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Edible Food Packaging from Casein

March 6, 2018 from the Agresearch Magazine and IFT:

Scientists from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA ARS) have created edible food wraps made of casein.
"The packaging looks like commercially available food wraps, and because it is made from casein proteins extracted from milk, no U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval would be required to bring it to market. ARS is currently pursuing options to commercialize the technology via licensing. Possible applications include pouches to hold powdered soup or instant coffee; there is also the potential to apply an edible film directly to products like candy and cheese sticks."
"ARS scientists are also working on coatings applied from a liquid that is sprayed or brushed onto food or into which food can be dipped. The spray-on application could be used to replace sugar coatings on dry cereals, to add protein, and to help keep the cereal crunchy when milk is added."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W699

Finnish community statement on government’s new proposal on animal welfare

March 5, 2018 from the eurojewcong.org:

"The Finnish government is proposing new legislation on animal wellbeing, which would replace the current law on Animal Protection. In the suggested legislation bleeding of an animal could only be started once the animal has been appropriately stunned or killed with a method suitable for the species in question. The new legislation would require so-called pre-cut stunning. The current law on Animal Protection allows starting of the bleeding of the animal simultaneously with its stunning. Under the new law, the animal would always have to be stunned prior to slaughtering it."

"Slaughter according to Jewish practice ( shechita ) and the commandments concern ing purity of food (kashrut) are absolutely central in Judaism and religiously binding for Jews. There are many commandments on proper humane treatment of animals in Judaism; the aim of shechita is to produce the minimal amount of suffering and pain to an animal during slaughter. Thus, the harming of an animal by stunning it prior to bleeding, is absolutely forbidden in Judaism. Shechita has been shown in numerous studies, to be at least as swift and painless a slaughtering method as e.g. bolt pistol stunning conjoined with bloodletting."

Full Statement is can be found here

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W698

Graco Recalls Highchairs Due to Fall Hazard; Sold Exclusively at Walmart

March 1, 2018 from the CPSC in Conjunction With Healthy Canadians: :

Graco Table2Table 6-in-1 Highchairs have been recalled because the highchair’s rear legs can pivot out of position making the chair unstable and posing a fall hazard to a child in the highchair.

This recall affects the Graco Table2Table™ 6-in-1 Highchair with Model Number 2013805 and UPC Code 047406146475. This Graco Table2Table™ 6-in-1 Highchair converts to six different modes, including a traditional highchair, a booster seat and toddler chair and table. The model number is printed on a label on the underside of the toddler seat and on a label on the back of the booster seat. Graco and Table2Table highchair are also printed on the label on the underside of the toddler seat.

The highchair's rear legs can pivot out of position and make the chair unstable, posing a fall hazard to a child in the highchair.

As of February 27, 2018, the company has received no reports of incidents in Canada, and no reports of injuries. In the United States, the company has received 38 reports of the rear leg pivoting out of position, and 5 reports of bump and bruise injuries to children when their highchair fell over while they were in it.
The affected highchairs were sold from April 2017 to December 2017 in Canada at Babies "R" Us Canada. Consumer Contact: Graco at 800-345-4109 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or online at www.gracobaby.com and click on Support, then Product Recalls for more information.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W697

Double Insight Recalls Multicookers Due to Fire Hazard; Sold Exclusively at Walmart

March 1, 2018 from the CPSC:

Gem 65 8-in-1 multicookers were recalled because a manufacturer defect can cause the multicooker to overheat and melt on the underside, posing a fire hazard. Double Insight has received 107 reports of overheating, five resulting in minor property damage. No injuries have been reported.

Sold Exclusively At: Walmart stores nationwide and online at www.walmart.com from August 2017 through January 2018 for about $80.
This recall involves Gem 65 8-in-1 model multicookers, a multifunctional, programmable cooking appliance, which includes the functions of roasting, baking, stewing, slow cooking, rice cooking, searing/sautéing, steaming and food warming. Instant Pot is printed on the front of the multicookers. Gem 65 8-in-1 and a batchcode of 1728, 1730, 1731, 1734 or 1746 are printed on the rating label on the underside of the product.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled multicookers, unplug the unit and return it to Walmart to receive a free replacement.
Consumer Contact: Double Insight toll-free at 888-891-1473 from 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday or online at www.instantpot.com and click on “Product Recall” or visit www.gemmulticooker.com for more information.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W696

Hasgacha Pratit, an independent kashrut authority, will close and its businesses absorbed by Tzohar.

