Allergies

Many consumers use the kosher markings as a guideline for determining whether products might meet their special health needs. There are also limitations that the particularly sensitive consumer must consider.

With respect to all kosher products, two important limitations need to be recognized:

1. A process of equipment kosherization is used to convert equipment from one status to another. This is a well-defined religious procedure but may not lead to 100% removal of previous materials run on the equipment.

2. Religious law does permit certain ex post facto (after the fact) errors to be negated. Thus, trace amounts (less than 1/60 by volume under very specific conditions) can be nullified. In deference to a company's desire to minimize negative publicity, a kosher supervisory agencies may not announce when it has used this procedure to make a product acceptable.

Products that one might surmise to be made in a dairy plant—for example, pareve substitutes for dairy products and some other liquids like teas and fruit juices—may be produced in plants that have been kosherized, but they may not meet a very critical allergy standard. Another product that can be problematic is chocolate: many plants make both milk chocolate and pareve chocolate. Getting every last trace of dairy out of the pareve chocolate can be difficult.

Dairy and meat equipment: A pareve product may be produced on a dairy or meat line without any equipment kosherization. Again, religiously insignificant traces of dairy may remain that cannot be tolerated by a very allergic consumer. (The product can be used in a kosher home without the normal waiting period.)

Fish: In a few instances where pareve or dairy products contain small amounts of fish (eg, anchovies in Worcestershire sauce), this ingredient may be marked as part of the kosher supervision symbol. Many certifications, however, do not specifically mark this.

For Passover, there is some dispute about "derivatives" of both chometz and kitnyos materials. A few rabbis permit items like corn syrup, soybean oil, peanut oil, and similarly derived materials from these extensions. More generally, "proteinaeous" parts of these materials are not used. Thus, people with allergies to these items should purchase these special Passover products from supervisory agencies that do not permit kitnyos derivatives. With respect to "equipment kosherization", supervising rabbis tend to be very strict about the clean-up of the prohibited grains (wheat, rye, oats, barley, and spelt) but may not be as critical with respect to the extended prohibition of kitnyos.

Consumers should not assume that kosher markings ensure the absence of trace amounts of the ingredient to which they are allergic.

Fantastic Organic Food Facts

Fantastic Organic Food Facts

Get All The Support And Guidance You Need To Be A Success At Utilizing Organic Foods. This Book Is One Of The Most Valuable Resources In The World When It Comes To Getting The Right Information About Eating Healthy With Organic Food.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment