Volume 34 Number 59
                 Produced: Tue May 22  7:54:21 US/Eastern 2001

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Canned Peas (5)
         [Fred Dweck, Isaac A Zlochower, David Riceman, Barak
Greenfield, Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
Glatt meat (Re: Canned peas)
         [Joshua Adam Meisner]
         [Harry Weiss]


From: Fred Dweck <fredd@...>
Date: Sun, 20 May 2001 09:34:10 -0700
Subject: Re: Canned Peas

Elazar M Teitz <remt@...> wrote: (M-J 34:56)

> "1. A local rav, who works for the OU, has told us that
> a dessert labeled dairy by the OU is in fact only made
> on dairy equipment, and may be eaten after meat meals."
> This is not cut-and-dried. Nowhere in Shulchan Aruch is
> it stated that food prepared on dairy equipment may be
> eaten after meat. What _is_ stated is the reverse case,
> that while dairy food may not be eaten together with
> food prepared on meat equipment, it may be eaten
> immediately thereafter, without waiting the customary
> six hours.

One might want to have a look at Shulchan Aruch, Yore Deah 95 which talks
about cooking a parve product, such as vegetables, in a meat pot which is
clean, that it may be eaten with dairy. It is obvious that the reverse
would also be true. IE: a parve product cooked in a clean dairy pot may
be eaten with meat. The Shulchan Aruch does not say that it can only be
eaten after, but WITH! Certainly, for Sephardim, who have accepted the
pesaks of R. Yosef Karo as final, this is clearly permitted. Therefore,
the question of "dairy equipment" for a parve product is no problem.

Those interested in this subject might also want to read a very
informative FAQ by Rav Yitzchak Abadi--who was the posek of Lakewood
Yeshivah and is a recognized posek in Jerusalem today. This can be found
at: http://www.kashrut.org/

For those who have no need to be extra machmirim for no halachic reason
this will clear up many questions regarding food labeling in the USA.

Hashem yair eneynu betorato.

Rabbi Fred (Yeshuah) E. Dweck

From: Isaac A Zlochower <zlochoia@...>
Date: Sun, 20 May 2001 13:09:44 -0400
Subject: Canned Peas

I'm glad that people seem to have forgotten my post on the canned peas
"controversy".   I had no right to offer an opinion on an issue outside
my area of competence.   I still maintain, however, that it is important
for independent, knowledgeable Rabbanim to explain to the kosher public
the reason for hechsherim on certain ostensibly innocuous products.
Perhaps such information is available in various kashrut publications,
but I have not seen an explanation that would satisfy me.   I would
prefer actual examples of the practice of large canning companies - not
merely theoretical possibilities of canned veggies becoming treif.
However, even the possibility of such tarfut in an "innocuous" product
should make us very wary.

The question of the need for hashgacha in all processed products is
another issue.  In the past,  knowledgeable Rabbanim working in kashrut
have told us that certain cereals were acceptable without official
certification (or with just the generic K) such as Rice Krispies.  Is
this still the case?  If not, what has changed?

Another question relates to the issue of certifying organizations giving
their approval on a product without offering any clue in the list of
ingredients as to why a particular component is kosher.  I'm not
refering to glycerides or stearate derivatives since they can easily
have a vegetable or synthetic source.  However, rennet found in cheese
is a mammalian enzyme that in the past has only come from neveilot.
More recently, a microbial source has been developed (possibly through
genetic engineering).  That product is labelled as kosher rennet.
However, I note that the Hasidishe hashgachot are found on products that
simply list rennet as an ingredient.   Is that just sloppiness, or do
these Rabbanim maintain that neveilah rennet can be used in a kosher
cheese even though rennet is a key ingredient?  Nor can it be easily
argued that the treif rennet has become a neutral material as a result
of chemical processing if it is still enzymatically active.

Finally, the statement made on this list that non-glatt meat must be
viewed with suspicion requires some elaboration.   All meats must be
viewed with suspicion without a reliable certification.   Just because
someone slaps on a glatt label doesn't make the meat any more kosher.
In fact,  I would like to understand where all these "glatt" animals are
coming from.  Many years ago I was informed by a very knowledgeable Rav
that perhaps 20% of the steers in the local slaughtering house were
glatt.  Now, it seems, that there is no shortage of such steers.   Has
there really been a change in the health of the steers, or is it a
change in the practical standard of what constitutes a lung without
sirchot?   If the latter, then the current glatt may be no closer to the
standard of the Beis Yosef than the non-glatt in the past.


