The following is an assortment of FAQ’s, and list of products that can be used without special kosher certification. Also included are things that at one time were acceptable with out certification that now does require kosher certification. This list is not exhaustive and will be updated as new information becomes available. If you have any products you would like to see added to this list, please contact the Vaad office. All information is accurate at time of printing and will change over time! Information on this list applies for year round use only and NOT for Passover!

Enjoy and Have a Kosher Day!

Rabbi Sholey Klein

 

Beverages

 

Milk: Standard white milk is best when purchased with a Hecsher when available. Chocolate milk or other flavored milk always needs a reliable hecsher.

Beer: All unflavored domestic beer is kosher w/o a hecsher. There might be kashrus concerns with dark imported beer. Drinks like Mikes Hard lemonade & Smirnoff Ice are not recommended.

Coffee and Tea: All pure unflavored coffee and tea can be used w/o a Hecsher. Flavored ones however need a reliable hecsher. As coffee roasting houses make both pure and flavored coffee one should buy coffee w/a Hecsher where available.

For list of Starbucks products that are recommended see our web site.

Soda: Needs to be certified kosher. At this time no major brand of soda places a kosher mark on the bottle however many national brands are kosher. Coke, Pepsi and Dr. Pepper although make many kosher products, some are not kosher. Hytop brand of soda sold at Minyard is kosher. A+ brand sold at Albertsons Stores and Big Red Soda are not recommended. For a complete soda list see our website dallaskosher.org

Fruit juice: Apple juice from concentrate has a number of potential kashrus concerns including the concentrators, clarifying agents and enzymes used in production. There are differing opinions among the major kashrus agencies as to whether it is accepted w/o certification. The Vaad therefore recommends that where available only apple juice w/a Hecsher should be used. Citrus juice like Lemon or Grapefruit juice, pure with no additives can be used w/o a Hecsher. Take note that often juice will have added flavors or colors and would require a Hecsher.  Cranberry & Pineapple juice see “caned fruit rule”.

Grape juice & Prune juice always need to have a reliable hecsher.

Orange Juice: Pure, with out additives is kosher without certification, however should be considered Dairy Equipment “DE”. If you would like to cook your meat dishes with OJ or even serve it with a meat meal it should have a reliable Hecsher certifying it as pareve.

Fruit Juice or Drinks: Twister, Snapple and all such “natural fruit drinks” require reliable supervision. In order to appear more healthy they like to advertise “All natural, no added sugar or artificial color.” Natural doesn’t equal kosher! Often those products are sweetened with grape juice, colored w/ carmine, a natural red color from a South American beetle or other “natural flavors” that could be of animal / non-kosher origin.

Vegetable Juice: V8, Tomato juice etc. Always needs a reliable Hecsher.

 

 

 

 

Canned Goods

Canned Fruit Rule: Canned fruit meeting the following criteria are kosher w/o a Hecsher:

1) Can’t be made in China, the “ROC” 2) No artificial color 3) No artificial flavor 4) No Natural color 5) No natural flavor. (No natural or artificial colors or flavors)

The following are accepted additives: Sugar, Heavy or light syrup, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) Citric Acid & Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C)

Canned Vegetable Rule: All canned vegetables need a Hecsher. Period. In years past there were just a few vegetables that were problematic, which included any tomato products, beans & mushrooms. As the canned vegetable industry evolved to process non kosher products as well as vegetables, all canned vegetable now need a Hecsher.

 

Fruit & Vegetables: Fresh and Frozen

Frozen Fruit: There are no kashrus concerns with the freezing process. As long as there are no added flavors or colors, just syrup, fruit may be used w/o a hecsher

Frozen Vegetables: There are no kashrus concerns with the freezing process. Standard vegetables with no infestation concerns can be used w/o a Hecsher. Vegetables with infestation concerns may require additional cleaning before use. Chopped and frozen spinach can be used as is. The reason being the cleaning process followed by the chopping and freezing is assumed to have gotten rid of all infestation. For floreted vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower the process is as follows. Place in a saltwater solution, agitate florets and soak for five minutes. Remove vegetables from water and check for any bugs. If water is clean use product, if not repeat process until water is clean.

Fresh Fruit: The following fruit should be checked for infestation before using: Blackberries, Imported Dates, Figs, Raspberries & the leafy tops of Strawberries.

