Kosher 101: Kosher Equipment

posted by April 2012

In addition to the requirement that all ingredients (including anti-foam and other production aids) used to make a kosher product must be certified kosher, the equipment used to produce the product must meet kosher requirements as well. As previously discussed, meat and dairy products cannot be mixed or produced on the same equipment. In addition, if a product will be pareve (neutral), it cannot be produced on dairy or meat equipment.

In order to make used equipment suitable for kosher production, or to change a production line from meat or dairy to pareve, a special process, called kosherizing, must take place. Kosherizing is done by the rabbi assigned to your facility and involves a process of cleaning and purging the equipment of its non-kosher status. After all equipment is left idle for 24 hours, it is meticulously cleaned by facility staff and inspected for cleanliness by the rabbi. Then, depending on the type of equipment, the rabbi oversees the actual kosherization. There are a few methods, which vary based on the equipment, and include boiling, use of steam, and purging through direct contact with fire.

Once this process is complete, the production equipment becomes kosher according to Jewish law. Kosherization is also required to produce Passover products in a facility that was used to produce other products during the year.

OK Kosher Releases 2nd iPhone App

posted by May 2011

iPhone Screenshot 1iPhone Screenshot 2

The OK is always at the forefront of merging technology with kosher certification. From computerized product and ingredient data storage, to online access to thousands of kosher certificates, the OK takes pride in its high tech, user-friendly kosher database. Recently, we have taken technology a step further and put our full product list in the palm of your hand!

The OK’s complete product list (both industrial and consumer) is now available for the iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch. The OK Kosher Food Guide App (free in the iTunes store) enables you to search the extensive database of OK certified products by company name or category and have the kosher information at your fingertips, including Cholov Yisroel, Pas Yisroel & Yoshon status! The guide is automatically updated daily to give you the most up-to-date information.

Other great features include a direct link the OK website and current and past issues of Kosher Spirit magazine, as well as the link to download our popular Vegetable Checking Guide app. You can also use the app to suggest new kosher products to the OK.

We are currently in the process of developing an Android version of the app, which we hope to unveil in the coming weeks!

Kosher 101: What is a kosher ingredient?

posted by January 2011

A kosher ingredient is one that is certified by a reputable kosher certification agency and approved for use by the OK.

Application for:

  • Receiving: The receiving department must check all incoming ingredients for kosher products to ensure that they are on the approved ingredient list and conform to the specifications on the kosher certificate (i.e. kosher symbol on package, bulk certificate, lot number, etc.).

  • Production: Only approved kosher ingredients with the correct designation (meat, dairy, pareve, or Passover) can be used in the production of kosher products.

Kosher 101: What is Kosher Meat?

posted by June 2010

A kosher meat product must be derived from a permissible animal that has both split hooves and chews its cud. Kosher animals are cows, sheep, goats, venison, chickens, turkeys, duck and geese. In addition, the meat must be slaughtered by a shochet (a ritual slaughterer) and kosherized through a special process (like salting to get rid of any traces of blood and deveining certain parts). Any products containing meat ingredients or meat derivatives are considered “meat” for kosher purposes. In addition, no dairy products or derivatives can be produced on a meat production line.

Application for:

  • Receiving: A facility that handles only kosher meat finished products, can have both pareve and meat ingredients listed on their approved ingredient list and both types of ingredients may be received in the facility.

  • Production: A kosher meat product is produced on a production line specially dedicated for kosher meat products, or properly kosherized before production. Meat products can also be produced on a pareve line, but it would change the status of the pareve line and require kosherization before another pareve product is made. Most of the time, a rabbi must be present during the production of meat products.
  • Procurement: Since there are such stringent restrictions on kosher meat, most meat, products and meat derivatives on the market are not kosher.  If you require meat products, it is imperative to work closely with your rabbi and/or Account Representative at the OK to qualify a suitable source.

  • Sales: Meat products are labeled with an “OK-M” symbol and may have the word glatt next to the symbol. Since meat products are complicated to certify, two logos (or seals) must be present on all sealed finished products. Sometimes, special tamper-proof seals, like holograms and tracking information, are used. Speak to your rabbi or Account Representative to discuss this in detail.

NY Area Costco Stores Honored by OK Kosher

posted by January 2010

Where can you find high-end food products, combined with top-notch kosher supervision and warehouse prices? Five Costco stores in the New York area provide this unique, niche product line, serving a large community of price-conscious and kosher-conscious consumers.

For over a decade, Costco kosher bakeries in Brooklyn, NY, Lawrence, NY, Nanuet, NY, New Rochelle, NY, and Hackensack, NJ have been under the kosher supervision of OK Kosher Certification, providing their customers with fresh, quality, kosher baked goods at prices that cannot be beat.

Costco – Lawrence was the pilot store for a line OK Kosher certified Cholov Yisroel cheese, along with top-quality, OK Kosher certified, Choice grade Glatt Kosher chasidshe shchita beef produced by Colorado Kosher Beef. Costco stores in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Nanuet now carry this kosher beef as well and many Costco stores already carry the Cholov Yisroel cheese.

Recently, OK Kosher Certification held its annual rabbinical conference near its headquarters in Brooklyn, New York, with over 100 rabbis from across the globe in attendance.

This year, in recognition of the unique relationship between Costco and the OK and Costco’s efforts to bring high quality kosher products to the kosher consumer, the OK chose these New York area Costco stores as the Featured Company for the 2009 conference.

Mr. Ken Aicardi, Regional Manager, and Mr. Adam Self, Manager of Costco – Lawrence, were in attendance to accept the awards on behalf of Price-Costco headquarters and the other honored stores. Plaques were also personally presented on location to: Richard Amber, Bakery Manager – Lawrence, NY; Bruce Henry, Bakery Manager – Hackensack, NJ; Carlos Sanchez, Bakery Manager – New Rochelle, NY; Craig Ragland, Bakery Manager – Brooklyn, NY; and, Cassandra St. Fleur, Bakery Manager – Nanuet, NY.