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Herring Herring is among the most universally consumed of all fish. OU Kosher’s fish expert, Rabbi Chaim Goldberg, explains the intricacies of kosher herring, to make sure that the consumer doesn’t wind up in a pickle. Page 2 information to the readers who then
minute maid/simply beverages OU Kosher welcomes two iconic additions to its product list: Minute Maid and Simply Beverages juices and drinks. Did we mention that they are delicious? Page 13
kelp caviar goes kosher When Kelp decided to go kosher with its substitute caviar products, guess which certifying agency it selected? Its worldwide clients are pleased with the choice of OU. Page 16
saratoga spring water Presidential inaugurations can make you thirsty. In January’s ceremony, OU-certified Saratoga Spring Water wet guests’ parched throats. Page 20
fungus among us Considering it is a fungus, the mushroom is surprisingly tasty. Because of the presence of insects, however, there are kosher issues to be dealt with. Page 10
thinking outside the box Having a problem on the kosher production line? OU rabbinic field representatives show ingenuity in coming up with solutions. Page 18
d s e e r g e R rin H r e H
A Handy Guide to the Production of a Universal Fish By Rabbi Chaim Goldberg 2
In the fish world, what could be more universal than herring? With herring, we have a food identified by diverse peoples and countries as their own. Though herring is delicious when smoked, canned, or salted and dried, the majority of herring bound for human consumption is pickled. (Herring is enjoyed by lobsters, too, and herring’s fishery permits need to be split between the needs of both lobster fishermen and other humans.) It seems that every European country from Iceland to Uzbekistan treats some sort of pickled herring as their own. Be it old-fashioned schmaltz herring, herring in wine sauce, German “Bismarck” herring, Dutch “pekelharing,“ Greek “ρέγγα,” Russian “селедка” or Scandinavian “gaffelbitar,” pickled herring has been considered a staple in kosher cuisine for hundreds of years as well. This gives manufacturers of pickled herring an automatic interest in OU Kosher certification for their products. Though the entomology of the name “herring” is unclear — some suggest it came from the fish’s grayish color; others point to the German words for “large amounts” referring to the size of their schools; while others believe it is simply from an old generic term for “fish!” — I personally enjoy the claim that the name “herring” comes from the German word “heer,” meaning army. So huge were the schools of Atlantic herring, and so precise were their swimming formations, that some may have thought of them as an aquatic army. The process of OU Kosher certification of these ‘troops’ begins with their midnight march. That’s when most fishing for herring is done because that is when herring rise to the surface of the ocean to feed on rising phytoplankton, and are therefore most accessible to the fishermen’s nets. Using sophisticated sonar equipment, fishermen can locate herring even in the pitch black. After they have located the herring, fishermen can catch an entire school at once using a traditional fishing method called “purse-seining.” A seine is a rectangular net with a sinker, or weighted bottom, on one long end of the net, and buoyant cork on the parallel end. The net is dropped vertically and then drawn around the school like a curtain. A large boat holds one end of the net. A smaller boat, called a skiff, pulls the free end, wrapping around the whole school of fish. (See Figures – courtesy of Gulf
of Maine Aquarium at http://www.gma.org/herring/ harvest_and_processing/seining/default.asp). Next, a string at the bottom is pulled to lock in the catch, much like drawing the strings of an old-fashioned purse, hence the name: purse-seining. While the net is slowly pulled onto the larger vessel, the fish are forced together towards the bottom. At this point the fish are either pumped onto the fishing boat directly from the net with a vacuum hose or are removed by “brailing” — pulled out with small hand-held dip nets called brails. Amazingly, most of the scales fall off the herring as they are being removed from the water, and even these shed scales have some economic value: fishermen sell them to cosmetic companies who derive “pearl essence” from them for use in cosmetic products. When the herring catch is brought to the processing facility, plant personnel remove any by-catch, (the term used by the industry for species that were incidentally caught in the fishing process). Among the different species that can be found as by-catch are non-kosher predators such as sharks. Therefore, it is the responsibility of OU Kosher to monitor that the process in place for removing by-catch succeeds in removing one hundred percent of