February 28, 2018 from the Jerusalem Post

"The Hashgacha Pratit independent kashrut authority that has pioneered Orthodox kashrut supervision outside of the Chief Rabbinate has decided to end operations and transfer its clients to the nascent supervision authority being established by the Tzohar rabbinical association."
"This process was coordinated with Hashgacha Pratit and Tzohar, and the latter will take on the 39 restaurants and food outlets currently under the supervision of Hashgacha Pratit, as well as the five kashrut supervisors it has employed."
"Also moving from Hashgacha Pratit to Tzohar’s new supervision authority is Rabbi Oren Duvdevani, a widely respected expert on the laws of kashrut who used to work with the Chief Rabbinate but who defected to Hashgacha Pratit and served as the head of its kashrut supervision."

Kosher competition? Tzohar launches new Kashrut authority in Israel

February 26, 2018: The Arutz 7 and Voizneis:

"The Tzohar rabbinic organization announced Monday that the group would launch an independent oversight body to offer kosher food certification to restaurants and hotels around the country."
"The new certification will avoid the word 'kosher' in accordance with Israeli law, which limits the use of the word to the Chief Rabbinate. Instead, the certificate only lists the halachic (Jewish law) requirements guiding Tzohar inspectors, and affirms that those standards have been met."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W695

Grocery Stores Could Lose Millions Due to Cuts in Food Stamps Program

February 22, 2018 from the Abasco.com/en:

"President Donald Trump’s administration’s proposal to cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, known as “food stamps”) for low-income people would have a serious impact on not only millions of beneficiaries, but also for the industry of supermarkets."

"The unemployed, the elderly and low-income working families with children would be the most affected by the proposed food stamps cuts of more than $213 billion in the next ten years, according to a report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities."

"CNBC also reported that according to data prepared by the retail consultancy AlixPartners, retailers could lose up to $70.7 billion in sales over the ten-year period."

"The largest savings in the food stamps program budget would come from cutting family benefits by more than $260,000 million over ten years – about 40% – and using approximately half of these funds to provide households with a package of non-perishable food purchased by the government, instead of the food that is purchased by the SNAP beneficiaries in the supermarkets."

"According to Fortune, the retailer with the highest risk of lost sales is Walmart. The largest grocery chain in the US gets 56% of its food sales. AlixPartners estimates that Walmart, where 18% of all food stamps were redeemed in 2013 (the last year in which the figure was disclosed), would lose $12,700 million in sales during the decade that SNAP cuts are made."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W694

Whirlpool Recalls KitchenAid Electric Kettles Due to Burn Hazard

February 20, 2018 from the CPSC in conjunction in conjunction with Mexico and Healthy Canada:

KitchenAid electric kettles have been recalled because the handle can loosen and separate from the kettle, causing hot contents to spill, posing a burn hazard.

This recall involves KitchenAid 1.7 Liter Electric Kettles. The kettles were sold in stainless steel, red, black, white, liquid graphite and cocoa silver. Model numbers and serial numbers are located on the bottom of the kettle. KitchenAid is written on the front of the kettles. A complete list of model and serial numbers included in this recall is posted on the firm’s website at http://repair.whirlpool.com.

                    Model Numbers

                      Serial Numbers

KEK1722SX (Stainless)

YA325***** thru YA724*****

KEK1722ER (Red)

YA325***** thru YA724*****

KEK1722OB (Black)

YA325***** thru YA724*****

KEK1722WH (White)

YA325***** thru YA724*****

KEK1722QG (Liquid Graphite)

YA325***** thru YA724*****

KEK1722CS (Cocoa Silver)

YA325***** thru YA724*****

RKEK1722SX (Stainless)

YA325***** thru YA724*****

RKEK1722ER (Red)

YA325***** thru YA724*****

RKEK1722OB (Black)

YA325***** thru YA724*****

RKEK1722WH (White)

YA325***** thru YA724*****

RKEK1722QG (Liquid)