Fresh Vegetables: Standard vegetables with no infestation concerns should be rinsed off with water and used as is.

Vegetables with infestation concerns such as all green leafy vegetables and fresh herbs need to be cleaned before using. For a detailed list of such vegetables and proper procedures for cleaning call the office. (Soon to be posted on our web site.)

Certain vegetables considered an even higher risk for infestation and the great difficulty in cleaning them make them not recommended for use. That list includes: Asparagus, Brussel sprouts, fresh Broccoli & Cauliflower.

For those of you that like fresh broccoli may I suggest you try Brocolini. A first cousin to broccoli whose florets are not so tight and easier to clean and check. Clean then as you would frozen broccoli

Fresh Cut vegetables: Commercially processed vegetables such as baby carrots, celery, sliced mushrooms etc are kosher w/o a hecsher. Typically these types of companies only process vegetables and there are no kashrus concerns. “In store” processed and cut produce will require a hecsher. Minyard Food store sells certified kosher fruit trays under Vaad supervision.

 

Dried Products

Dried Beans & Rice: Raw, unflavored with no additives (other then fortification) are kosher w/o any hecsher. Care must be taken not to use flavored rice or beans as there are serious kashrus concerns.

Dried fruit: Apricots, Dates, Prunes, Peaches, Pears & Raisins – domestic only (California) can be used w/o a hecsher so long as there is no added color, oil or flavors.

The following are some of the dried fruits that need a reliable hecsher: Apples, Bananas, Cherries, Cranberries, Papaya & Pineapples

Dried Vegetables: Sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms should be purchased with a reliable hecher when available. Otherwise if the product has no additives you could buy any brand.

Nuts: Roasted in shell, raw even shelled or salted & blanched almonds are kosher w/o a hecsher

 

 

 

Baking

Baking Paper: Parchment paper & Quilon paper requires reliable certification. These products are treated with oil to prevent food from sticking. That oil is released from the paper during the baking process and will go into your food.

Baking Soda & Powder: Can be used w/o hecsher

Flour: Pure flour with w/o any enzymes can be used w/ a hecsher. Care should be taken with specialty flour such as “Better for bread” etc that usually have added enzymes.

Sugar, White, Brown & Confectionary: Pure with no added flavors are kosher w/o a hecsher

Salt: Can be used w/o a hecsher

Honey: With no flavors or additives

Oil: Extra virgin olive oil is kosher w/o a hecsher. The reason being that “extra virgin” by definition means it used a cold extrusion process and poses no kashrus concerns. Regular olive oil along with all vegetable oil needs a reliable hecsher. Kosher and non kosher oils are refined in the same plant & on common equipment and it’s not practical to kashure such equipment.

 

Miscellaneous:

Spices: All packaged spiced should be purchased w/a hecsher. Pure packaged spices never used to be a problem but today due to free flow agents, other additives and the fact that spices sometimes come in from China or other places where the kashrus is questionable.

Dishwashing detergent: Dishwasher and dishwashing soap, actually all soap do not require a hecsher. There was a time in history that soap had genuine kashrus concerns as it was made from animal fats, however today’s modern soap pose no problem.

Disposable table goods: All new disposable paper plates, cups or bags, foil pans or wrap, plastic wrap, plates cups or bags can be used w/o any hecsher. There are some brands of disposable goods that have a hecsher but it is not necessary to purchase them.

Kosher symbols: The “K” kosher? K is just a letter in the Alphabet! The few exceptions are Kellogg’s (K or Kd), Tabasco sauce (K) and all flavors of Starbucks frapachino (Kd) sold in bottles. The frapachinos made at Starbuck stores are not recommended.

Couscous & tabouli, pasta: Preferably should always have a reliable hecher.

 

The following always need a reliable Hecsher:

All cheese, butter, margarine, pickles & olives, ice cream’s, all baked goods, canned, frozen & fresh fish, candy, oil, salsa, non dairy’ creamer & tofu,

There is also what is referred to in the Kashrus industry as “Red flag ingredients”, which could include things like, Casein (including sodium caseinate), the three “C’s” Carmine (or cochineal), Civet and Castoreum, Dough conditioners, Emulsifiers, Enzymes and strange ingredients ending with the letters “ase” (which are typically enzymes!) Glycerin, Mono and Diglycerides, all types of Stabilizers, Stearates, Polysorbates (all forms)