Randy Clements

I’m not Jewish, but there is one thing I do know; Those guys know how to do it right when it comes down to high-quality food. Kosher certification for food is done by state, national, and even international agencies. But what IS kosher? “Oy vey!” There is a LOT that goes into it, so let’s try and sort it out.

In Jewish culture and religion, Kosher food complies with Jewish dietary law. These laws trace quite far back into history – you can even read the book of Leviticus in the Bible for some examples of Kosher foods. Not only does it identify which types of food are proper to use, but also about how food is to be prepared and handled. Even the way in which animals are slaughtered is done in a proper and humane manner, consistent with Kosher law.

The equipment used to prepare the food is also of importance. Dishes and utensils are dedicated to either meat or dairy, and are even stored in separated places. Preparation surfaces are also maintained and kept separate. To put it simply, each utensil must be ‘koshered’, or otherwise set apart for its task. This is done by immersion and rinsing, but I won’t go into great detail on how this happens, other than to say it’s done by a proscribed process. In simple terms, the meat knife cuts the meat, the cheese knife for the cheese. Dishwashers, appliances, and even ovens can be dedicated to either meat or dairy.

In self-preparation of fresh food, you can see how maintaining this can be important. When shopping for foods that are pre-prepared, there are symbols to designate whether it is Kosher. Open your cupboard and take a look! I’ll bet you are able to find some prepared Kosher food in your own house, even if you didn’t know they were. There is typically a small symbol, identifying the Kosher agency that certifies that the food was prepared in the proper manner, and that the company producing the food follows the approved methods. Here are some symbols we found in our own cupboard.

There are literally dozens of agencies with different symbols, and there are myriad guides online to illustrate. If no symbol can be found on the packaging, we can assume that the food is not Kosher. This works great for every day foods, but what about food storage items? Is it common for a food storage company to have their food certified?

Fortunately, there is such a place! eFoodsDirect has taken the necessary steps to have their commercial operations certified. They have worked with Orthodox Union (OU) in Brooklyn, NY, and are able to proudly display the OU symbol on their product. The entire foods product line from the suppliers of raw ingredients to the manufacturing and processing plant, are in fact, Kosher, and certified as such. In an industry that has so much recent growth, it’s great to see a company that has gone the extra steps to make Kosher food storage products. They are also one of the few that don’t irradiate the product, keeping it as natural as can be.

Steve Vincent, CMO and partner in eFoodsDirect, has this to say: “It’s true that Kosher certification has significant religious implications. It requires the food to be processed and sourced in a specific way.  We have not found a greater certification of food quality than Kosher certification. It is a higher standard than any government agency. Therefore we are proud to be able to carry the best kosher rating available; the Orthodox Union certificate (a U inside a circle), as part of our mission to provide the highest-quality and best-tasting food in the industry.”

Kosher means a higher standard of food. You don’t need to observe Jewish dietary law in order to reap the benefits. Seventh-day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and even non-religious people, with a desire to know their food is of the very best quality, know the symbol is something to get behind. Kosher food benefits us ALL.

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