From: David Riceman <dr@...>
Date: Mon, 21 May 2001 11:45:56 -0400
Subject: Re: Canned Peas

It seems that many of my respondents view the dual status of kashruth
organizations (businesses and communal organizations) with equanimity.
I'm surprised that they don't notice the holes in their own logic.  For
example, Rabbi Dubin wrote:

I disagree that the kashrus agencies are imposing chumros on us.  MOST
kosher consumers are not aware of the halachic distinction between
something made on dairy equipment and something with dairy ingredients.

To me that sounds like the reason for a decree or a chumra, not for a
psak.  As far as I know, it requires sheva tuvei hair bemaamad anshei
ha'ir [the seven city archons in public city assembly] to impose such a
decision; I have never in my life been invited to a maamad anshei ha'ir
[see above] concerning kashruth.  Rabbi Dubin also wrote:

the decision, correct according to my knowledge of the field, was that
non glatt=not reliably kosher.

Somehow, I suspect that the kashruth organizations are more than just innocent
bystanders in this situation (which I also have heard from reliable sources).
An unscientific poll of my friends-and-relations indicates that almost all of
us would be thrilled to find a reliable source of non-glatt kosher meat.  Why
can't we?
  Here's some history from a friend who prefers to remain anonymous:

As you might recall, I mentioned that my father was trained as a food
technologist. About 35-40 years ago he was working with an Asian fellow
in Chicago. This man had developed a machine he called "the octopus"
that made noodle nests. You know how people make a bed of fried Chinese
noodles and pour chop suey or other Chinese food over it. The octopus
had pairs of arms that extended out from a hub. The arms moved aropund
the circle, starting with a worker putting a spoonful of cooked noodles
in a cup at the end of the arm. A second arm with a cup came down and
mated with the first cup, squishing the noodles into a a molded nest
shape. The arms moved around the circle dipping into very hot oil to
deep fry the noodle nest. Further around the circle, the cup drained the
oil, the upper cup seperated, the nest cooled, and another worker took
the finished fried noodle next out. Then the empty cuop was around to
the beginning of the circle for another scoop of noodles.

Everything in the product was Kosher. After all, all it contained were
noodles (pretty simple), oil, possibly a little salt. My father
discussed with the inventor why not get Kosher certification. The
inventor said he'd approached the CRC and another certification
organization. Both had said it was doable and that he needed to pay some
money and do certain things. BOTH said something to the effect "whatever
you do, don't use the certifcation services of <the other service>." The
inventor said, you know, my product is Kosher. If Jews want to eat it,
they can, but I'm not interested in that kind of political nonsense.

Not only do I see this as a problem with certification authorities for
making it difficult for a nonjew to certify an inherently Kosher
oprocess, I see it as a Chilul HaShem

ad kan my friend [end of quotation].
I think the story speaks for itself as an example of the problems that
combining competitive business with communal service can bring.  Am I the only
one who's concerned?

David Riceman

From: Barak Greenfield <DocBJG@...>
Date: Mon, 21 May 2001 22:25:04 -0400
Subject: RE: Canned Peas

Several posters have pointed out that the OU et al have forced us to
adopt chumros we do not wish to accept. However, the problem does not
lie with the hechsher companies themselves. After all, they are like
ordinary service businesses, and as such make money from what they do,
establish their own rules by which the service is provided, and
participate in a competitive marketplace.

The problem, rather, lies with us. We either engage in a continual game
of religious keeping-up-with-the-Schwartz's ("oh, Yankel won't eat from
that hechsher, well then, I certainly can't, either"), or we are
apologetic for somehow being less "frum" than the next guy ("well, a lot
of people do insist on a hechsher for bottled water, maybe I should,
too, I'm a bit embarrassed that I don't"). This forces everyone,
ultimately, to abide by as many chumros as possible, to avoid being left
out in the halachic cold.

