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March 28, 2010

Chabad Front Organization: Bacteria Used In Food Production Must Be Kosher

Black Hat Fedora One should not rely on the list of components provided with each product in order to determine whether it's kosher or not, as general definitions like "flavorings" and "stabilizing materials" often conceal components which are "completely unfit for eating" according to Jewish Law.

Without getting deeply into the halakhic specifics of the following claims, let me just say the following: If the food ingredient is, a) not edible on its own and, b) batel, it does not make the food unkosher.

The problem here is that rabbis with a financial and political interest in making the definition of kosher food more restrictive are also the rabbis who write books like this and who rule on kashrut matters. In this case, those rabbis are affiliated with Chabad's European front organization, the Rabbinical Center of Europe.

Until very late in rabbinic history, Jews used the same pot to cook both meat and milk (Ramban, hagalah b'ochlin) and bought pareve items sliced with non-kosher knives (Rama). Today's rabbis allow neither, just as they refuse to allow so many other things Jews did with rabbinic approval not so long ago.

For those of you who want to keep kosher, Rabbi Abadi's website probably represents the closest to what was normative Jewish practice before haredim existed.

For those of you who want to follow 'halakha' created out of whole cloth as a political response to modernity, please consult the OU, OK, Star-K, Rabbi Weissmandl or any of the hundreds of other kashrut organizations formed (for the most part) in the last half century by haredim.

Do bacteria require kosher permit?
How does kashrut system deal with gourmet cheese filled with germs, flavorings and different stabilizing materials? New book discusses religious way of dealing with 21st century's food industry

Kobi Nahshoni • Ynet

According to a mythological Bnei Brak fable, the city's Chief Rabbi Moshe Yehuda Leib Landa is one of the few people in the entire world who have been exposed to Coca Cola's secret recipe. Otherwise, he would not have been able to grant a kosher seal of approval to the popular drink produced in the city of Torah and Hasidism.

A new book published ahead of the Passover holiday does not reveal the secret formula worth millions, but its authors – who are experts in the field of kashrut – definitely reveal a number of dark secrets about the food industry.

One of the most sensational discoveries made in the book – published by the Rabbinical Centre of Europe and edited by Rabbi Asher Gold – is provided by Rabbi Mordechai Sofer, head of Rabbi Landa's kashrut system.

As part of the halachic discussions, one of Rabbi Sofer's revelations is that most soft drinks claiming to have "pieces of fruit" do not really contain them. The "deceit" is made possible by mixing stabilizing substances which cause the absorption of particles from the drink and adopt its color – a problematic process requiring special kashrut supervision, which is discussed in detail in the book.

Rabbi Sofer also reveals that many companies color white beans in additional layer of white for a fresher look, and there are those who cover apples with wax in order to make their color look "livelier".

As a rule, the rabbi says, one should not rely on the list of components provided with each product in order to determine whether it's kosher or not, as general definitions like "flavorings" and "stabilizing materials" often conceal components which are "completely unfit for eating" according to Jewish Law.

Fruit juice defined as "100% natural" is not necessarily kosher as well, although the fruit itself is fit for eating, as the filters separating the juice from the fiber and seeds are used many times to filter non-kosher foods, and the residue blends into it. The book also claims that many companies add water to these juices, so that in any event it is not "100% natural".

Is a kosher seal of approval needed for bacteria? Definitely. According to the book, in the United States there is a "bank" with 80,000 germs for food production, used mainly as a culture for different products such as cheese. Most are not kosher as they are stored inside the blood of cows which have not been slaughtered according to Jewish religious laws. The solution: In Indonesia there is a wide production of bacteria preserved in different, kosher conditions.

Rabbi Aryeh Goldberg, deputy director of the Rabbinical Centre of Europe, notes that the book is unique as it is appeals to the entire public and not just to the small community of people involved and specializing in kashrut issues.

"If in the past kashrut issues were the reserve of experts and elected people, today we see increasing public interest from many people seeking to get involved and be updated on kashrut issues."

Comments

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I used to enjoy reading all of the posts of kashrut.org just before Pesach. Unfortunately, it looks like they stopped answering questions on the site (although R. Abadi's Pesach list is still available for a small donation.)

First of all, while your statement about how Jews used to keep kosher is definitely true, there is a solid basis for some of the changes nowadays.
In days of yore, if a family had 2 or 3 good pots around the house, they were doing pretty well. They had to kasher the pot between meat and milk because they couldn't afford two complete sets of everything. What's more, iron pots were just that: iron, which is very cleansable.
Nowadays things are different. Pots have glazes and teflon covers creating problems our forebears did not have to deal with. What's more, they're cheap. When was the last time you saw a pot with a patch welded to it? No one does that anymore. They go to WalMart and buy a new pot. As a result, many leniencies that still exist to make life easier don't have to be held to because two sets of pots are affordable making them unnecessary.
Having said that, the bacteria thing is just ridiculous and an example of kosher agencies looking to justify their fees.
My idea? Since there's bacteria in the air and every time you breath you gulp the nonkosher microbes in, I'm going to market "Avir Yisroel", personal air tanks for the kosher consumer. And, for a little extra, "Avir Arizal" for the Chabadnik for whom Avir Yisroel won't be good enough.

Garnel: The Jains already wear gauze face masks so that they don't accidentally inhale insects.

We want increased transparency in the kosher industry.

In days of yore, if a family had 2 or 3 good pots around the house, they were doing pretty well. They had to kasher the pot between meat and milk because they couldn't afford two complete sets of everything. What's more, iron pots were just that: iron, which is very cleansable.
Nowadays things are different. Pots have glazes and teflon covers creating problems our forebears did not have to deal with.