the non-kosher species. The process of making pickled herring is relatively unchanged from ”the old country,” wherever that may be, and consists of two primary steps. First is the initial curing process, where raw fish is gutted and dressed into various cuts (with or without skin) and then pickled in very strong brine. Salt, water and acetic acid (either artificial, petroleum-based or traditional vinegar type) are used to preserve the herring. (The saline of the salt and the acidity of the acetic acid create an environment hostile to bacteria, which are responsible for decay of foods.) Besides preserving the herring, these ingredients also affect the taste and texture, and prepare the fish for the second step when it will become the product consumers recognize and enjoy. Although artificial acetic acid and salt are free of kashrut concerns, vinegar can be derived from non-kosher sources, and therefore it is necessary for OU Kosher to confirm the kosher
. . . e t i r W l e n n o s r e P y n a p m Everything at Your Fingertips o C
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source of the vinegar. Because many herring facilities receive vinegar in bulk shipments (in tanker trailers, for example), OU Kosher must set up a protocol at the plant to guarantee that only properly certified and approved vinegar products are received. For the second step, the brined fish need to be soaked in water to remove the sharp taste of the original brine, then placed in jars or pails together with some sort of “cover brine.” These could include mustard, oils, sauces, sour cream and other flavoring agents, as well as, in the case of rollmops, onions or pickles. All of the ingredients used in making the cover brine and bottling process must be present on Schedule A, as is the case in every plant. Since dairy is often used in the brining process, OU Kosher must institute procedures for segregating the processing equipment and confirming that the dairy tools and buckets are only used for dairy. Capping equipment often needs to be disassembled during cleaning, as well, to make sure no residues are left from dairy production. The OU is proud to certify pickled herring from different nations. Traditional pickled herring products aimed primarily for the Jewish market are made in New York by
Banner Smoked Fish; in Brooklyn by Benz’s Food Products and by Flaum’s; and in Queens by Haifa Smoked Fish. Feature Foods in Toronto; Rachael’s Food Products in Springfield, MA; Sea Fare Foods in Detroit and Vita Food Products in Chicago prove that you don’t have to live in New York to produce pickled herring for the Jewish market. Barry Group in New Brunswick, Canada; Comeau’s Sea Foods Limited in Nova Scotia; Noon Hour Food Products in Chicago and Olsen Fish in Minneapolis all further demonstrate that OU certification is not limited to those companies primarily targeting an ethnic Jewish market. Wherever you come from, and however you make your herring, the OU Kosher symbol on your company’s pickled herring product will encourage kosher consumers to take your product and make it their own. Rabbi Chaim Goldberg has managed the lion’s share of OU certified fish companies for 10 years, and has reviewed the OU Kosher programs in fish facilities on four of seven continents, after declining an offer to visit one in Antarctica. Rabbi Goldberg stores his passport in Brooklyn, NY in a fort held down by his wife and three children.
OU kosher Rabbi Menachem Genack Rabbinic Administrator / CEO Rabbi Moshe Elefant Executive Rabbinic Coordinator / COO
Director, New Company Department
Rabbi Yaakov Luban Rabbi Moshe Zywica
Executive Rabbinic Coordinator
Executive Rabbinic Coordinator, director of operations
Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Safran Rabbi Nachum Rabinowitz Rabbi Yosef Grossman Rabbi Yerachmiel Morrison Rabbi Abraham Juravel Rabbi Howard Katzenstein Harvey Blitz Rabbi Kenneth Auman Rabbi Emanuel Holzer
Vice President, Communications and Marketing senior rabbinic coordinator senior educational rabbinic coordinator Ingredient Approval Registry Ingredient Approval Registry Director, Business Management Chairman, Joint Kashrut Commission Chairman, Rabbinic Kashrut Commission Chairman Emeritus
Orthodox Union Martin Nachimson President
Rabbi Steven Weil Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb Mayer Fertig
Executive Vice President Executive Vice President, emeritus chief Communications officer
B e h i n d t h e U n i o n S y m bo l
Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Safran Stephen Steiner Batya Rosner Carrie Beylus Yocheved Lefkovits
Editor-in-Chief Editor Assistant editor copy editor
In Their Words:
Beginning with this issue, BTUS will feature a column in which company personnel discuss: 1 The challenges of maintaining an OU program, and 2 The advantages and gratification that comes along with it.
