Best Practices in Kosher Compliance
posted by dinaF September 2015
Kosher Best Practices to Thrive in Certification
Customers often ask for kosher best practices, wondering what it takes to run effective kosher programs in between visits. Therefore, we want to outline some basics to get your company up and running with an efficient and smooth program. Here are some guiding principles to help you and your regulatory staff navigate this.
Kosher Without Compromise
In short…there are no shortcuts. Our slogan, Kosher Without Compromise, runs through everything we do as an organization. That said, OK Kosher’s commitment to the highest standard in kosher law is matched by our commitment to the highest levels of service to our clients. At every stage of our relationship with certified companies, we make sure no corners are cut, and no request goes unaddressed. Our account reps are happy to guide you through the process of incorporating compliance measures into your day-to-day procedures, in accordance with your rabbinic coordinator’s guidelines and requirements. If you need clarity on who your customer service account rep is, just shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Designating a Kosher Liaison
As a kosher certified company, you’re aware of the various regulations that apply to your company. That said, you’ll want to make certain that the staff member assigned to the job will be in the right department and well equipped to set your company up for success. We recommend you designate one person (typically from the Quality Assurance or Regulatory Affairs department) to be your “Kosher Contact Person”. They’ll be actively in charge of the kosher duties and act as the in-house kosher expert for your company. This person will communicate directly with your Rabbinic Coordinator (RC) and Customer Service Account Representative for all your service needs – such as new ingredient, product and label approvals, billing issues, private label requests. This is how we can best be aligned to your objectives. The kosher contact person will also accompany your locally based field representative during the periodic, unannounced inspections at your facility. Companies with multiple facilities generally appoint a full time corporate liaison to oversee kosher for all their facilities.
Essential Functions of the Kosher Contact Person
- The Kosher Contact serves as a resource to both your company and OK Kosher on issues relating to certification. They study and implement the specific terms and conditions detailed in your Certification Agreement, and remain the point person with OK Kosher.
- This member of your personnel will submit (or oversee submissions) or all new ingredients, suppliers and products to be certified. We highly recommend setting up a login on our online customer portal, DigitalKosher for these submissions.
- They’ll verify that your certified products (retail and industrial) carry the appropriate OK Kosher symbol(s), such as OK, OK-P, OK-D, etc..
- Marketers have long argued that kosher certification is a great marketing tool. The Kosher Contact will also look out for new opportunities and present to marketing. The best place to start is with our Guide to the Most Advantageous Use of the OK Kosher Symbol.
Incorporating Solid Systems
Second, in order to achieve and maintain excellence in the kosher department, clear systems and kosher best practices must be established in every department. These will need to consist of effective processes and avoid errors, thus preventing costly mistakes and misunderstandings which could potentially lead to product recalls. To help achieve that aim, the Kosher Contact and any other relevant plant personnel should familiarize themselves with our Plant Manual. A link to the manual can be found in the Miscellaneous column of your Digital Kosher homepage. (“Kosher Certifying Agency Manual”). The Plant Manual provides an excellent overview of what kosher is all about, as well as the requirements and procedures necessary to maintain kosher in your factory. If you would like to receive a hard copy of this manual, please let us know.
Whether your company is large or small, we are always available to help you to develop strategies for achieving maximum success. It’s all part and parcel of your kosher program for us to advise you on kosher best practices – and we pride ourselves on this service. Remember, you can always email email@example.com if you’re unsure of who your account rep is, and we will point you in the right direction.