YA325***** thru YA724*****

RKEK1722CS (Cocoa Silver)

YA325***** thru YA724*****

Sold At: Bed Bath & Beyond, Dillard's, Fry’s Electronics, Kitchen Kaboodle, Kohl’s, Navy Exchange, Target, Williams Sonoma, and other home improvement, home appliance and retail stores and online at Amazon.com as well as other online retailers from September 2013 through February 2018 for about $100 to $120.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled kettles and contact Whirlpool for a free replacement.
Consumer Contact: Whirlpool Corporation at 800-874-0608 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or online at http://repair.whirlpool.com for more information.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W693

Will Britain force separate labeling for kosher meat?

February 15, 2018: The Arutz 7:

"Britain’s Labour Party announced its support for separate labeling for meat from animals slaughtered without stunning in keeping with Jewish and Muslim traditions."

"Jewish groups in the United Kingdom and beyond in Europe oppose the proposed measure, which appeared in Labour’s Animal Welfare Plan published by the opposition party earlier this week, because they deem it discriminatory."

"But Labour's manifesto on animal welfare states it will seek “mandatory labeling of meat, both domestic and imported. This would include details on country of origin, method of production and method of slaughter (stun or non-stun)."

"Shechita UK, an organization representing communal interests in the matter, in the past has called labeling meat as 'not stunned' discriminatory because “it suggests that shechita-slaughtered meat comes from a non-humane process, and there will be no label to indicate how non-kosher meat is slaughtered or if their stunning methods have failed (as they so frequently do)."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W692

Trump's budget proposes a radical change to food stamps that would make it a 'Blue Apron-type' program

February 13, 2018 from BusinessInsider:

"President Donald Trump's new fiscal year 2019 budget includes a radical proposed change to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, typically referred to as food stamps, that would see part of the program turn into a meal-delivery service. "

"As part of the budget, the Department of Agriculture — which runs the SNAP program — would send basic food items to households receiving more than $90 a month in SNAP assistance in boxes. "

"'Under the proposal, households receiving $90 or more per month in SNAP benefits will receive a portion of their benefits in the form of a USDA Foods package, which would include items such as shelf-stable milk, ready to eat cereals, pasta, peanut butter, beans and canned fruit, vegetables, and meat, poultry or fish,' the budget reads. "

"According to the proposal states would be allowed to determine the method of delivery 'through existing infrastructure, partnerships, and/or directly to residences through commercial and/or retail delivery services.'"

"The USDA boxes would have "shelf-stable" foods meaning that the produce and meats would not be fresh and come in non-perishable form like cans."

" The Food Research and Action Center, a nonprofit working to end hunger in the US, blasted the proposal.

"The new boxes will be 'a Rube-Goldberg designed system of commodity distribution via food boxes that will be administratively costly, inefficient, stigmatizing, and prone to failure, and that will return the country to Depression-era anti-hunger approaches,' said the group in a statement."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W691

After Holocaust law, Poland moves to ban kosher slaughter

February 12, 2018 from YnetNews:

Poland's "ruling party has submitted a new bill restricting kosher slaughter and threatening anyone who violates the restrictions with up to four years in prison."
"The new restrictions are included in a 48-page general bill on animal welfare, which the lower house of the Polish parliament is expected to vote on this week."
"The restrictions include a ban on exporting kosher meat from Poland, which is expected to affect many of Europe's Jewish communities, as well as meat exports to Israel. Some of Israel's supermarket chains import and sell kosher meat from Poland, increasing the competition in the Israeli meat market. A drop in meat exports from Poland could lead to a hike in meat prices in Israel. "
"The bill also seeks to ban slaughter when the animals are in an "unnatural state"—in other words, when the animal isn't standing on all four feet, making a kosher Jewish slaughter practically impossible. According to European Jewish Association (EJA) Chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin, 'Kashrut laws forbid to apply any pressure on the knife to protect the animal from unnecessary pain. Preventing this pressure is impossible when the animal is standing with its head leaning heavily on the knife.' "
"The Polish parliament banned kosher slaughter in 2013, but the decision was struck down by the constitutional court. The judges accepted an EJA petition and ruled that the Polish law contradicted the principle of freedom of religion. "

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W690
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