Community Kashrus
of
Greater Philadelphia

The Keystone K

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Certified Establishments

Membership and Benefits

Become a member of the Keystone-K and receive special benefits at many of our certified establishments.

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Kashrus Updates & Alerts

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Important Announcements and Alerts

July 13, 2016

The brand new Fresh Grocer in Wyncote has established a large kosher section under our supervision.  You can view their information on our web-site under establishments.

 

H & E Cohen Catering is now under Keystone-K supervision.  You can view their information on our web-site under establishments.

 

Leo Tai of Sushi Talk Asian Catering at 7588 Haverford Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19151 informed us that he will not continue as a kosher establishment as of August 1, 2016.  Leo Tai will be available as a Kosher Sushi Chef with a mashgiach temidi beginning August 1, 2016.   His work as a kosher sushi chef is the responsibility of each certifying agency, not the Keystone-K.  

 

At this time a large percentage of carrots come from Eretz Yisroel (for example – Restaurant Depot).  Please follow the procedure we posted on our web-site for removing the teruma and maser.

 

From The O/K: Great Value Broccoli & Cauliflower

Great Value Steam-able Broccoli & Cauliflower Great Value Cut Broccoli Great Value Steamable Broccoli Cuts Great Value – manufactured in Mexico and being sold in Wal-Mart stores, bear an unauthorized O/K symbol:

 

Star-K: Nature’s Kitchen/East Coast Fresh Carrots from Israel

Please be advised that packages of carrots and products containing fresh carrots with a sell-date of July 17 or earlier, bear an unauthorized Star K.  These products require that Trumos and Maasros be taken.  Instruction of how to do so are available on the Keystone-K web-site.

Slurpees

June 16, 2016

According to the joint research of the major Kashrus agencies all Slurpees are kosher and Parve except the following:

 

Barq’s Brand:  Caffeine-Free Root Beer (kosher only when bearing O/U)

The following flavors are kosher – Dairy

Fanta :  Banana Split and Pina Colada are both dairy, Cholov Stam)


Jolly Rancher:  (Note:  All Flavors are Dairy, Cholov Stam)

Yo Cream:  (Note: all flavors are Dairy, Cholov Stam)

Pepsi   (Note:  Diet Pepsi is dairy, Cholov Stam – Diet Pepsi Soda is Parve)

 

The following Slurpee flavors are NOT Kosher:

Horchata Ole – Not Kosher

Orange Barq Smoothie – Not Kosher

Strawberry Twizzler – Not Kosher

Monster Black – Not Kosher

Tropicana Grape Wild Strawberry – Not Kosher

Great News! Wynnewood Giant – Two Kosher Bakeries!

May 18, 2016

Giant Wynnewood has opened a second kosher bakery.  One is Pas Yisroel-Pareve and one is Pas Yisroel-Dairy.  Everything baked at Giant Wynnewood is Pas Yisroel and supervised by the Keystone-K.  High Pas Yisroel standards are in place.  All bread, rolls, bagels, and Challah bread are Pareve.  All other products should be considered Dairy unless the label states Pareve.   Management is working on adding to the Pareve selection of cakes and cookies.  Strawberries will be cleaned in accordance with the Keystone-K policies. 

Please check for our symbol on the baked goods.  If a product baked in the bakery is marked with a plain K that means that it meets our kashrus standards, but it was baked by non-Jews on Shabbos.  Baked goods bearing the symbols of other Kashrus agencies follow the standards of those agencies. 

View All Alerts

Important Announcements and Alerts

July 13, 2016

The brand new Fresh Grocer in Wyncote has established a large kosher section under our supervision.  You can view their information on our web-site under establishments.

 

H & E Cohen Catering is now under Keystone-K supervision.  You can view their information on our web-site under establishments.

 

Leo Tai of Sushi Talk Asian Catering at 7588 Haverford Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19151 informed us that he will not continue as a kosher establishment as of August 1, 2016.  Leo Tai will be available as a Kosher Sushi Chef with a mashgiach temidi beginning August 1, 2016.   His work as a kosher sushi chef is the responsibility of each certifying agency, not the Keystone-K.  

