What is Kosher?
When your product or establishment is Kosher certified, shoppers know well that you comply with all the strict policies of Kosher food laws, including cleanliness, purity and food quality. But Kosher means more than responsible food preparation involvement. Kosher basically refers to a set of intricate biblical laws and practices that detail the types of food that a Jewish person prefers to eat and the ways in which it may be prepared or cooked. To be certified Kosher, all the ingredients in every product and the process of preparing the product must be certified for orthodox kosher compliance as well.
Kosher Foods and Products
Kosher is a term which is used to describe the food that complies with the strict dietary standards of the conventional Jewish law. For many Jews, Kosher is much more than just a healthy food and food safety. It is about reverence and adherence to the religious traditions and that being said, not all the Jewish communities adhere to the strict Kosher guidelines in today’s time. Some individuals may prefer to follow only certain rules or some may prefer to follow none at all. Kosher foods are basically divided into three categories that is, meat, dairy and pareve. The following mentioned descriptions offer a practical information for how your product or establishment can be classified as Kosher under the three categories of Kosher food products-
All the meat and fowl and their byproducts, including bones, soup, gravy, etc. are classified as Meat. This also includes products that contain meat or fowl derivatives for example, liver pills. Items designated under Meat must meet the following mentioned requirements to be considered as Kosher Certified-
- Kosher meat must come from an animal which chews its cud and has the split hooves and those involve- cows, sheep and goats. Rabbits, kangaroos and fox are not considered as Kosher meat.
- Kosher fowl are identified by a universally accepted custom and includes the domesticated species of chicken, hens, ducks, geese, turkeys, etc.
- Animal and fowl must be mandatorily slaughtered with precision and examined by a skilled shochet, who is an individual extensively trained in the rituals of the kosher slaughtering process.
- Permissible portions of the animal and fowl must be very well prepared like soaked and free of any trace of blood before cooking.
- All the utensils used in the slaughtering, cleaning, preparing as well as packaging must be kosher only.
All foods that are derived from, or contain milk are basically classified as dairy, including milk, butter, yogurt, cheese (be it hard, soft or creamy cheese), etc.. Even a trace amount of dairy can cause a food product to be considered as dairy. Dairy products must meet the following mentioned criteria in order to be Kosher certified:
- The food products must come from a kosher animal only which we have mentioned earlier.
- All the ingredients in it must be kosher and free of meat derivatives. Conventional rennet, gelatin, etc. are of animal origin and should not be used in it strictly.
- The dairy food products must be produced, processed and packaged on a clean kosher equipment only.
Foods that come under neither meat nor dairy are basically called as pareve. Common pareve foods include eggs, fish, fruit, vegetables, grains, juices, pasta, soft drinks, coffee and other stuffs like candies and snacks. Pareve presents fewer kosher complexities comparatively than meat or dairy, but certain points that should be taken care of are:
- Foods may lose their pareve status if they are processed on meat or dairy equipment or even when additives are used in it. Pure Chocolate, cookies and other tea snacks may not be processed with meat or meaty foods unless and until they are certified pareve.
- Certain fruits, vegetables and grains must be properly checked for the presence of the small insects and larvae in it, which are not kosher.
- Eggs must be checked for the presence of blood spots over the cover, as they are not kosher.
Above anything else, the Kosher certification process enhances the traceability as it allows consumers to know where their food was sourced, processed, packaged, and also, distributed. Quite unlike federal regulatory food safety systems, Kosher labeling on any food package is clearly notable for fulfilling the consumers’ most desired traits in their food products that is traceability and transparency. The lack of traceability, monitoring as well as enforcement is a
systemic problem in today’s global food system, and it can easily be called as the culprit in the lengthy process to identify the source of E. coli contamination.
OUR KOSHER CERTIFICATION AND COMPLIANCE SERVICES
When you partner with Kosher East, we offer you a complete Kosher audit and certification along with the compliance program which also covers the following complementary services:
- Proper gap analysis.
- Technical support and advice for potential, practical and in-factory implementation challenges that come across.
- Training in the form of face-to-face, online, or using a blended approach that our modular courses cover like the technical, regulatory, national as well as international Kosher requirements and criteria and their practical implementation.
BEST KOSHER CERTIFICATION PROVIDER
We offer a wide range of Kosher services for the food safety and quality check in addition to our Kosher food certification services. We also audit and certify compliance with the global food industry standards such as the FSSC 22000, BRC, SQF, HACCP, etc. To deliver all these services, we work very diligently. Kosher East is an internationally recognized and accepted Kosher certification agency which offers an industry-practical approach to the Kosher food certification process that includes clearly written general compliance requirements along with step-by-step technical support and guidance in it. If you are looking to certify Kosher foods and products, feel free to get in touch with us, we will be very happy to assist you.