June 19, 2017
Caveat Emptor – Buyer Beware
The major Kashrus Agencies take their responsibilities very seriously. In fact one of the major agencies spent an entire year experimenting with two vegetables to determine the degree of infestation during various seasons of the year, as well as how the source location effected infestation. Along with our sister agencies we alert the community of pertinent developments so that the Kosher consumer will be well informed. It is very helpful to keep current regarding developments in Kashrus. We will highlight a few of the issues that call for the attention of the consumer.
Please pay attention to labels even when shopping in an exclusively Kosher store or in the Kosher section of a supermarket. Sometimes suppliers deliver an incorrect item, and on occasion employees place items in the wrong place. Supervisions change or are dropped, and sometimes Parve items are reformulated and become Dairy. Sometimes consumers mistakenly replace a non-kosher item on a kosher shelf. This is especially prevalent with Pesach and non-Pesach items that look similar. Even though Kashrus agencies try to prevent these mix-ups the consumer is the last line of defense. Checking labels is very important.
Where you shop is also very important. Many items that do not suffer from infestation – and need not be checked for insects – can be problematic if not stored properly. Raisins, flour, cereal, beans and pasta are a few examples or products that require proper storage. It is best to purchase these items at busy stores that have quick turnover. Food establishments are always battling all kinds of infestation. It is always best to select stores that appear to focus on cleanliness. It is also best not to stock these items in your home for longer than necessary.
Produce from Israel has special halochos due to the sanctity of the Land of Israel. We give instructions how to prepare Israeli produce in our Halocha section. Please check labeling for the source of produce. According to USA regulations the source of produce must be clearly marked or posted.