Bringing Kosher Standards to the Tzibur: Part 2


11 Kislev 5771
November 18, 2010

logo-blackThis is the second article, part of the ongoing JKN effort to bring kashrus standards to the general public, focusing on UK hechsherim on gummies and candies sold in Israel. In the first article, KF (Federation Kashrus) provides readers with its response.

In this, the second of the series, KLBD (London Beth Din Kashrut Division) presents readers with its response. As reported in the first article, the response is presented in an unedited format, as it was received by JKN.

Presented as it was received, in a question-and-answer format:

KLBD would first like to take this opportunity to thank Yechiel Spira for his exceptional work that he is doing for the Tzibur in Eretz Yisroel and for the wonderful relationship we’ve built together over the time, we wish Yechiel much continued hatzlocho for the future with his Avodas Hakodesh.

KLBD is the London Beis Din – Beis Din Tsedek Dekehila Kedosho London Vehamedina. The Rosh Beis Din Emeritus is Dayan Chanoch Ehrentreu, Senior Dayan Dayan M Gelley, other Dayanim are Dayan Y Abrahams, Dayan S Simons and Dayan I Binstock.

LBD is the main official Beis Din for 80% of the community in the UK. The London Beis Din has a major Kashrus Division (KLBD) certifying some 900 factories worldwide, with 20 people working in the office and around 100 out in the field.
KLBD’s main area is in ingredients and its ingredients are used by all major Kashrus authorities in Eretz Yisroel and Worldwide.

Currently this survey is only relevant to some gummy products being sold mainly in sweet shops in Eretz Yisroel and the questions will be answered relevant to these products.
Does your agency grant a ‘regular’ and/or ‘mehadrin’ hechsher for sweets/candies/chocolates?

KLBD do not have two standards on Parev confectionary sold in Israel and although not stated, these are Mehadrin.
In the UK however, KLBD who caters for the wide English community, certifies Dairy-Akum products such as Mars, these have a KLBD-D and are not mehadrin.
1.      Are leniencies accepted in kashering equipment?
This is an all Kosher Site so N/A

                How do you address with the starch molds, associated equipment, and residual starch?
This is an all Kosher Site so N/A

2.      How have you dealt with bishul akum, chalav akum, and pas akum issues?
Not relevant to these products but in general:
Bishul Akum: Where relevant, done by Jew.
Chalav Akum: Would state KLBD-D and in Israel, the Rabbanut would write אבקת חלב נכרי  (nochri milk powder) in  Hebrew as well. (They only allow Chalav Stam/Akum POWDER into Israel)

To state the obvious: These products are not Mehadrin.
Pas Akum: The Rabbanut do not allow the import of pas Akum into Israel.
3.      What part of the process does the mashgiach supervise?
The Mashgiach is fully aware of the Production of the candy from beginning to end and of any on goings at factory.

4.      How are they certain that their packaging is not used for production when they are not there?
This is an all Kosher Site so N/A

5.      What gelatin is used and how is other gelatin isolated during the kosher production?
Kosher Mehadrin Bovine Gelatin. No non-kosher gelatin on site.

6.      What is done regarding utilities: recirculating steam, hot water, cooling water?
This is an all Kosher Site so N/A

7.      How do you deal with rework?
This is an all Kosher Site so N/A
 Mehadrin Ingredient Standards
1.      What is the source of ingredients, animal, vegetable or plant? Have appropriate steps been taken, including kashering and utilities, without kulos (leniencies)?
Gelatin is from a cow and KLBD makes special productions which are done with all the hidurim of a mehadrin product. (Shechita, Melicha ….)
Other ingredients can come from chemicals/plants and are sourced from mehadrin hechsherim.
2.      What is the level of supervision to ensure adherence to protocol?
Daily Yoitze Ve’nichnas (Other workers are also Yiden.)

3.      Are any non-mehadrin ingredients (raw materials) included in the product (including small quantities, possibly considered bitul)?

1.      When dealing with chocolates, do you kasher with water of chocolate (as it is considered mei peiros). Please give some detail regarding kashering process.
2.      What about “batch production” (Mashgiach temidi) or yotzei v’nichnas. If the latter, how often does the Mashgiach visit annually? Are he visits pre-arranged (appointment) or unannounced?
When KLBD do “batch productions”, the mashgiach is there the whole time.

3.      Does the Mashgiach speak the language of the country that the product is being manufactured? (We are well aware of the unreliability of the operations in China for example regarding the trustworthiness of locals).
Usually not an issue as most factories have someone who speaks English and many supervisors are also multi-lingual, Translators are used when necessary. As well, KLBD send their staff to language training where relevant.

4.      Will you permit the company to manufacture compatible products in other plants that are not being certified? This also includes if they have two gum bases and only one is kosher or mehadrin.

