Candy Stores are a Trap

26 Tammuz 5770
July 8, 2010

candy-gum-dropsHEFKER CONTINUES IN THE FRUM AREAS TOO: There is Baruch Hashem a large selection of kosher candies on the market today, more than we have ever known in the past, some mehadrin while others ‘regular kosher’ for the lack of a better term.

A problem regarding candy stores in Israel, particularly in religious neighborhoods, is that consumers make the bold and unfounded assumption that everything displayed is certified kosher, and some even believe if the store is in a neighborhood like Geula (Yerushalayim), it must be mehadrin. WRONG!

For those of you who saw the first post addressing candy on the website this morning, pointing to this store in Geula, I removed it and replaced it with this one, a bit more in-depth, because I feel an explanation is required. By the way, this store was just my last victim so to speak, but by far, not the only ‘offender’.

Candy stores as a rule are like supermarkets, they do not have a hechsher and therefore, one must check every item. I would not be exaggerating if I say that in every candy store I probed, without exception, when I ask “what’s the hechsher” the response is “Badatz London” or “Badatz Manchester” because these two fine legitimate kashrut organizations provide kosher supervision for a fair share of the kosher candy industry, at least items sold in Israel.

Today I probed twice in the same store and got the standard responses, but when I picked up the caramel squares and said “this too” the response was “no, that’s ‘OK’”, which is also a respectable legitimate hechsher, but the item is dairy, not chalav yisrael, and there is a difference. Parents of Israeli families are generally clueless, and too many former N. Americans are too.

One friend who recently visited from NYC loaded up, literally a major shopping bag full of candy purchased in Machane Yehuda. I asked him “What’s the deal” and he explained, “You simply can’t get this stuff in Brooklyn”. Do you know why, because there, the store won’t sell stuff that does not carry a hechsher!

Much of the contents of his bag were items without the mehadrin or non-mehadrin UK hechsherim, but products from other countries, including dairy, non-chalav yisrael (and his family is strict in that area). Some of the kosher claims were from places I for one am not familiar with. Perhaps he is.

Yes, the workers speak Hebrew and some wear yarmulkes, even black velvet ones. That is not a hechsher!! Please, you must understand the concept.

 Most of these stores DO NOT have kosher supervision so you must check each item before making a purchase, or alternatively, realize you are trusting the person behind the counter blindly, which is also good for some but has proven a mistake in too many candy stores.

7 Comments

  • SA Oleh
    July 9, 2010 - 11:20 | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing this important Kashrut information with the Israeli kosher-keeping public. I appreciate hearing these updates. After the simplicity and excellence of the South African Beth Din’s standards, it’s bewildering to deal with the kashrut jungle here in Israel. In a way it’s ironic, but כך היא הגאולה…

  • ephraim
    July 9, 2010 - 19:41 | Permalink

    Please check out the store across from Gal Paz
    when i asked him what Hechsher the Caramel squares was he assured me that it was mehadrin but when i asked to see it he told me he only gets it in twice a year and the hechsher is on the box needless to say i walked out he also has a big sign with an edia charadis and a ancient mechiras chometz

  • yechiel-admin
    July 11, 2010 - 08:18 | Permalink

    FROM A READER: Hi,
    Interesting you mention ice cream stores. . .
    My wife and I have not been able to understand how these stores have frozen strawberries as toppings.

  • David
    July 11, 2010 - 23:27 | Permalink

    To “A Reader”,
    Am no Rav (or not nearly close to being one) but I did hear once that there is a heter [=permissibility] when a possibly buggy product is frozen, because then the insects fall apart and so the laws of batal b’shishim [=annulled if less than one sixtieth] can play in.

  • Shua
    July 12, 2010 - 01:24 | Permalink

    WARNING!

    Some of the above mentioned stores/stalls claim that a certain brand of gummy candies are under Badatz London (London Beis Din). THIS IS NOT SO!
    On further investigation I found out that they contain LBD approved gelatine, but thats as far as it goes. PLease do not confuse this with the KF (Dayan Lichtenshtein) approved candies which do actualy have a hechsher on them.

  • David
    July 12, 2010 - 13:33 | Permalink

    Afaik, the LBD (London Bet Din) do not allow and have never allowed animal based gelatin. I don’t know whether they have ever allowed animal based gelatin from a koshe shechted animal (such gelatin being halachic parev), but as far as I know, any non-Jewish products that contains animal gelatin is marked as “not-kosher” on their lists.

  • Shua
    July 13, 2010 - 01:43 | Permalink

    It may be a synthetic variant or as in many cases in kosher cofectionary, fish gelatine.

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