Is Your Coffee Kosher for Pesach
At one time all coffees consisted of 100% coffee and this was clearly stated as so on every package.
In this article I wish to point out how important it is today to have supervision on products for which kosher supervision is seemingly unnecessary and insignificant. As you know we provide supervision on both ground and roasted and instant soluble coffees. At one time all coffees were 100% coffee and this was so stated on every package. A few years ago, the instant coffee added an anti-foam agent so that the coffee would not have too large a foam when hot water was added. Of course we made sure that this product was Kosher both for year round use and for Passover. Even though the amount of anti-foam agent was so infinitesimal that the coffee would be Kosher even if a non-kosher anti-foam agent was used we made sure that the anti-foam agent was Kosher for year round use and Kosher for Passover.
Because there were no problems as to the Kashruth of this product for Passover, we always informed the public that the coffee under our supervision was Kosher for Passover without any indication on the package.
In the past year, we all know, the price of coffee has risen substantially and the processor sought ways to decrease the price. After much research they came upon a formula which combined the coffee with wheat which enabled them to see the product at a lower price. As soon as we discovered this we investigated the plants and roasters to see what was being done. We found that the roasters that were being used accumulated a thick layer of coffee on their walls which is very difficult to remove. The same applies to the other equipment. Luckily, there is more than one factory, and this experiment was performed in only one plant. At our suggestion, an order was given not to expand this experiment to any other plant but to limit it to only this one plant. All General Food coffees will no longer be Kosher for Passover UNLESS there is a special indication indicating that it is Kosher for Pesach. General Foods coffees includes, Maxwell House, Sanka, Yuban, Maxim, Brim.
I wish to return again to a discussion of kosher meat. In past articles I explained what glatt kosher meat is. I failed to mention one more fact pertaining to glatt kosher. The law is that meat must be koshered within three days of Shechita. If it is kept, for some reason, more than three days, it must be soaked in water within three days; and it must be soaked again after the three days before salting the meat. Those who are strict about eating only glatt kosher meat eat only meat that is koshered within the three days of Shechita. I am stating this fact because there is much meat and sausage in America being sold as glatt although the meat is not salted within the three days of Shechita. All meats sold in Amsterdam are kept longer than three days and sold as glatt. This applies as well to the meat used in the Kosher restaurants. Meats sold under the supervision of Kedasiah in London are not all glatt kosher.
There is a product manufactured from skins of animals and used as casing for sausages such as salami, frankfurters, liverwurst and balonies. This is produced in a way that is similar to gelatin. In America there is a factory that makes these casings from Kosher slaughtered animals. In Germany there is a plant that makes the same casings from the skins of non-Kosher animals and it has Kosher supervision from a rabbi in Munich. There are Kosher delicatessen manufacturers in America and Europe who use the above-mentioned casings made from non-kosher animals with a Hechsher. The reason for this is because some rabbis consider this product chemically changed and therefore permissible according to Halacha. Of course, there are many different opinions concerning this. The question is whether it is really chemically changed an also whether the Halacha permits the use of these skins even if they are chemically changed. I was amazed to discover that Kedasiah in London permits the use of the casings made from these non-kosher skins from Germany.
In recent months there has been much noise about tuna fish. There seem to be the following problems:
1. Do the factories need a Mashgiach Tmidi to inspect every fish?
2. If they do, which factories have Mashgichim Tmidim’im?
3. Are the fish soaked in salt brine that does not circulate together with non-kosher fish?
I do not personally know the answers to all these questions. I am planning to go to the west coast, G-d willing, and will attempt to make my own investigation so that I may find out for myself what the situation really is. I will report my findings in the next article, please G-d.