In today’s world, Kosher Certification is not only a vital key to a large segment of the market, it is also easier than ever to achieve. Developments in the modern-day food industry have made going Kosher an attainable goal for the majority of manufacturers.

The Basics

There are several Biblical and Rabbinic prohibitions which determine certain foods as non-Kosher:

  1. Food derived from non-Kosher species of animals, birds or fish.
  2. Food derived from animals which have not undergone proper ritual slaughter and the subsequent Koshering.
  3. Israeli or Jewish-owned products which have not been properly tithed.
  4. Products with a mixture of meat and dairy.
  5. Produce subject to infestation.
  6. Products requiring constant Rabbinic input, such as Pas Yisroel for baked goods and Bishul Yisroel for certain cooked items. (See the KVH publications regarding these.)

In addition to the Kosher status of the actual ingredients, there are rigorous standards regulating the use of shared equipment, which may cause cross-contamination between Kosher and non-Kosher products, or between Dairy and non-Dairy. Even steam shared between two cookers through a heat exchange can create crosscontamination.

Applying Kosher Standards to a Modern Manufacturing Facility Today’s food products are incredibly complex, even compared to those manufactured 50 years ago. For an individual manufacturer to investigate the Kosher status of each ingredient would be near impossible.

Fortunately, there are hundreds of thousands of ingredients, from simple flavorings to complex emulsifiers, which have been certified by reputable Kosher agencies. Thus, the formulation of a Kosher product often involves merely sourcing ingredients which are already Kosher-certified and obtaining their letters of certification.

In addition, there are some products, such as raw nuts, wheat flour, and sugar that are considered to be “Group 1”; that is, there is no known source for this ingredient that is producing it with Kosher concerns. These can be approved from any source.

Due to the many nuances and ever-changing conditions, an ingredient list must constantly be kept up to date with a company’s certifying agency.

In addition, there must be an assessment of all possible risks of cross-contamination or confusion. These concerns can be dealt with in several ways:

  1. Complete Kosher Production — all products are Kosher approved.
  2. Segregation — a system is put in place to ensure that non-Kosher product is not run on the Kosher line. This can entail one or more of the following:
    a. Separate areas of production
    b. Incompatible equipment — equipment that cannot be used interchangeably for both processes. Alternatively, special equipment dedicated to each process is marked and secured when the other process takes place.
    c. Koshering (sterilization) of equipment in between processes — Often this can be integrated into the standard operating procedures for sanitization.
    d. No compatible ingredients — For example, a Kosher shortening and non-Kosher shortening cannot be present in the same facility lest the incorrect ingredient will be used in the Kosher product.
  3. 3. Batch by Batch Approval — If the above systems are not feasible, a product may still be able to be certified as Kosher by having a batch produced under special on-site supervision.

To apply for Kosher Certification contact us: gokosher@kvhkosher.org or complete the online application HERE