bill that will require labeling of genetically modified ingredients for the first time."
"The legislation passed by Congress two weeks ago will require most food packages to carry a text label, a symbol or an electronic code readable by smartphone that indicates whether the food contains genetically modified organisms, or GMOs."
"The Agriculture Department has two years to write the rules, which will pre-empt a Vermont law that kicked in earlier this month."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W455

Food fraud: Russian-style

July 25, 2016: from Barfblog and MoscowTimes:

"Quality control in Russia’s food sector appears to have broken down. Products are plentiful. But behind the glossy labels, their true contents are a lottery. " "One of the bureaucracies to be thrown out was mandatory certification of food." "Sixty percent of the products tested by Roscontrol are poor quality, unsafe or falsified." "Fraud creates a vicious cycle that pushes down prices and makes it harder for honest producers to stay in business."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W453

FDA to update rules on vitamin D fortification of plant-based dairy alternatives

July 19, 2016: from Foodnavigator.com

"The FDA is amending the food additive regulations to allow manufacturers to fortify a wider range of plant-based dairy milk alternatives and yogurt alternatives with vitamin D2, and to increase the current permitted levels of vitamin D3 in dairy milk, in response to a petition filed by Dean Foods and WhiteWave Foods."
"Currently, manufacturers are allowed to fortify soy beverages with vitamin D2 at up to 50IU/100g. After the rule change, manufacturers will be able to fortify soy, rice, almond, coconut and other plant-based beverages and yogurt intended as dairy alternatives at levels not to exceed 84IU/100g. They will also be allowed to add up to 84IU/100g of vitamin D3 to dairy milk (the current upper limit is 42IU/100g)." "The daily value for vitamin D - which is important for bone development and general health – is also increasing from 10 mcg to 20 mcg."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W452

Arab Meat company challenges law that all meat imported into Israel must be kosher

July 18, 2016: from tabletmag.com

The Ahmad Effendi Meat Co. has petitioned the Israeli supreme court to overturn a 2004 law that all meat that is imported into Israeli must be kosher. They say that this adds 20% to the cost of imported meat.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W451

GSI Outdoors Recalls Children’s Water Bottles Due to Violation of Lead Standard; Sold Exclusively at L.L.Bean

July 19, 2016: The CPSC

Kids’ insulated water bottles have been recalled because the lead solder at the exterior base of the bottle contains high levels of lead. Lead is toxic if ingested by young children and can cause adverse health issues.
This recall involves five styles of kids’ insulated water bottles with printed graphics. The bottles are 13.5 ounces capacity with the following color prints: Dino Bones, Flower Power, Orange Grid camo, Purple Tie Dye Butterfly and Robo Shark. The item identification number 297684 is printed on a sticker on the bottom of the bottle. Also printed on the sticker are 'PO#844' and 'BB2D2-LLB-R45-0413."
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled water bottles and contact L.L.Bean for a full refund. Consumer Contact: L.L.Bean at 800-555-9717 from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET daily or online at www.llbean.com and click on “Recall & Safety Info” for more information.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W450

Fire closes Brookline's Butcherie

July 13, 2016: The /brookline.wickedlocal.com
There was a fire at the utcherie in Brookline, MA. The fire was started by careless disposal of smoking materials in a rear storage area and caused an estimated half million dollars in damage. It is not clear when the business will reopen.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W449

Milk Street Cafe Takes Issue with Chris Kimball’s New Venture Milk Street Kitchen

July 8, 2016: The BostonEater.com
"Marc Epstein, who owns Milk Street Cafe, is suing Christopher Kimball, who recently announced plans to open a new venture called Milk Street Kitchen on Milk Street, down the road from Milk Street Cafe."
"Epstein’s place (at 50 Milk St.) thrives on catering and has been around for 35 years, while Kimball’s (at 177 Milk St.) will be an America’s Test Kitchen 2.0 — a cooking school, a set for his forthcoming new TV show, and the birthplace of a magazine."
"Epstein apparently sent letters to Kimball asking him to change the name to no avail, prompting the lawsuit. He told the Globe there have already been instances of confusion, where people have asked if Kimball is associated with the cafe and have even applied for jobs there, thinking it is Kimball’s new venture."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W448
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