Managing Your Account Has Never B
In this issue we are proud to share:
Steuben Foods Inc. Elma, NY
Keeping Up With Changes in Food Manufacturing with OU as a Partner By Kenneth J. Stanley
B&G Food Roseland, NJ
Maintaining an OU Kosher Program Increased Efficiency, Greater Customizatio By Janet Tipaldi, Quality Assurance Manager Interactive Online Access
After working for more than 34 years in the food manufacturing industry, it’s hard to believe all the changes that have taken place during this time resulting from ever-increasing demands from regulatory agencies and the consumer. Who would have guessed back then that today regular milk would have to compete with so many non-dairy alternatives? Though these many new product options provide opportunity to our business, they also bring many challenges associated with food safety, allergen and kosher compliance. As a contract manufacturer, the products we usually receive from our customers are the ones they cannot or choose not to make themselves as a result of their complexities. Even though their name may be on the finished product, our reputation goes into every package. As a result, we process and package a very diverse list of —continued on page 6
There are many challenges involved in maintaining an OU kosher program. At B&G, we produce both inhouse brands and private label products under OU certification. When operated correctly, it is a very detail-oriented process that involves both obtaining proper documentation for all ingredients used in the kosher products, including new sources as they are added, as well as keeping labeling current for both inhouse brands and private label products as changes and updates are made. We have four processing lines in the plant. Lines 1 & 2 are used to produce a variety of items that include non-kosher All Fruit, which is sweetened with white grape, pear or pineapple juice; and kosher items, that include several flavors of reduced sugar, sugar free and standard preserves, jellies and spreads, as well as a variety of molasses items. On a day-to-day basis, the scheduling of the equipment that requires kosherization due to the switching back and forth from kosher to non-kosher —continued on page 6
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Quick and Easy Kashrut 4
Steuben Foods Inc. Elma, NY
Continued from page 5 products. Segregation of all allergens; organic versus conventional (non-organic); not to mention maintaining kosher integrity of the equipment and the product throughout the entire process, have become a way of life for us. Those in this business understand that this is no easy task; however, our knowledge of kosher has helped us develop an outstanding allergen control program. I have had a 25-year relationship with the Orthodox Union, working with many former and current rabbis who have taught and continue to teach my staff and myself about maintaining the kosher integrity of the products we manufacture. Our rabbinic coordinator, Rabbi Dovid Bistricer, is our first contact for new ingredient and label review plus his assistance with third-party agreements. At the plant, OU rabbinical field representative Rabbi Shmuel Rashkin does much more than making sure our plant is in compliance. He is truly a resource, another set of eyes and a partner in every stage of the process from reviewing new customer test runs to the finished product entering the warehouse. Between the two of them and OU staff, it’s like having our own private compliance department. Through my experience in dealing with so many different customer and regulatory audits, our rabbi is the only inspector who is happy when he finds nothing remotely out of place. As we continue to grow as an organization, it is these personal and professional relationships that are essential in safeguarding not only our reputation but more importantly, the quality and integrity of the finished products provided to the consumer. In order to continually be successful we require the best in the industry to work here — and this includes our kosher certification agency, the Orthodox Union. Steuben Foods Inc. is a privately owned contract manufacturer of aseptic (shelf-stable) and extended shelf life (refrigerated) food products serving a variety of different customers ranging from the world’s largest food companies to new, start-up ventures. Kenneth J. Stanley serves as the Vice President / Plant Director for the company.
B&G Food Roseland, NJ
Continued from page 5 products, as well as meeting the special sanitation and processing needs for unique productions such as Passover — especially if there are also private label products involved — can be especially demanding. We have developed a simple yet effective system of communication via email that outlines our production schedule and the specifics of kosherization so that everyone involved is informed and on the same page. The entire process works exceptionally well due to the mutual respect and trust that have been built into the relationship over the years of working as a team to ensure quality, consistency and the practices required by the OU to ensure acceptable product. The advantage of OU certification on the label as a selling point is enhanced by the gratification that comes from taking a complex system of requirements and making them an everyday occurrence by respecting each other’s needs, restrictions and abilities in a truthful and trusting environment. Rabbi David Gorelik is our rabbinic coordinator and Rabbi Moshe Perlmutter is our primary rabbinic field representative. Rabbi Gorelik serves as the backup RFR. In both cases, it is the blend of professionalism as it pertains to each of our job responsibilities and requirements as well as a personal relationship that has developed over the years that makes this program work. We can exchange pleasantries, discuss current events — both what is happening in the world as well as in our lives — while accomplishing our goal: to maintain an active, current and correct OU program in a cordial atmosphere.
ARE your company and products posted on www.oukosher.org. Featured Companies section? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details. 6
An Introduction to
OU Certification and the Kosher Marketplace: A PowerPoint Presentation Dear Friend, Thousands of companies choose OU Kosher certification. OU Kosher is recognized as the world’s largest and most respected kosher certification agency and symbol. OU Kosher certification is a clear mark of superior quality, and OU certified companies know that having the OU Kosher symbol enhances the marketability of their products worldwide. The
OU Kosher symbol opens untapped channels of distribution in new markets for OU companies, thereby increasing their revenues. The PowerPoint presentation for which you have the attached link can be used to educate and enlighten your colleagues about why OU certification is so important to your company. Please share it as well with your suppliers, your customers, and others with whom you do
business. It will give them a better understanding of the scope and reach of OU certification, the ever growing kosher marketplace, and the OU advantage for your company’s growth and development. They will agree that OU certification is a major contributor to your company’s success. Sincerely, Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Safran Editor-in-Chief, BTUS
Feature OU certification and the OU symbol on your website, and link the logo to www.oukosher.org. That way the full range of OU activities will become known to your clientele.
