Chicago Rabbinical Council Top Ten Questions for September 2013


crcQ: What are the cRc guidelines regarding tequila?

A: Of the four types of tequila, only unflavored Blano (white/silver) is recommended without a hechsher.   The other three (Oro, Reposado, Anejo) require a reliable certification to avoid concerns that flavor, color, and glycerin were added.

Q: Does citric acid need a hechsher?

Y: Yes, citric acid does require a hechsher.

Q: Does dextrose need a hechsher?

A: No, dextrose does not need a hechsher.

Q: I have seen the cRc policy that dish detergents do not require a hechsher. Why is that?

A: Briefly, soaps are inedible such that any possible non-kosher ingredients do not pose a kashrus concern.

Q: Does chewing gum need a hechsher?

A: Yes, chewing gum requires a hechsher, as the gum base and flavors used pose a kashrus concern.

Q: In preparing for Rosh Hashana, I saw dragon fruit being sold in local fruit stores. What is the proper bracha on dragon fruit?

A: The bracha on dragon fruit is ha’eitz.

Q: The government shutdown means that many routine product inspections are cancelled. Does this mean that those who drink cholov stam or eat products made from cholov stam have to keep cholov Yisroel?

A: Food inspectors are considered essential workers and are still working. Additionally, the state dairy inspectors, which in most states visit more frequently than the federal dairy inspectors, would not be affected by the shutdown anyway.

Q: Does dried mango need a hechsher?

A: Yes, dried mango requires a hechsher. It is possible that flavors and colors, including carmine, may be added to the mango.  Carmine is a coloring obtained from scale insects and is not kosher.

Q: Does crushed red pepper need a hechsher?

A: No, crushed red pepper does not need a hechsher.

Q: Do raisins need a hechsher?

A: Plain domestic raisins do not need a hechsher.

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  1. @2, the CRC does a wonderful job of staying on top of what fruits & veggies are prone to bug infestations and should therefore be avoided or cleaned. If it’s something we need to worry about, they would have said so specifically.

  2. I have heard mipi hashemua that the Vaad of 5 Towns no longer allows blueberries, grapes, or raisins. I will need to ask my local posek.