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The question is often asked “what goes into certifying a company as Kosher?” Does the Rabbi arrive at the factory and bless the food? If the factory pays for the use of a Kosher mark, does this give them the right to use the mark? Can all products be certified as Kosher, or is there a limited range?

Based on our recent article of what is required for Kosher certification, we know that every ingredient consumed by those keeping Kosher, must be approved as such. As technology has evolved during the past years, so too have the controls and maintenance of Kosher food production facilities. First and foremost, a company is required to submit all of its raw materials to the Kosher certifying agency for verification. Based on the Kosher certificates supplied, these ingredients are checked off and verified to ensure that they match up to Kosher specifications. Most Kosher agencies today are fully computerized and all ingredients as well as the sources of ingredients are available at the push of a button. Once satisfied with the ingredients, the Kosher agency will visit the company to carry out a full inspection as to the production procedures, ensuring that the machinery is suitable for producing Kosher products and at the same time, checking once more that the ingredients in the plant are indeed all Kosher. The Kosher agency, once satisfied, then continues to visit the company with unannounced inspections throughout the year, ensuring that there are no changes which have not been brought to their attention. Similar to health inspectors who maintain and ensure adherence to health standards, so too Kashrus inspectors are required to ensure that the strictest standards of Kashrus are in place at all times and at all facilities bearing Kosher certification.

In upcoming articles we will be discussing different interesting aspects with regards to Kosher products. Let us commence with an interesting example:

There are certain products available in the United States with Kosher certification; however the same products, with the same names and sold in Canada, do not bear any Kosher certification. The reason for this is that perhaps in the United States, the products are produced in a facility which is certified as Kosher, and in Canada this is not the case. Furthermore, many companies may be co-packing with an outside producer which may not be a Kosher certified facility.

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