Understanding the Complexities of Bills of Lading By Rabbi Gavriel Price
A bill of lading (BOL) can be an indispensable
resource for someone trying to verify the origin of a raw material. Since this is one of the tasks of an OU rabbinic field representative (RFR) visiting a food manufacturer, he will often refer to a BOL to confirm the acceptability of an ingredient. What is a BOL, and what are the limits of its usefulness? Let’s say that Iowa Vegetable Oils (IVO) hires Midwest Transport to ship 45,000 gallons of vegetable oil to Pennsylvania Potato Chip (PPC). In this scenario, a series of transactions takes place: IVO transfers custody of the product to Midwest Transport who, upon delivery, transfers custody to PPC. A BOL is generated that minimizes the legal issues that can arise as the product moves along this chain of custody. It identifies the Shipper (IVO), the Carrier (Midwest Transport) and the Consignee (PPC). It also identifies the type of product (vegetable oil), the specific unit in Midwest Transport’s fleet used to actually ship the product, and the seal numbers physically applied to the trailer. The OU RFR at PPC will consult the BOL to satisfy two distinct requirements. The first is that the commodity indeed comes from the approved source. Second, he will want to see that the oil is shipped in a tanker trailer that is kosher certified. Since the BOL identifies not only Midwest Transport but also the specific trailer number, the OU RFR will cross reference that number with Midwest Transport’s kosher certificate (certified companies
should retain the certificates for the transportation companies used to bring product to their facility). In cases where a product is only acceptable when sealed under rabbinical supervision, an OU RFR should also cross-reference the actual seals with those identified on the bill of lading. Unfortunately, there is no standard form for presenting information on a BOL, so some careful reading is needed to find what is pertinent. In the vast majority of cases the BOL will be sufficient for an OU RFR to confirm that a commodity originated from its approved source. However, a BOL will not always provide an answer. The BOL described above identified IVO, the manufacturer, as the Shipper. This is standard practice in the transport of kosher certified goods, since most commodities are only acceptable from specific manufacturers. A BOL can, however, identify the broker as the Shipper of goods, and not the manufacturer. In this case the BOL is useless to an OU rabbinic field representative or, at best, a piece of a puzzle that needs to be completed. Identifying the broker as the Shipper is used in a “blind” BOL. The broker wants to keep the identity of the manufacturer from the customer so he can remain the middleman. This is a perfectly legal, and common, stratagem. It is unacceptable, however, in an arrangement in which the commodity is approved only from manufacturer(s) specified on a Schedule A.
If an OU RFR does find that the Shipper identified on the BOL is not the manufacturer approved on Schedule A and the Shipper is confirmed to be a broker or distributor (and not simply an unapproved manufacturer), he may nevertheless be able to put together a picture of the supply chain reaching to the original manufacturer. For example, recently an OU RFR encountered an ISO container (essentially a large, mobile storage tank) holding refined grape seed oil at a Kansas City food production plant. The OU RFR duly reviewed the BOL, which identified a trading firm in Newark as the Shipper. The seals on the BOL matched those on the ISO container, but the approved supplier was an Italian company whose name had no relation to that of the Shipper. Ultimately, the Kansas City food producer was able to provide a complementary BOL that identified the approved manufacturer as the Shipper and the Consignee (that is, the receiver) as the Newark trading firm. The seal numbers noted there were identical to those on the BOL for the Newark-Kansas shipment. The ISO container, it seems, had been shipped from Italy to Newark, where it was held before being shipped onward to Kansas City.
Another potential resource when dealing with a blind BOL is a certificate of analysis (COA). This document provides data about the physical and chemical properties of a sample taken from a specific lot of product. It will be generated by the manufacturer of the lot, and bear its name. If an OU rabbinic field representative can relate the specific lot identified on the COA to a specific lot in the plant he’s visiting, he’s performed his job. However, a broker who is keen on concealing the identity of the manufacturer will be careful to change the name on the COA to his name — again, all without necessarily indulging in anything deceitful. A BOL can be an instrument of subterfuge. What if IVO notices that its vegetable oil has failed internal quality specifications, but it desperately needs to make good on an urgent order to PPC? It might send trailer 613, from Midwest Transport, to its competitor, Missouri Vegetable Oil, to fill the order for them. If IVO is keen on ensuring that PPC does not think anything is amiss, the IVO name, not Missouri Corn Oil’s, will occupy the section titled Shipper (which, after all, it is). This scenario is conceivable in theory but, for a number of practical and probably legal reasons, not at all likely. When in doubt, OU RFRs can reach out to their counterparts at the approved supplier to confirm the facts of a shipment. Working together with you, our certified companies, we can ensure the transparency of a supply chain and that you get exactly the product you’re expecting. Rabbi Gavriel Price services the transportation, ingredients and flavor industries at the Orthodox Union. A frequent contributor to BTUS, his “Understanding Enzyme Modified Cheese Flavors” appeared in the Fall 2012 issue.
