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Over the past few weeks, we have been waiting impatiently for the end of the winter season, and it looked like it had finally arrived. That is, until we watched with disbelief as more snow fell this week. Nevertheless, as the sun begins to force itself from behind the clouds, the summer season is upon us and we hope that it will stay long enough for us to enjoy those delicious frozen summer treats. Some of the most popular questions we receive during this time pertain to the drinks available at gas stations and convenience stores, especially as more people travel during this vacation period. Slush is a particular favourite among children.
As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, rule #1 is that these items require a reliable Kosher certification. Although there is a bevy of flavours and brands available on the market, and some may seem familiar, it is important to ascertain that they are in fact Kosher certified. Just because a root beer may be Kosher certified in the United States, this may not be true for the same product in Canada, as the flavours used may be different. The MK is proud to certify a range of Slurpee products, produced by Coca-Cola, as well as slushes produced by Slush-Puppie and Imperial Snacking. Clickhere to see this year’s list.
It is important to note that although slush machines can be found in many different locations all over the country, there must be a control by the holding company of the machines, ensuring that only their product is used in the machine bearing their name, e.g. a Slush Puppie product may only go into a Slush Puppie machine. Inspectors working for the MK frequently check stores to ensure that for products that bear our certification, this is indeed the case. Most franchise holders would remove their machines if they found out that a competitor or an alternate product was being mixed in their supplied machines.
Slurpees have many different flavors and the list of these Kosher flavors is constantly updated, ensuring accuracy.
Some certification agencies place a sign at the point of sale at various stores includes seven elevens, Macs, etc. advising the public which flavors are Kosher certified and that these flavors may be purchased at these particular stores.
Another popular item is the Popsicle. Whilst popsicles generally do not contain dairy ingredients, they may be produced on a line which also manufactures dairy products. This is of particular concern in Kashrus as the product would be pasteurized on a dairy pasteurizer. Although the actual Popsicle doesn’t contain dairy ingredients, some certifying agencies choose to label the product as ‘Dairy Equipment’, which means that the Popsicle shouldn’t be consumed together with meat, only after meat. The MK policy is that a product is either “dairy” or “Pareve”, and that there are no in-betweens. It is therefore no surprise that “Lebel Foods”, a company that joined the MK flagship several years ago, produces a totally Pareve popsicles made on a dedicated Pareve line.
When going out this summer to purchase your drinks, remember to look for a reliable certification. Never assume that the product is Kosher and that there are no additives.
Have a happy Summer!

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