December 10, 2018
Keystone-K – Alerts and Halocha: Breads / Vegetable Plants / Eggs / Chicken
The following article from Jewish Link of NJ is of great importance to the Kosher consumer. Many of the bread products which we are familiar with are dropping Kosher certification. Please check all bread products to ascertain that they are properly supervised, and that they are Parve. Most bread products which are “Dairy” are not recommended.
“Bimbo Bakeries USA, which owns many of the nationally distributed bread and bun brands in America, including Arnold’s, Oroweat, Thomas’, Sara Lee, Stroehmann, Freihofer’s and Entenmann’s, made the decision in 2017 to drop the world’s largest kosher symbol, the OU (Orthodox Union) certification, from many of its products. The Jewish Link also learned of plans in the works to drop certification from a large portion of its Kof-K certified products as well.” Please use the following link to read the full article.
Due to recent issues of contamination, some retailers are selling leafy vegetables grown hydroponically with the root ball and growth medium still attached. This keeps the vegetables fresh longer. Please make sure to remove the root ball and nutrients prior to Shabbat/Yom Tov. Being that these plants are not grown in the ground there is an argument if the proper brocha should be a “She’hakol” or a “borai pri ha’adma”. Please follow the guidance of your rabbi. It should also be noted that greenhouse grown and hydroponically grown vegetables are not insect free. Only with special systems in place can these vegetables be assumed to be insect free.
I would like to share a number of important items which were discussed by the major Kashrus agencies at recent conferences.
Even though almost all standard eggs sold in the USA have not been fertilized, it is customary to check eggs for blood spots. It is preferable to use white eggs as they rarely have blood spots and when they have blood spots they are easy to recognize. Brown eggs tend to have pigmentation spots which many people confuse with blood spots. The brown pigmentation spots are 100% permitted according to halocha. If you find small specks of brown in a brown egg, do not throw the egg out. It is almost definitely just normal pigmentation.
Due to both the selective breeding of chickens and the automation of the cleaning process, broken bones and bruised meat are common. The Mashgichim at the slaughter house do their best to inspect for any injuries that occurred prior to “shechita”. Most blemishes discovered by the consumer occurred after the “shechita”.
If a consumer discovers blood clots in various areas of the chicken – usually at the “knee” joint – the clots must be removed, and the chicken is 100% kosher. If the chicken was cooked with the blood clots, the blood clot and the surrounding area of the chicken must be cut away and discarded. If there is “rot” or pus at the joint the chicken should be considered treif, or a rabbi should be consulted. In the vast majority of cases the area is reddish, but there are no clots of blood. This is normal, and nothing needs to be removed. If the portion of the wing near the body was broken while the chicken was alive, a rabbi should be consulted.
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