By Rabbi Chaim Loike
Fungus Among Us The Mushroom
that are free of infestation. The OU mushrooms are grown in either beds of compost or artificial logs. Since mushrooms do not need light, they are grown in indoor growing houses. Different grains are inoculated with mushroom spores which are then implanted in the growing medium. Mushrooms are the fruit of the fungus which spreads through the growing medium. Under
When I first started working at the OU, John and Gary
Caligiuri of Sunny Dell Foods, Inc, took me on a tour of various growing houses. While I was fascinated by the intersection of the high tech science necessary to inoculate grains with mushroom spores and the low tech tubing used to adjust the humidity in the growing rooms, the real surprise came a few days after I returned home. There were Portobello mushrooms growing in my driveway and shitake mushrooms through the wood on my porch. When I called the OU rabbinic field representative, Rabbi Richard Levine, who had been visiting growing houses with me, he reported a similar experience. “I asked my contacts at the companies and they can’t figure out why,” Rabbi Levine told me. “According to their experts it shouldn’t happen but they would not discount that some spores were carried on our shoes or clothing and deposited on our lawns. Highly unlikely but not impossible, as we both experienced the same phenomenon,” he said. Considering it is a fungus which grows in decaying organic materials, the mushroom is surprisingly tasty. And unlike most vegetables, they need to be kosher certified. Not because the mushroom itself is not kosher, but because mushrooms tend to be insect infested. Kosher certification indicates that the growing houses were inspected and found to be free of insects living in the mushrooms. There was a time in the 16th century that the infestation of mushrooms was so severe that many rabbis advised their congregants to abstain from the consumption of mushrooms altogether. Even today, the major kosher organizations will not certify most wild mushrooms or mushrooms which are not cultivated under ideal conditions. Fortunately, in the United States and India there are a number of mushroom companies which, using state of the art facilities, grow the mushrooms under conditions
the proper conditions, three and sometimes four crops of mushrooms can be harvested in single thirty-day period. After the last cut, compost is discarded (often sold to gardening centers) and the rooms are sterilized. This constant sterilization insures that insects are unable to establish themselves in the growing houses. In addition to the insects, the growers are also concerned that molds and other microorganisms might take root; hence far from focusing exclusively on insects, the sterilization is meant to eliminate organisms even on the microscopic level. On the East Coast, the most advanced mushroom growing facilities are found in Kennett Square, PA. Since the mushroom spores as well as the growing mediums are fragile, transportation is a key issue. As such, the mushroom farms cluster together so that the cost of transportation is minimized. Two of the most respected mushroom companies are Phillips Gourmet and
Modern Mushrooms. Both are distinguished by the quality of their products and their ability to keep their product from being infested. The mushroom companies have a tremendous
growing capacity which enables them to provide a consistent supply of mushrooms year-round. Their plant facilities are located adjacent to the climate-controlled growing houses. That assures unsurpassed freshness and an integrated quality control program to closely monitor mushrooms from the beginning of their growing cycle to the finished products. Phillips farms are one of the few growers in the United States to grow shitake, oyster, maitake, enoki, royal trumpet and pom poms. These grow on shelves filled with organic material specially prepared for the mushrooms. The rooms are sterilized every few weeks, and rebuilt every few years. The company makes artificial logs, which weigh a few pounds and are filled with all sorts of organic material. These “logs” are inoculated with spores and in some cases produce only a single mushroom. The mushrooms are harvested and sorted and immediately sent to the supermarket. Some of the specialty mushrooms cost dozens of dollars per pound, because of the labor and material necessary to produce a single mushroom. There is also an R&D area in which Phillips experts are experimenting with the production of ever-newer and more exotic species of mushroom. It is impossible to walk through the various growing houses and not dream about the different ways the mushrooms can be eaten; imagine sautéing the pom pom mushrooms or grilling a portebello… No article about mushrooms would be complete without some advice as to how to best prepare them. After much experimentation, I have invented my own recipe for experiencing the decadent flavor of portabellos. English muffins or some other heavy bread should be used. The mushroom should be placed fan up on the bread, and then a light cover of Hellman’s OU certified mayonnaise should be applied (not too much or the mayonnaise will dominate the flavor). The mushroom should then be covered with cheese, and another slice of bread. It should be put in the toaster or oven until the cheese melts. Try it! Rabbi Chaim Loike is OU Kosher rabbinic coordinator specializing in fruits, vegetables and mushrooms. In addition to his work at the Orthodox Union, Rabbi Loike also teaches at Yeshiva University and Touro College.
