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Simon

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 07:01 PM

Literally the auditor (rabbi) came into the facility, collected updated Kosher statements for relevant raw materials (provided by our suppliers) and took a 10 minute walk through the plant.  Kosher audit passed, certificate to be issued, passport to trade.  £800.

 

I'm interested to hear if anyone else is Kosher certified and how your inspections go.


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Posted 06 December 2013 - 07:11 PM

Hi Simon,

 

I've had quite a few Kosher audits in the US. I had one Kosher audit that amounted to the inspector poking his head inside of the production room, taking a sniff saying "doesn't smell like pork and beans", and then asking if I had anything that could fall off of a pallet and land in the trunk of his car. Luckily, not giving him a freebie wasn't a prerequisite to getting a certificate. :hypocrite:

 

 I would imagine I'm not the only person who had similar experiences...

 

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 08:29 PM

Simon,

 

I used to greet the Rabbi at the Yogurt plant every month.  He did a very thorough inspection making sure EVERY ingredient had an appropriate kosher symbol and that our schedule A and B were complete and accurate.

 

Every time he came in I walked him through the plant and explained, each time, what all of the equipment did... more than a few times.

 

Turns out he's the same Rabbi as the new place I'm in and he was the same one we had at the place I worked at before the yogurt plant lol.  I apparently can only work where he inspects :lol2:

 

But no I haven't had that experience ours is very responsible and takes his job very seriously.  He did uncover one ingredient that didn't have a kosher symbol (by mistake) at the yogurt plant and we had to have it corrected immediately.


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Simon

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 11:44 AM

I'm not hugely up on kosher requirements. Is there a recognised
global standard requirements and audit protocol?


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Posted 08 December 2013 - 08:51 PM

I worked at a Kosher dairy and now work at a plant packing herbs, spices, grains, legums, pickled vegetables, sundried tomatoes and sauces (tartare, seafood and mayonnaise) that is also registered as Kosher.

 

At the dairy the auditor visited at least once a week and all inspections were unnanounced. Inspections were thorough. There was no formal, regular, scheduled audit. This accreditation was supplied by Adass, an organisation at a high level of being Kosher.

 

In my current position the audit is annual. The auditor checks the Kosher status of all of our products and ingredients. Those that are not Kosher are then excluded from our certification. This organisation lists the company's that it accredits and the products that are accredited in a booklet that is updated annually. Our new products introduced this year did not get accreditation.

 

I will try to answer any specific questions that you may have.

 

I have worked in the food industry, mainly dairy, for 16 years. I started as a Technical Officer, then became a Federal Export Inspector, then an Auditor, then Trainer and now QA Manager.



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Posted 09 December 2013 - 01:25 PM

Simon there doesn't appear to be any kind of regulating body.  I thought about starting one   :sleazy:  even though I'm not Jewish.

 

My rabbi told me that he has to scrutinize the symbols and check any he didn't recognize (we didn't have any.  For the most part we worked with OU, Circle K, and another big label).  He said that the way things were any rabbi could run one out of his office so you had to be careful that you were only dealing with ones that were known to do their job properly.

 

He was an OU inspector.  Real nice guy.


Edited by MerleW, 09 December 2013 - 01:27 PM.

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 08:00 PM

I have had a few but they were quite a waste of time.  They show up unannounced, walk around looking for any ingredients, etc... not on the approved list, ask a couple of questions, and leave about 45 minutes later.  Then you get the invoice and cant help but wonder if there is a way you can get into that very lucrative business.



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Posted 09 December 2013 - 08:09 PM

Those that inspect for kosher abide by kasrut "law" which is taken from the Torah or old testament. There are some books on it if you are interested in the basic rules. Though all kosher inspection agencies must abide by the kasrut law, it is up to them how to interpret it. I've dealt with rabbis who sent their son to inspect then charged me double travel fees, I've also dealt with rabbis who are very detailed and inspect once a month on a surprise basis, all covered under a yearly fee.

 

In some countries the rabbi's name who oversees the kosher of the food in meat and cheese shops, his name (usually a male) is in big letters in the shop window. It is then up to the community's trust in how the laws have been interpreted.

 

If you are looking for an audit protocol, I'd suggest you follow a basic one for an unannounced inspection. Certain people accompany, etc.

 

mz



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Posted 10 December 2013 - 05:41 AM

I've had two; one came to bless some pans in a confectionery factory for panned sweets and check we weren't using beeswax.  In another factory, he checked pretty much every ingredient to ensure it was Kosher, refused to shake my hand, refused any drinks or food, made several racist jokes then left but he was here for a good few hours and I did feel audited, if a little baffled.



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Posted 10 December 2013 - 11:04 AM

I've used these in the past

 

www.mbd.org.uk/KIS

 

As an aside, why can't I paste links here anymore?

 

Caz



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Posted 10 December 2013 - 01:10 PM

I would be interested in knowing what organizations the rabbis are a member of where you are getting less than favorable audits.

 

I guess I've been lucky with our OU inspector being the same guy and he does, what I expect, is the right thing. 


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Posted 12 December 2013 - 12:14 AM

I'm in Australia in a fruit & vege concentrate processing plant. We are Kosher certified. Once a year someone does a pre organised audit. They check certificates of our raw ingredients/aides and check the packaging to confirm that we are using what we say we are using. Check our HACCP flow chart. Final thing say we have passed, issue certificate and most importantly take our money. 



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Posted 12 December 2013 - 07:49 AM

I have had a few but they were quite a waste of time.  They show up unannounced, walk around looking for any ingredients, etc... not on the approved list, ask a couple of questions, and leave about 45 minutes later.  Then you get the invoice and cant help but wonder if there is a way you can get into that very lucrative business.

