Kashrut Alert: Hershey’s Cookies ‘n Chocolate

23 Iyar 5771
May 27, 2011

hershey2The following kashrut alert was released by the OU. Photos of the product as it is being sold in Israel appear below.

The product is sold in Israel with a sticker placed by the importer that contains an unauthorized OU symbol. This product is not certified by the OU and the sticker did not originate from the Hershey Chocolate Company.

JKN ADDS: As I tell the tzibur in my lectures, one must never buy a product with an import label unless the kashrus symbol is visible on the original factory wrapper or packaging. This policy avoids falling victim as in this case.

If one views the photos one will see that the OU appears on the import label only. We must not assume there is a valid hechsher under the label. 
 

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9 Comments

  • David
    May 27, 2011 - 12:36 | Permalink

    What about the “ishur rabbanut harashi” bit?
    Was this also printed fraudulently?

    YECHIEL: One can only assume so since the Chief Rabbinate does not approve and item prior to confirming its kashrus.

  • Chana
    May 28, 2011 - 20:46 | Permalink

    Re: never buying a product with an import label unless the kashrus symbol is visible on the original factory wrapper or packaging:

    This doesn’t always hold true, as is the case with Toblerone, which has an OK on the import label but not on the original packaging. I have confirmed this with the OK.


    YECHIEL
    : And not all Toblerone sold here is kosher either, depending on country of origin so beware before you buy. Too many generalizations regarding brands imported and too little knowledge.

  • Yitzy
    May 29, 2011 - 07:59 | Permalink

    You may also notice that the actual package reads “manufactured in Brazil for…” while the Hebrew label states יצרן: הרשי קומפני ארה״ב implying made in the US.

  • David
    May 29, 2011 - 10:35 | Permalink

    I have another example to support Chana:-

    “Chocolate Chip & Butter Cookies original danish recipe”

    Nothing else but this title appears on the front of the tin box.

    On the back of the box all there is actually printed on is a couple of codes and a sell-by date. The importer’s label is also stuck on the back and most of the meaningful information is printed on this in Hebrew and Arabic.

    It says on the importers’ label that it is from Wili Food, and the hechsher is triangle-k-d; for those who eat non-jewish butter ; Afiat Yisrael (Jewish baking) ; llo hashash chadash (no possibility of chadash); b’ishur harabbanut harashit l’yisrael (under authorisation of the Israeli Chief Rabbinate).

    The product is made in Portugal.

    Although the product is not mehadrin (primarily I assume because of the butter), I trust that for those who rely on this standard it is kosher and not a fraud.

  • Simon
    May 30, 2011 - 11:52 | Permalink

    There seem to be quite a few legitamate “sticker only” hechsherim. It seems to me that the only way to justify only putting a hescher on the sticker and not the packaging itself is to have a website which can be used to corroberate the kashrut claim. It seems that this rarely, if ever, is possible. Can’t the cheif rabbanute publicise their records, so we, and mashgichim, can check the claim of the import label.

    Quite often the authority on the import label is a very local Rabbi – I had some cookies with a label from the “Rabbanite of Holland” and I checked their website and couldnt find that brand. Some other product claimed Kashrus from the “Sephardic community of Milan”. Without good online records, I have no way of knowing if such entities exist and provid kashrut to these products.

  • David
    May 31, 2011 - 13:25 | Permalink

    Simon mentions a product with the hechsher of the Rabbanite of Holland, but does not appear on the web site.

    Have just been told by someone from Holland, that there are occasionally products which are not kosher in Holland, but – probably because they have special production lines – are kosher here in Israel with the full authorization.

    A specific example is Menthos mints – although now also kosher in Holland – was a few years ago not kosher in Holland – but in additional to the Rabbnut Authoization had a chareidi hechsher on the product in Israel.

    I agree that it can sometimes be very confusing.

  • David
    May 31, 2011 - 14:26 | Permalink

    In addition to my previous comment about products from Holland, it should be noted that rarely one would find a Dutch product with the hechsher as an integral part of the product packaging. Also in the UK, the LBD logo started only a few years ago and it is not done in a big way like the America OU etc.

    Thus, typically, products from these companies, even when kosher in the countries where they were manufactured, would not have an explicit hechsher on the package. The London Beth Din calls this kosher status “approved”. From what I understand, it might not quite meet the same standard of supervision as an actual hechsher – which is why they advice to prefer products with hechsher.

    In such a case, I imagine the only possibility for the Israeli Rabbanut endorsement and any other Israeli hechsher, would be on the importer’s label.

  • Shy Guy
    June 9, 2011 - 17:44 | Permalink

    Chana, regarding Toblerone made in Switzerland, several years ago, the OK told me that the products must have the OK on the original packaging in order to assure it is under their supervision. Are you saying that this is no longer true?

  • David
    June 9, 2011 - 22:11 | Permalink

    From what I know, Toblerone from Switzerland, even without any logo, is approved by the Swiss Rabbinic authorities (but of course non-Jewish powdered milk). This has been true many decades. Please can someone correct me, if I am wrong.

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