One poster wrote:

> "Where does that leave us?"
>        It leaves us adhering to kashrus, and at worst possibly not
> eating something we could have.

That answer is totally unacceptable. Why should I be deprived of eating
something because the O-X has decided to be more machmir?

The hechsher companies exist to provide us with information on the
ingredients and processing methods of food products--not to be our
poskim.  Most people are interested in whether a product meets their
standards of kashrus--not those of the hechsher company's rav in
charge. If the public made it know that they are not interested in
newfangled chumros, or in the companies that disseminate them, we would
not have this problem. But if we all tacitly acquiesce in perpetual
machmirization, the trend will continue.


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahem@...>
Date: Mon, 21 May 2001 10:28:41 -0400
Subject: RE: Canned Peas

>From: Elazar M Teitz <remt@...>
>David Riceman feels that "by telling us that we should avoid foods
>without a hechsher, the kashruth organizations have aquired a
>responsibility to disseminate hechshers and information about them as
>widely and as accurately as possible," and then provides three examples
>which, he feels, violate this responsibility.

>"3. One of my friends, who works for the OU, described to me how in many
>factories, precisely the same product made precisely the same way will
>sometimes go into boxes with a hechsher, and other times into different
>companies boxes without a hechsher."
>        This situation arises when a company allows private labeling;
>that is, they allow other companies to use their facilities for
>manufacturing the other companies' products, sometimes identically, and
>sometimes with differing standards of quality.  If the private label
>company pays the OU (and it's usually a token fee), they may use the OU
>symbol; otherwise, they may not.
>        What should the OU do: announce that the product made by the
>companies which chose not to pay for the supervision is kosher, giving
>them a free ride?  If so, why should the companies that are paying
>continue to do so?

One further point which should be mentioned.  The private label may be
using the kosher plant for some of its products, but may also use a
nonkosher plant for other distributions of the same label.  Thus, unless
the company has arranged to put the OU on the label specifically, one
could wind up thinking that a nonkosher product is also kosher.

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz - <sabbahem@...>


From: Joshua Adam Meisner <jam390@...>
Date: Mon, 21 May 2001 13:09:43 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Glatt meat (Re: Canned peas)

In a post on the "Canned Peas" thread, Gershon Dubin indicated (34:56),
to my understanding, that in past generations, the idea of glatt meat
was a chumra, but nowadays, glatt meat is effectively a halacha - not
because of any problem with meat not being checked to be glatt, but
rather because of the m'tzius that any non-Glatt hechsher is not
reliable for other halachic reasons.  What other issues are being
referred to here?  Thanks.

- Josh


From: Harry Weiss <hjweis@...>
Date: Sun, 20 May 2001 10:56:26 -0700
Subject: Hashghachot

      #3 is common place.  My wife recalls going to a pretzel factory in
      Lancaster County where production coming off the line went to
      three different brands -- one of which bore a chasgacha.  First of
      all, the other two product brands did not pay for a chasgacha --
      for that matter they may not want one -- Since the OU cannot
      supervise only 1/3rd of a production run, it's obvious that there
      only choice is to supervise the entire run.

      If, indeed, you are being told to avoid the product without the
      chasgacha -- you are being told correctly.  For all you know the
      brand without the chasgacha is also produced in other plants using
      treif ingredients, or without supervision, or for that matter in a
      different production run at that same plant.  It's open (faulty)
      logic to presume that just because SOME product A (which doesn't
      bear a chasgacha) is produced in the same production run as SOME
      product B (which does bear a chasgacha) that ALL product A is
      kosher (without a chasgacha.)

There is another issue.  Some have raised the OU letting people use
their symbol without paying.  It is more than an issue of a free ride.
The one thing that makes any hashgacha worthwhile, is its ability to
insure that the symbol is used only with the organization's permission.
Trademark laws prevent someone from using a registered symbol without

When an organization allows someone use their sybmol, they need an
enforacable contract with the company that only allows the symbol to be
used in accordance with the contract.  If the OU or any other
organzation allowed other private labels to use they symbol with
entering into a contractual arrangement, they would be giving up their
trademark protection, with a legally enforceable contract to insure the
symbol's integrity.


End of Volume 34 Issue 59