 

Same here.



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Posted 12 December 2013 - 01:27 PM

My Kosher inspection was exactly the same as yours.  He asked for my Schedule A and Schedule B (list of approved inputs and approved packaging labels).  Walked through the operation and checked packaging in the warehouse to make sure the Kosher symbol was not being used on any non-approved packing and he was out of there.  We do have a very simple process and only wash, and package shell eggs so it doesn't take much time to view the process.  He shows up one time per calendar year, unannounced.



Simon

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 08:18 PM

Thanks for all of your replies.  When you are used to food safety audits then a kosher audit seems very light indeed, however, I suppose that's the scope of the audit i.e. just to make sure no materials, ingredients or potential for contamination from non-kosher stuff.  And that can be done quite very quickly.  So why charge for a full day. :dunno:

But what exactly makes something kosher or not kosher (excuse my ignorance).

Is it animal fats? :doh:


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Posted 12 December 2013 - 08:19 PM

As an aside, why can't I paste links here anymore?

 

Caz

 

This is the first time I've had this reported Caz. Is it persisting?  If so let me know what browser/version you are using and what you are trying to post and where and I will try and replicate the issue.


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Mr. Incognito

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 08:35 PM

I couldn't copy/paste a link on another thread Simon.  It was the recent thread about earplugs.  I'm not sure if that's specifically blocked.  I'm on Internet Exploder 11.


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Posted 12 December 2013 - 08:43 PM

Simon: I sent you a feedback message regarding copy/paste. It seems very difficult to do so. I wanted to add a link to a previous thread and I wound up ditching my attempt and just typed in the entire link. (IE 11 for Windows 7)

 

Regarding your question "what makes something kosher?" - see http://www.koshercer...uk/whatdoe.html (if I typed that correctly) :ejut:

 

-Chris


Edited by Chris Domenico, 12 December 2013 - 08:44 PM.


Simon

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 09:25 PM

I've applied a fix for the copy/paste issue, let me know if it's kosher.

Thanks for the link to the kosher info.


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Posted 12 December 2013 - 09:54 PM

lol....looks like it is working using the "paste" icons in the editor. Thanks!



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Posted 13 December 2013 - 03:13 PM

We had Kosher several time with differing authorities. It appears there are 50 plus Kosher sources, some by mail order! The trick is to use one that has confirmation and acceptance, such as Circle U, etc. Some came, inspected, stayed in plant the whole production run. Some flew in from Chicago, some were local.  Rules I remembered. Different utensils and totes for Kosher. The most extreme: Disconnectiong the boiler condensation lines. It appears as if the steam went into a jacleted vessel heating non-Kosher product, then the boiler condensate was non Kosher! Mind you, the vessel was jacketed meaning there was no direct contact with the non-Kosher product.



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Posted 13 December 2013 - 04:58 PM

I believe if you run any product on or through a piece of equipment that is non-kosher it makes the product non-kosher... I don't really understand it.

 

Simon:

 

I saw what you did there :roflmao:

 

https://www.google.com/

 

Yup your fix worked too. Thanks for that.

 

But now when I bring up the emoticons you can't see the entire emoticons because the bottom doesn't extend all the way down.  Actually it does go all the way down but then it goes back up a little.  Still on Internet Exploder 11 (we are such demanding people  but all we want is a quality site :shades:  ) :silly:

 

Merle

 

ps. I'm just joking this is a great site


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Posted 19 December 2013 - 04:32 PM

I find this thread very interesting as someone who "keeps" kosher. I can't see the link that Chris posted for some reason (All the UK links I tried today didn't work!?) but basically no pork, shellfish or insects, all products from kosher animals (must have split hooves and chew their cud) have to come from ritually slaughtered animals, no mixing of milk and meat and utensils/pots/dishes used for unkosher products can't be used for kosher and the same for milk and meat. There are lots of "levels" of kosher with certain rabbis requiring additional requirements. And I am not even getting into kosher for Passover laws.

 

We know that there is fraud in the "kosher" certification industry and a large variance in quality.

 

The level of inspection I would assume has a lot to do with what you are manufacturing and if you have both kosher and non kosher manufacturing at the same site. If the whole factory is kosher then they might check the process once and then only check if the ingredients used really are kosher. If there are nonkosher products produced they would have to make sure that there is no mix of products and that labelling is carefully monitored. If the same equipment is used then they would have to check that it is properly cleaned between runs.

 

Growing up in the US, there were products that we wouldn't buy because we didn't trust their kosher certification. Living in Israel is easier since it is very difficult to find nonkosher food manufactured here. Restaurants are another story.

 

Gail

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 04:57 PM

Great information Gail thank you.

 

So let me ask you this if I may (If this seems rude please feel free to tell me you'd rather not answer). Your walking through a US supermarket and want to buy something.  How do you verify that the kosher certification of a product meets your expectation?  Would you only buy products verified by the big labels like OU, Scroll K, etc?  How do you know that even though they have OU on their label they aren't using ingredients that are through smaller labels or do you trust the rabbi doing the inspection for the bigger labels?

 

Just wondering it's something I obviously deal with but don't know much about.


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Posted 19 December 2013 - 05:10 PM

No, I don't mind answering. In the US I always check the label to see who the certification is from. If it is someone I don't know I check them out. Internet makes this much easier. And yes I trust the certifying rabbi that he checked the ingredients.

 

I understand that in Europe the certification is not on the label and you have to check lists put out by the certification bodies.

 

Gail



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