Ask the Rabbi: Certifying Tankers
Reply by Rabbi Leonard Steinberg Question: What requirements must a bulk liquid tanker meet to be certified
Multiple Juices and Juice Drinks
Minute Maid Simply Beverages
Receive Orthodox Union Certification
for hauling kosher product?
Answer: A brand new bulk liquid tanker is intrinsically kosher, just as any brand-new vessel is. If it carries only kosher commodities it will always remain kosher. It loses that kosher status when non-kosher material is introduced to it. In order to restore it to its kosher status, it must undergo a kosherization process. Some wash racks are certified to perform upgrade washes that can kosherize a trailer without an OU representative present. Others that are only certified for maintenance washes cannot kosherize the trailer unless a special arrangement is made whereby an OU representative supervises the process and ensures that the kosherization protocol has been carried out properly. Kosherization entails the trailer sitting idle for a period of 24 hours and then undergoing a wash in which all surfaces of the trailer are purged by water that is at least 200 degrees. The Orthodox Union certifies trailers as kosher if the company signs a contract agreeing to haul only loads approved by the OU. The OU will inspect the terminals periodically. Activity logs are checked against bills of lading to verify that only kosher loads are hauled. A company may choose to have its entire fleet certified or specific trailers that it intends to keep in exclusive kosher service. Trailers that are certified must wash out in a maintenance facility which is certified that the wash will not adulterate the trailer by washing it with recycled water that may have been used to wash a nonkosher trailer.
What You Need, When You Need It
Instant Management of Your Kosher Account Everything at Your Fingertips
Rabbi Leonard Steinberg serves as OU Kosher rabbinic coordinator specializing in food service and transportation services.
Managing Your Account Has Never Been Simpler! 12
Multiple juice and juice drink varieties from Minute Maid® and Simply BeveragesTM will now carry the kosher certification in the U.S. A variety of delicious options from the popular beverage brands have received certification from the Orthodox Union (OU), the world’s largest kosher certification agency. The Minute Maid portfolio of beverages, with more than 100 different flavors and varieties, is the No. 1 fruit and vegetable juice brand in the world in terms of combined retail volume sales. More than a dozen chilled Minute Maid orange juice varieties — including the newest not-fromconcentrate offering, Minute Maid Pure Squeezed orange juice beverages — will feature the symbol on packaging. “For many, kosher certification plays an important role in how they choose the right brands for their families,” said Charles Torrey, Vice President, Marketing, Minute Maid. “Having the OU ‘stamp of approval’ for so many Minute Maid orange juice choices is welcome news for juice drinkers who follow the OU kosher diet.” Since Simply Orange® launched in 2001, the Simply Beverages line has grown to include sixteen varieties of notfrom-concentrate juices and juice drinks that offer a premium, fresh taste. Beyond orange juice, the portfolio includes Simply Lemonade®, Simply Limeade®, Simply Apple®, Simply Grapefruit®, and Simply Cranberry® Cocktail. All Simply Beverages have been certified kosher by the OU and will carry the mark on packaging. Simply Beverages are available nationwide in a variety of sizes, including a 59 fl. oz. carafe, a 13.5 fl. oz. carafe and an 89 fl. oz. package. “Simply has always been committed to quality, and our
partnership with the OU is another example of that commitment,” said Allison Higbie, Group Director of Marketing for Simply Beverages. “We received valuable support from the Orthodox Union as they guided us through the certification process, and we look forward to building a long-term relationship.” In addition to the products receiving OU certification, several Minute Maid and Simply Beverage products have also been certified OU Kosher for Passover. They include Minute Maid Pure Squeezed 100% OJ in the No Pulp and Some Pulp varieties, and Simply Orange Pulp Free and Simply Orange High Pulp varieties. Rabbi Raymond Morrison, long time OU Kosher’s Rabbinic Coordinator, commented: “Throughout the certification process, I have been impressed with the enthusiasm and professionalism of each brand’s personnel with whom we had the pleasure to work. I have found that their ethos of striving for excellence in every facet of their work mirrors that of the Orthodox Union and will certainly contribute to a strong and meaningful relationship.” The rollout of packaging for Minute Maid and Simply Beverages with the designation has already begun and will continue over the next several months. A complete list of Minute Maid and Simply Beverages products certified by the Orthodox Union can be found through this link to the OUkosher.org website. * Source: Euromonitor International Limited; total volume sales including retail volume sales in litres based on 2011 data. —continued on page 12
