With the addition of hundreds of new kosher products comes a drawback that has many kashrus sources and ordinary consumers on edge. It seems that as the number of products increase so do the number of alerts that appear in Anglo Jewish newspapers, kosher certification agency newsletters, and the blogs that routinely cover such alerts.
The alerts typically involve an unauthorized usage of a kosher symbol as was the case with Snapple recently when its certifier, OK Kosher Certification, alerted customers that the 24 pack – 20 oz plastic bottles of Snapple had been incorrectly labeled OK Pareve. It appeared that while most of the flavors were kosher, the Fruit Punch was not. Another advisory referred to JELL-O Strawberry Cheesecake Snacks produced by Kraft Foods which the OK does not certify because it contains gelatin.
The issues with kosher certification are as widespread with larger manufacturers as they are with smaller ones.
Also of concern is changed status of restaurants and retail establishments. In Chicago, the cRc had to warn customers that it no longer certified many Red Mango stores around the country. Changes in certification at many eating establishments routinely occur but in many cases the stores are left without certification.
Kashrus agencies say they are noticing an increased volume of calls to their consumer hotlines. One rabbi told Kosher Today that the calls begin the minute that there “is any kind of buzz about the kashrus status of a product or easting establishment.”