 

At this time a large percentage of carrots come from Eretz Yisroel (for example – Restaurant Depot).  Please follow the procedure we posted on our web-site for removing the teruma and maser.

 

From The O/K: Great Value Broccoli & Cauliflower

Great Value Steam-able Broccoli & Cauliflower Great Value Cut Broccoli Great Value Steamable Broccoli Cuts Great Value – manufactured in Mexico and being sold in Wal-Mart stores, bear an unauthorized O/K symbol:

 

Star-K: Nature’s Kitchen/East Coast Fresh Carrots from Israel

Please be advised that packages of carrots and products containing fresh carrots with a sell-date of July 17 or earlier, bear an unauthorized Star K.  These products require that Trumos and Maasros be taken.  Instruction of how to do so are available on the Keystone-K web-site.

Slurpees

June 16, 2016

According to the joint research of the major Kashrus agencies all Slurpees are kosher and Parve except the following:

 

Barq’s Brand:  Caffeine-Free Root Beer (kosher only when bearing O/U)

The following flavors are kosher – Dairy

Fanta :  Banana Split and Pina Colada are both dairy, Cholov Stam)


Jolly Rancher:  (Note:  All Flavors are Dairy, Cholov Stam)

Yo Cream:  (Note: all flavors are Dairy, Cholov Stam)

Pepsi   (Note:  Diet Pepsi is dairy, Cholov Stam – Diet Pepsi Soda is Parve)

 

The following Slurpee flavors are NOT Kosher:

Horchata Ole – Not Kosher

Orange Barq Smoothie – Not Kosher

Strawberry Twizzler – Not Kosher

Monster Black – Not Kosher

Tropicana Grape Wild Strawberry – Not Kosher

Great News! Wynnewood Giant – Two Kosher Bakeries!

May 18, 2016

Giant Wynnewood has opened a second kosher bakery.  One is Pas Yisroel-Pareve and one is Pas Yisroel-Dairy.  Everything baked at Giant Wynnewood is Pas Yisroel and supervised by the Keystone-K.  High Pas Yisroel standards are in place.  All bread, rolls, bagels, and Challah bread are Pareve.  All other products should be considered Dairy unless the label states Pareve.   Management is working on adding to the Pareve selection of cakes and cookies.  Strawberries will be cleaned in accordance with the Keystone-K policies. 

Please check for our symbol on the baked goods.  If a product baked in the bakery is marked with a plain K that means that it meets our kashrus standards, but it was baked by non-Jews on Shabbos.  Baked goods bearing the symbols of other Kashrus agencies follow the standards of those agencies. 

Infestation Alert from the COR (Toronto)

April 26, 2016

Infestation Alert from the COR (Toronto)

Lieber’s crushed tomatoes for Pesach should be checked for small white worms.  As of this time it is not known if they have been found in the UISA as well.

Orla ערלה – The first Three Years

April 22, 2016

The fruit of a tree or fruit bush may not be eaten during the first three years of its growth.  Not only is it prohibited to eat the fruit but no benefit whatsoever may be derived from the fruit.  This halocha applies both in Eretz Yisroel and in חו”ל (outside of Eretz Yisroel).  There is one major difference between Eretz Yisroel and  חו”ל (outside of Eretz Yisroel) – in Eretz Yisroel we must determine that the fruit is not “Orla” before eating it, while in  חו”ל (outside of Eretz Yisroel) we may go after the majority of fruit which grew after the first three years.  If you pick your own fruit you must ascertain that the tree has been growing for at least three years even outside of Eretz Yisroel.

If a tree is replanted without a ball of earth around the roots (bare roots) the three years must be counted over again.  This is how most commercial orchards plant trees.  A nursery plants the saplings and when they reach the desired size they are chilled so that they go into dormancy.  The young tree is shipped bare rooted as it is much less expensive to ship it without a ball of earth around the roots.  This means that in most cases the three years need to be counted from the replanting, not the original planting.

