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Does anyone have any experience with Kosher Certification?


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#1 PollyKBD

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 02:16 PM

Does anyone have any experience with Kosher Certification they would like to share?



#2 The Food Scientist

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 02:38 PM

I do have some experience with the monthly inspections, labeling and some knowledge with requirements. Maybe I can assist you. what is it you would like help with?


Edited by The Food Scientist, 15 August 2019 - 02:38 PM.

Everything in food is science. The only subjective part is when you eat it. - Alton Brown.


#3 PollyKBD

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Posted 16 August 2019 - 12:28 PM

I'm just curious of how the whole process works. What do they look at when they inspect your facility? Are they mostly looking that your ingredients are kosher? We have Dairy in every one of our products, no meat, no seafood (we make brownies) so I'm not concerned about that. We have an SQF certification, so I'm confident in our process. Is there any special kind of paperwork we need to be keeping?

I am in contact with people from OU but I like being prepared and hearing others' experiences helps. 

Thank you!



#4 The Food Scientist

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Posted 16 August 2019 - 01:09 PM

Alright so a Rabbi will come into your facility and do the following based on my experiences:

 

1. Inspect your product labels. They will see the ingredients list, and make sure you are using the correct logo, for example if its Pareve or Dairy..etc. 

2. The products you have certified as kosher have certain processes you do to maintain their kosher status. The Rabbi will inspect these processes and make sure you are following the correct measures according to Kosher. For example, are you sharing equipment with non-kosher? If yes, how are you cleaning these equipment? Are you mixing dairy with meat? 

 

Let me give you an example of an inspection we had:

 

We did roasting of nuts. So nuts are naturally Pareve, but they needed to see what type of oil you are roasting it in, I had to get one that's kosher AND make sure it came with a kosher cert to prove.

Once we did the nuts, we used butter in some to make toffee nuts. So butter is dairy. they needed to make sure the product is labeled as Kosher Dairy. If you are then proceeding to a non kosher dairy product using the SAME equipment, they needed to see how you are cleaning it. Or how you are managing your production to ensure that you do non dairy then dairy.  Also for example the way you transfer the oil you purchase into your tanks ALSO needed to be kosher (very odd, you were not allowed to transfer it to another tank unless a rabbi approves it), so we just used the original big totes they came in to eliminate that transfer process. Also after we roast some nuts, we seasoned them, and when you season them you add oil and this oil has to be cooled down before adding it (very odd). Also make sure your seasonings were kosher.

 

Also, they don't really care if you're SQF. or any GFSI. They just come in and make sure you are in fact following kosher guidelines. There are many documents online you can go through that can explain what to do and what not to do depending on your processes. 

 

In your case since everything is dairy, you need to make sure you labeling Kosher Dairy, and they would wanna see your processes.

 

Some Rabbis are really nice and they would take the time to explain everything to you if there is something you are not familiar with. They are very lenient as well. (Some).

 

I hope that helps :)


Everything in food is science. The only subjective part is when you eat it. - Alton Brown.


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#5 The Food Scientist

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Posted 16 August 2019 - 01:10 PM

Here is a previous thread that discusses this:

 

https://www.ifsqn.co...her-inspection/


Everything in food is science. The only subjective part is when you eat it. - Alton Brown.


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#6 PollyKBD

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Posted 16 August 2019 - 01:13 PM

Thank you! That was all very helpful. 



#7 Njaquino

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Posted 16 August 2019 - 03:42 PM

In my experience not only did they look at the process but they checked to see that all my raw material has kosher certs. They went through each supplier checking to see if the cert was there. Then they went on the floor and specifically looked for the supplier to assure we weren't purchasing non Kosher materials. The only exception was the packaging material, no kosher cert was needed. Good luck! 



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#8 QAGB

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Posted 16 August 2019 - 03:51 PM

To add to this discussion, you also want to be sure that if you have multiple vendors for 1 ingredient, that ALL of those vendors are Kosher certified. You are not supposed to have non-Kosher vendors for ingredients which are listed under your ingredient schedule. 

 

For example, if you have a Kosher certified product that contains salt and you have multiple salt vendors, each vendor must be Kosher certified. You cannot have a non-Kosher salt in your facility.



#9 Ryan M.

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Posted 16 August 2019 - 10:10 PM

Good you are using OU...well known and they have a pretty good process in place.  They also have a good system online you can use to easily update your ingredients and products listings.   

 

There'll be the pre-inspection preparation where you have to send them labels along with ingredient information to show you are using the correct Kosher label, and using all Kosher ingredients.  You will need a current Kosher cert for each ingredient, but the other cool thing with OU is they have a database.  So, if you are using X stabilizer from Y company and Y company is certified by OU then you only have to provide the OU number for that ingredient.  Even better you can look in the OU database online by company and ingredient name and pull it from there.

 

The inspection will consist of walking your process flow for them to understand how you store and treat ingredients and products.  The biggest thing is they want to make sure you are not mis-identifying anything.  If you have non-Kosher products and Kosher products how you keep them separate, and what steps you take in between on shared equipment.  This is the biggest hurdle...if you have equipment where you run Kosher and non-Kosher there can be pretty significant steps you have to take that do not make any sense in terms of quality and food safety.  If this falls under your process make sure you get whatever the Rabbi asks or requires in writing.  I say this because you may end up with another Rabbi a few months or years down the road who will tell you something different.

 

All the Rabbis know each other...it is really like a mafia.  You pay a lot of money for the Kosher symbol which in my view doesn't have much meaning....Rabbi's and the Kosher certifiers can be "swayed"...if you know what I mean.  Also, they like clients who are generous with their products when the Rabbi visits sending products along with the Rabbi.



#10 mahantesh.micro

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 04:51 AM

My previous organization is Kosher certified by OU, agree with above discussions, Rabbi will look for your Kosher labels, all ingredients must be Kosher certified, except fresh vegetables, fruits, grains, salt and some natural ingredients,

 

To add on to above points, Kosher do not allow usage of alcohol in any of the processes, even sanitation of hands and equipments. And pork, shellfishes are forbidden in Kosher.

 

Our Rabbi use to check major ingredients (in our case it was Kosher Vinegar) receipt, usage and reconciliation. I use to maintain Kosher ingredients receipt, usage, dispatch qty(as FG), and available stock of major ingredients in a separate file, with valid kosher certificates of each Kosher ingredients and also Kosher Label file separately.

 

Non-kosher ingredients may be allowed if you get Kosher declaration from the manufacturer. 

 

Regards

Mahantesh


Edited by mahantesh.micro, 17 August 2019 - 04:58 AM.


#11 Ryan M.

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Posted 18 August 2019 - 12:11 AM

To add on to above points, Kosher do not allow usage of alcohol in any of the processes, even sanitation of hands and equipments. 

 

I think you mean this as part of a Halal certification.  Kosher doesn't exclude alcohol in ingredients or in sanitation.



#12 mahantesh.micro

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 04:53 AM

I think you mean this as part of a Halal certification.  Kosher doesn't exclude alcohol in ingredients or in sanitation.

 

Dear Ryan,

Alcohol is not permitted unless it is produced as per Jewish Law. But in our case Rabbi was not allowing any alcoholic ingredients, even wine vinegar. Most of the hand sanitizers we use in India are not certified Kosher, that is why our Rabbi has not allowed us to use them.






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