C d e fi ti
e s v i O e U c e C R e rti ra
Kelp Caviar, a world leader in caviar substitute manufacturing, has received certification for its Kelp Caviar Vegetarian Caviar substitute from the Orthodox Union, the world’s largest and most respected kosher certification agency. “Kelp Caviar has developed nine different flavors of caviar substitutes which taste, feel, and look exactly like the real deal,” said Naor Cohen, general manager of Montreal-based Kelp Caviar.” By becoming certified kosher by the OU, we have opened
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many new opportunities for our export markets including, but not limited to, the United States, Israel, France and South Africa.” Kelp is the only caviar substitute on the global market that is 100-percent natural, 100-percent vegetarian, has zero calories, zero cholesterol, and has a 24-month shelf life and does not require any refrigeration. Its flavor choices include: sturgeon, salmon, lumpfish orange, lumpfish yellow, truffle, wasabi, balsamic and chili. Kelp
Caviar is available for private label and under its house brand. “As our international sales were increasing, our clientele requested us to obtain kosher certification, especially for our markets in France, Israel and South Africa. After shopping around for the best kosher certifying agency with global recognition and a great reputation, we have unanimously decided to become certified kosher by the Orthodox Union,” explained Mr. Cohen. “Our worldwide clients have
given us the thumbs up for achieving OU certification, as the OU symbol is widely recognized in each country.” In expressing the Orthodox Union’s satisfaction at Kelp Caviar’s attaining OU certification, Rabbi Eliyahu Safran, vice president of Marketing at OU Kosher noted, “this very fine, high quality pareve product will undoubtedly be welcomed by both individual and food service consumers.” “Kelp Caviar has a subtle flavor profile which will please almost any palate, from the experienced caviar lovers to the less adventurous eaters,” stated Mr. Cohen. “Kelp is the only caviar product on the market which can be used as an ingredient in your favorite dishes; it will not break down and will resist temperatures up to 500 degrees. You can bake, cook and fry Kelp Caviar products in any dish, bringing it to another culinary level.” For more information, visit www. caviarkelp.com and www.oukosher.org.
Naor Cohen, general manager of Montreal-based Kelp Caviar.
How OU Rabbinic Field Representatives Solve Problems on the Production Line By Rabbi Eli Gersten
When a company applies for kosher certification, often all that is needed are slight modifications in ingredients (Schedule A); scheduling (e.g. kosher pareve — kosher dairy — non-kosher) or procedures for the plant to be in complete compliance with kosher standards. Occasionally though, difficulties arise which, in order to be resolved, require all parties to think outside of the box.
A company manufactures seasoned tortilla chips, some pareve and some dairy. Although an allergen cleanup is performed after the dairy run, the tumbler needed to be kosherized after each dairy run if the chips were hot when the seasoning was applied. Because this plant changes between dairy and pareve frequently it is not practical to have the rabbinic field representative (RFR) visit every time they would need to kosherize. Also, the facility is not large enough to extend the conveyer belt by an additional 25 ft, the length needed to allow the chips the extra time they would need to cool sufficiently before reaching the tumbler.
The company installed a series of fans and coolers that blow on the chips before they enter the tumbler, and they succeeded in cooling the chips to an acceptable temperature within the limited space. This eliminated the need for kosherizing, and now their standard allergen cleanup is sufficient each time they switch between dairy and pareve. Rabbi Eli Gersten serves as OU rabbinic coordinator— recorder of OU policy. A frequent contributor to BTUS, his “ABC’s … STUV’s – The Two Arts of Your Kosher Program,” appeared in the Fall 2012 issue.
www.OUKosher.org, the world’s most frequented kosher web site, features OU certified companies and their products on its OU FEATURED COMPANIES section. Close to 1,000 companies are already posted. In order to be posted, at no cost, please submit the following information to Safrane@ou.org: t Name of company or brand to be featured t JPG image 75X120 t Website link t 25-75 word description of your products/company. t Currently featured companies can be viewed at:
@ www.oukoshe r.org
The company has two retorts. One that is fitted to hold 10 oz cans and the other holds 16 oz cans. Their 10 oz cans are in high demand and this retort is needed every day, while their other retort is only used sporadically. The solution was to refit retort #2 (that holds the 16 oz cans) so that it can also hold 10 oz cans. Retort #2 will be left idle for 24 hours and kosherized, and then production of kosher 10 oz cans can continue almost uninterrupted into the refitted retort #2.