5.      What is the rule regarding ingredients in the formula that are confidential? Will you insist that someone in the agency know the details of the confidential ingredients?
KLBD is trusted with confidential information and are able to obtain this info.
Please give a brief summary of what might be the difference for the end-user (consumer) regarding the purchase of a mehadrin or non-mehadrin candy/chocolate product. Does your agency have both and are packages marked accordingly?
In short, the gummy confectionaries sold in Eretz Yisroel bearing the KLBD hechsher are produced with Mehadrin Standards and the Ingredients are Mehadrin.


  • ben
    November 18, 2010 - 09:10 | Permalink

    what is the meaning of “This is an all Kosher Site so N/A”? It seam they are referring to a specific brand of gummy that comes to Israel, what brand is this?
    What about other products sold in Israel with KLBD, (not all there products are confectionery)?

  • Alizah Hochstead
    November 18, 2010 - 09:14 | Permalink

    WHy are so many products under the LBD found with no printed hecksher and without the issur of the Rabbinute HaReshit of Israel printed on the product?

  • David
    November 18, 2010 - 11:32 | Permalink

    In answer to Alizah Hochstead, I think it is well known to people who live or have lived in the UK that most of the endorsements of the LBD of a product being kosher is not a “hasgacha” as such, but is determined by correspondence of the Beth Din with manufacturing companies and the registering the product in their annual guide according to how the product is determined. (Updates are also published on their web site.)

    Thus, this interview, as ben says, is referring to a very specific type of product as stated at the beginning of the article.

    Yechiel – Would the LBD agree to another interview on a more wider scope?

  • Simon
    November 18, 2010 - 18:25 | Permalink

    what sweets is this refering to? We were in a pick and mix sweet shop and asked to see the big bags of sweets, and most of them had a KLBD on the back. Is this article about these pick and mix chewy worms, cola bottles etc? Also, is the beef gelatine meaty, or not? Do vegitarians know about this? Can we eat the chewy sweets with milk chocolate?

  • David
    November 21, 2010 - 00:18 | Permalink

    To Simon,
    1) From reading the article like you have, I understand that they are referring here to only the gummy sweets imported to Israel, that have the LBD logo.

    2) Many rabbanim, at different times, and in different places and with different stripes, have taught me that gelatin from a kosher and shechted animal is completely parev. It thus follows that a parev label on a such a product might not always be good for vegetarians.

    3) In general, the LBD are perceived as a “Rabbanut for the people” type authority rather than an authority that caters for a charaidi population. Possibly, similar to the OU in the USA. These days, they are considered one of the highest standards of authorities that fall into this type of category. One of the issues that they are strict on is gelatin, and so mark products in their guide, that might contain meat based gelatin as NK (Not Kosher). A more lenient Rabbanut might mark such a product as “kasher l’ochlay gelatin” [kosher for those who rely on the leniency to eat animal based gelatin]. Although, in principle I rely on Rabbanut – I, like many observant Jews from anglo-saxon countries, would not rely on this leniency (unless for swallowed medicine pills).

    4) An example why I would not recommend the LBD, despite it’s high standard, to someone who is looking for a charaidi authority, is that I do not think that a typical charaidi Jew would not under normal circumstances consume milk or milk powder that has not been fully supervised under the most strictest of opinions. LBD mark such products in their guide, as kosher, since most people do rely on this leniency.

  • David
    November 21, 2010 - 00:24 | Permalink

    Typo correction to point 4 above:-
    /is that I do not think that a typical charaidi Jew /is that I think that a typical charaidi Jew/

  • Josh
    November 21, 2010 - 09:36 | Permalink

    David – you may be correct about them with regards anything listed simply as Kosher in their guide, but any product which actually displays their hechsher is held to higher standards, with exceptions made for chalav stam/akum (which would be noted on the packaging), and can happily be consumed by your ‘typical chareidi jew’.

  • David
    November 21, 2010 - 16:32 | Permalink

    Thank you, Josh, for your remark.
    Do you know whether they still allow chalav stam in milk restaurants that are under their auspices? According to the LBD web-site it seems only chalav yisrael is allowed at their private catering, but am not sure whether this extends to public establishments. It was more than 30 years ago since I lived in England, and I remember there was little hakpada even amongst many “frum” Jews, as the quality of the “shomered milk” at that time was very low.

    Also do you know what their policy is, now, concerning non-kosher wines (stam yainam) being served at functions where most of the food is under their supervision?

    I remember, 30+ years ago, being at functions where there were notes scattered around saying that the wines etc. were not under their responsibility. Much of the time, unfortunately, the traditional people making the orders did not know any different, and apart from the wine for the Rabbi (cup after birkat hamazon, sheva b’rachot, etc) many of the drinks in the drink bar were not kosher.

    I really do hope that their policy has changed on the wines. As someone who was becoming more observant at the time, I often felt embarrassed when the religious establishment was doing things that did not resonate with my Torah learning.

  • Josh
    November 22, 2010 - 09:14 | Permalink

    David – yes, the chalav yisrael policy extends to restaurants and bakeries as well as caterers. They also no longer allow non-kosher drinks of any kind to be served at any event under their auspices. The only ‘major’ authority I know of that still allows that is the Paris Beth Din, and from my experience the last time I was in Paris, that even included the restaurants.

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