It’s not unusual for shoppers to pick up an item, turn it around a couple times, and put it right back on the shelf. Whether checking ingredients for allergen or dietary purposes, looking for product statements regarding origin, or simply snapping a photo to share a new find, looking over food packaging is a common sight.

For the kosher consumer, there is often a balance between thorough investigation due to the necessity of ensuring that products have a recognized and trusted kosher certification symbol, and the remembered knowledge of products they have regularly purchased that have always been kosher certified, so one would imagine there is no need to check again.

However, due to the constantly changing nature of not only manufacturing, but sourcing and availability of kosher products and ingredients, it is always advised to check each and every product for its kosher certified status.

It’s not easy to keep up with the constant flow of information, and it’s certainly not reasonable to have every brand change, every ingredient swap, and every kosher advisory with endless lot numbers memorized.

In 2015, due to formula changes, a popular flavor of a well-known beverage brand was removed from the list of OK certified products, and the OK symbol consequently removed from the product label. An advisory was sent out to notify the public of this change; yet we still get inquiries from consumers who have purchased the non-certified product in error.

It’s tempting to rely on memory and familiarity with a well-loved product or brand and assume that the product is certified as always. But as we can see, changes to the very black and white certified/uncertified status of a product can happen at any time, and the label you’re looking at is your personal indicator of that change.

Which brings us back to the shopper in the store, picking up that bottled drink/bag of chips/can of beans. Our aim in having a kosher certification agency place their symbol on the product label (or take it off again!) is for the kosher consumer to find and trust that information, and then make purchasing decisions based on it.

So, remember; take the time to check every product you purchase for a valid kosher symbol, whether the item is brand new to you or a household staple. It may just change your list.