Please.

The metal used for pots in the 1200s and 1300s was far more porous than anything used today.

Past that, the decision to forbid hagalah b'ochlin and so many other things was made BEFORE there was teflon coated cookware.

Apologies to Buddy Holly:

Everyday - Pesach's gettin' closer
Rollin' faster than a shmura matzoh
Holidays will surely come my way
oy vey - a hey hey

Then one day - the first born are a-fastin'
Got 4 questions, go ahead and ask 'em
Holidays will surely come my way
oy vey, a hey hey

Every year seems a little longer
every way - chumrot are much stronger
come what may - do you ever long for
spirituality-

Everyday - Pesach's gettin' closer
Rollin' faster than a shmura matzoh
Holidays will surely come my way
oy vey - a hey hey

they are no different than the catholic church that holds the believers unable to understand the bible if they read it on their own.
nor are they different from the cosa nostra in protecting their turf. even at the cost of lying!
should see the trick they pulled on the rabbinate in rome this peyssach. shame!

As more and more chemical and artificial ingredients get created and gets put into our food, I have no problems having another set of eyes that check into just what the heck they are - even it is the eyes of the kashrus agencies and even if it is the dreaded CHABAD!. Heck, I will take even Frank!

(I just report this so don't flame me please) According to a friend who's a rabbinic coordinator at the OU, if a substance, even microbial or nanotech, significantly effects the flavor or texture of a substance, kashrut becomes an issue. He states that batul b'shishim only applies if there is no impact on either quality.

Where pure considerations Kashrut end and Big Bussiness money making begins?

all things made in restaurants and factories are made either stainless steel or aluminum, which is PHYSICALLY incapable of absorbing taste! blias taam is not magic. it doesn't "Become treyf" unless a taste goes into it. it is clear from the nosei cailim in the yoreh deah that if there's no taste, there's no issur! you have to watch out for cast iron, but other than that youre fine eating in restaurants.
the chareidi rabbunim made all of this stuff up, it's all nonsense. how can you believe people who have such a personal negiya as the OU?? the OU is NOT a non profit organization set up for the welfare of the jewish people.....the OU is a private business, owned and operated by rabbis who take money from other companies to be able to put their stamp of approval on their products, and then they convince YOU that you can't eat anything other than these products.
open up a shulchan aruch and you will see that 60% of everything you've ever passed up in a grocery store because you thought it wasn't kosher is actually kosher!!!!

I just passed it along. Never claimed to believe it. Do what you want with it, lol!!

I didnt have time to read the artical, but I have just written out a check $1800 to a Shalich.

Everyone else should also follow me and donate money to the shluchim for all the good work they do for the Jewish people and the world.

I didnt have time to read the artical, but I have just written out a check $1800 to a Shalich.

If you wanted to do a mitzvah with $1,800, you could have used for Biur Chametz tomorrow morning.

Right now kosher agencies issue prohibitions and then profit from certifying that those prohibitions aren't violated.

I think we will restore sanity to kashruth when we eliminate conflicts of interest. For example, what would happen if only a posek with no interest kashruth certification income was to make all decisions about new prohibitions.

This sort of seperation would prevent both needless chumras and careless supervision.

Then a next step would be to have poskim declare their were only two levels: al pi halachah and mehudar. If you really want to end the madness, poskim should themselves start eating al pi halachah just like a rav is sometimes obliged to be mechallel shabbos himself for pikuach nefesh so people will recognize that the heter is is obligatory.

Sadly, I think the state of profiteering and corruption of halacah is too advanced to be stopped. Forget about rabbonim with the courage to declare that they are interested in the shulchan aruch and not the OU or the badatz.

The fact is that chumrah mongers are reform Jews in thier own way.

(I just report this so don't flame me please) According to a friend who's a rabbinic coordinator at the OU, if a substance, even microbial or nanotech, significantly effects the flavor or texture of a substance, kashrut becomes an issue. He states that batul b'shishim only applies if there is no impact on either quality.

Posted by: jay | March 28, 2010 at 02:46 PM

Your friend is incorrect unless one can definitely identify the offending ingredient. Chazal were not fools. they knew what they were doing by saying that less than 60th is nullified ( There are a few exceptions to this such as ingredients that bind a product together such as emulsifiers, and even then not everybody agrees)
There's a wonderful Gemara Brachot 66, I think. They are discussing peppercorns and a mixture that was made in India. Those sages were not in the least bit concerned about the pots(suffeik ben yomo is aino ben yomo) or ingredients other than what they could taste.
Follow R.Abadi and the London beth din ( who permit thousands of products based on their ingredients)

The OU has their supervision on laundry detergent, just in case someone will decide to eat it, or they just like the money, why someone except crazy BT will ask for kosher detergent. The OU is corrupted organization just their haredi brother

Never mind that. What about the medicines list they bring out. Not just with stuff you buy over the counter but with prescribed medication.
The book should be banned as it only causes problems and people stop giving their children things like antibiotics over pesach or even serious medication over the year simply because the item in the book claims to be NK or not for pesach.

Good moed everyone.

I actually have a pot I'm keeping around to get a patch on it. It's the bottom part of a double boiler. I don't know why, but double boilers are extremely hard to find in the local stores. (I won't buy pots and pans online--I really have to see them and handle them a bit first.)

I normally use a crockpot on Shabbos for cholent, but on Shabbos with Yomtov, or for Pesach, I use a separate 3-ring burner and a stack of three pots from two same-sized double boilers.

But yes, I would prefer to just throw the pot away and buy a new same-size double boiler. I've got until Succos.

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