Rabbi Chaim Fogelman, OK Kosher
The laws of kosher date back to the time of Moses. Meat and dairy have to be separate, only some animals are kosher and they have to be slaughtered in a certain way, and there are rules about preparation.
When a company wants a product certified, certain steps are taken. We need a list of all the ingredients. If one is non-kosher, it must be removed or replaced. We also need to know about any processing aids, and whether the equipment is dedicated or not. Kosher equipment is either new or used exclusively for kosher food.
A rabbi visits the factory to make a physical inspection. Ingredients may need to be changed or equipment may need to be kosherised, which might be by boiling, fire or cleaning. Once we determine you can go kosher, we decide how often it has to be checked.
Some companies are very simple and might need to be visited once a year. Companies with many lines and many products may require more visits. In some cases, a full-time rabbi may need to be there during production.
Keeping up to date with kosher certificates is a monumental task and we could not do it without the latest technology. Once we certify something, the company signs a contract agreeing we will monitor the process and the ingredients can’t be changed.
We certify about 500,000 products all over the world. About 98 per cent of all kosher products will have an ingredient certified by us.
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