One of the basic preconditions for kosherization is that equipment must be left idle for 24 hours. Only after this 24-hour dormancy can we kosherize by flushing the equipment with boiling water. Some companies operate seven-days-a-week and it is very difficult for them to arrange for 24 hours of down time. In certain cases, the OU will allow substituting the 24-hour down time with a double kosherization; first with a flush of boiling, caustic water, or some other foul tasting water; followed by a flush with clean boiling water. However, some equipment is too sensitive, or does not have the means to have boiling, caustic water reach all necessary parts of an apparatus. One particular company operates its retorts seven days a week to sterilize both kosher and non-kosher products. Because the retort is steam injected, the only way to foul the water in the retort would be to add high doses of chemicals into the boiler, which for this company was not an option.
Thinking Outside the Box
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r e t a W g n i pr
OU Kosher Certified
S a g o t a r a S The Saratoga Spring Water Company has been bottling spring water products on the same site in upstate New York since 1872. In those 140-plus years many honors have been bestowed upon this historic brand, not the least of which was announced last summer when Senator Charles Schumer chose the company’s iconic cobalt blue glass bottles to be served at the 2013 Presidential Inauguration, held on January 21. The company’s unflavored spring water products, both sparkling and non-sparkling, are certified kosher, pareve and for Passover by the Orthodox Union. During the announcement, which took place on picturesque Geyser Lake under the company’s original slate-roofed pavillion, Senator Schumer professed his long-standing loyalty to the brand: “Saratoga Spring water has long been one of my beverages of choice, so when given the opportunity to share its iconic blue bottle with hundreds of guests at the Presidential Inauguration, it was a no-brainer,” he said. “After touring this impressive bottling facility, I am thrilled to announce that Saratoga Spring will be served to official guests at the Presidential Inauguration.
I am honored to have been selected to plan the festivities at the Presidential Inauguration, particularly because it allows me to showcase this iconic Capital Region company and its superior product at the 57th Inauguration in January.” The Saratoga Spring Water Company came into existence in 1872 during the global emergence of health consciousness, and bottled water was de rigeur for maintaining “delicate constitutions.” The town of Saratoga Springs was globally renowned for its rich and varied spring water sources. By the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Saratoga Spring Water had garnered worldwide recognition as a premium product. Today, the Saratoga Spring Water Company, a privately-held business headed by owner and CEO, Adam E. Madkour, distributes its products in almost 40 states, and multiple countries worldwide. The company’s facilities have been automated for efficiency but proudly maintain its historic roots. “Our water has been enjoyed for almost a century and a half in every corner of the globe,” noted Mr. Madkour. “We strive to honor our history while looking toward a bright future.”
Chosen for Presidential Inauguration OU Kosher
Want your products to be found on www.oukosher.org when consumers search? Be sure the product name listed on Schedule B is something that will come up in a search engine. Instead of listing ‘Tuna’, try ‘IQF Yellow Fin Tuna Steaks’ to generate the maximum number of hits.
Stellar Kosher Program u
and its Cooperation in Facilitating
Kosher Education Programming u
From left: Rabbi Akiva Tendler, OU Kosher Rabbinic Coordinator for Oasis Foods; Rabbi David Gorelick, Rabbinic Coordinator; Leo Nigro, Vice President, Oasis Foods; Rabbi Moshe Perlmutter, OU Kosher Rabbinic Field Representative for Oasis Foods; and Rabbi Yosef Grossman, Senior Educational Rabbinic Coordinator, OU Kosher.
OU Kosher paid a visit
to Oasis Foods Company in Hillside, NJ to present the firm with a plaque in recognition of its excellent kosher program and its “open door” policy of welcoming ASK OU programs for hands-on demonstrations of how OU Kosher plant supervision works. The plaque was awarded to Oasis Vice President Leo Nigro and Team Oasis. “It was a real pleasure to meet Mr. Nigro and Team Oasis at their corporate office. The plaque I presented to Oasis on behalf of
the Orthodox Union gave concrete expression to our deeply held respect and admiration for the stellar kosher program in place at Oasis,” said Rabbi Yosef Grossman, Senior Educational Rabbinic Coordinator, OU Kosher, who coordinates the programs that visit Oasis Foods facilities. “It was a way to express our appreciation for always having an open door to the many ASK OU Kosher training and educational programs which they so graciously host. We look forward to many
more years of a mutually beneficial relationship.” Mr. Nigro said, “At Oasis Foods we take great pride in the culture and relationship we have built together with the OU. Our employees, customers and suppliers all benefit by the infrastructure, policies and procedures that we have put in place with the guidance of the OU. We have formed a very strong partnership with the OU and we look forward to what the future brings for both of our organizations.”