Even the non-observant farmers find it difficult to find customers for their orla produce in Eretz Yisroel.  That means that most of the orla produce (as well as other forbidden produce) is exported.  We need to be aware of this when shopping for produce.  It is a privilege and a mitzvah to purchase Israeli produce, however, only with a reliable supervision.  It is very common to find unsupervised Israeli produce in the American market which is 100% forbidden.  Grapefruit sections are one extremely common Israeli product which absolutely must carry a reliable supervision.  If one purchased or picked orla in error it must go to waste.  It is not permissible to derive any benefit from orla.

The produce of the fourth year is called “revai”.  It is sanctified and must be eaten in Yerushalyim.  It is possible to transfer the sanctity onto coins, as is done with מעשר שני (The Second Tithe).  May Moshiach come soon and may we fulfill all of the מצוות (precepts) attached to the Land of Israel, thereby meriting the Land’s Blessings in full.

 

Starbucks

March 3, 2016

The following are recommended (but not under our supervision) at any Starbucks:  Americano [with paper cup, without “shot” glass], bottled Starbucks drinks with “KD”, Expresso [with paper cup, without “shot” glass], and tea with hechsher [paper cup].  Rav Heinemann of the Star-K researched Starbucks.   Keystone-K disseminates information based upon our own research and that of the national kashrus agencies.  It is not the position of the Keystone-K to usurp the position of your rabbi and poseik.  The results of the research and the reasoning behind it may be viewed at:

http://www.star-k.org/articles/kosher-lists/1709/starbucks/

http://www.star-k.org/articles/kashrus-kurrents/kashurs-kurrents-2011/summer-kashrus-kurrents-2011/601/dont-drink-the-coffee/

Some people make the mistake of assuming that everything in an establishment is kosher if they see observant people in the establishment.  Starbucks is a clear example of the error of this assumption.  While some items are acceptable, others are not.

Snapple and Other Soft Drinks

November 24, 2015

Most Snapple drinks are supervised by the OK.  Please check for the supervision as not all types are supervised – such as cranberry raspberry .

Many soft drinks have white grape juice added as a natural sweetener, and some processing equipment in  bottling plants is used for heating unkosher ingredients.  It is important to check that drinks have proper supervision.  We supervise the entire local Pepsi plant and all of their products.

You may check the Star-K website for a comprehensive list of soft drinks as well as alcoholic beverages.  The major kashrus agencies have embarked on an analysis of alcoholic beverages with the goal of expanding on the list of permitted drinks.

Cholov Yisroel / Pas Yisroel

July 2, 2015

Please note: The teudos (certificates of certification) state if an establishment is “Cholov Yisroel” and/or “Pas Yisroel”.  This can be viewed on the certificate displayed in the establishment as well as on the online certificate.

Infestation Policies

The degree and type of infestation depend on the source of the produce and are also seasonal.   The major kashrus organizations communicate with one another in order to remain current.

Torah/Halacha

DIY Teruma and Maaser in 4 Easy Steps

DIY Teruma and Maaser in 4 Easy Steps As it is a Mitzva to eat the produce of Eretz Yisroel, and supporting the economy is a mitzvah as well, we encourage our members to follow the procedures below so that they can purchase Israeli vegetables without concern. Research has determined that a significant percentage of Israeli fruit … Continued

The White Knight and Kashrus

One of the counterintuitive ordinances of the “metzora” (“leper”) is that one who is afflicted from head to toe, completely white, is considered pure, while on the day that a small amount of normal flesh is found on his body he becomes impure.   Is it possible for us to find any message in this curious … Continued

Brussel Sprouts / Asparagus and other vegetables

A number of Mashgichim experimented with Brussel Sprouts and asparagus for a year.  They found that wherever they grew and at whichever season Brussel Sprouts were highly infested.  Only Brussel Sprouts grown in an insect free environment should be used.   On the other hand, white asparagus are very clean and may be used without checking.  … Continued

Contact

Have any questions about one of our establishments or general kashrus issues?
Contact our kashrus administrator