Israel Chodosh Concerns

Tuesday, 7 Shevat 5772

January 31, 2012

4-d2a4e4ff-1670036-800As reported in Chief Rabbinate of Israel Kashrus Enforcement Division update number 008 (2 Shevat 5772/January 26, 2012), there are boxes of American cereals from General Mills that are chodosh. The boxes are sold under the “Nestle” name, with a hashgacha on the box from the USA from the OU, and on the side panel they say “with permission of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel” as well as having kashrus from Osem.

Listed in the alert are Cheerios®, Honey Nut Cheerios®, Nestle Fibre 1®, Multi Cheerios®, Nestle Clusters®, and Yogurt Cheerios®.

One must familiarize oneself with the product codes and then one may determine which cereals are before the cutoff date, hence yoshon, and those after the cutoff date, hence chodosh.

Cutoff Dates:

Cheerios Yogurt or Clusters: September 10, 2012

Honey Nut: October 7, 2012

Cheerios: September 10, 2012

Multi Cheerios: August 21, 2012

Fibre1: March 30, 2012

A recall has been issued to remove boxes that are chodosh from store shelves.

JKN points out that in addition, a general note applicable here too, at times, or perhaps often, the original box will be marked OU-D, signifying a product is under the hechsher of the OU and carries a dairy designation, chalav akum. Many Israelis are unaware of this and in the case of Cini Minis® cereal for example, the Hebrew label only says OU-D and makes no mention of chalav akum.

Some kashrus advocates over recent years have been trying to compel the Chief Rabbinate to add the “chalav akum” designation, but to date this has not occurred.

In short, if you wish to purchase American cereals (and other products from abroad for that matter) it may be a good suggestion to download the digital copy of Rabbi Yoseph Herman’s chodosh code manual for reference.

One may click on the hyperlink to download the chodosh guide in English: r-herman-chodosh-2012

One may click on the hyperlink to download Chief Rabbinate update 008. 008d7a9d7a2d791

Here are some links to articles pertaining to yoshon/chodosh from the JKN website if you wish to obtain a better understanding as to what we are addressing.


Yoshon and Chodosh


Chodosh Information – P’sak Halacha. ***You must also read this, the clarification of the P’sak Halacha by Maran HaRav Yosef Sholom Elyashiv Shlita


Seeking to Untangle the Chodosh Web


  • Surie Ackerman
    January 31, 2012 - 08:58 | Permalink

    Please be careful, because I’m not sure where or when this “recall” is supposedly happening.

    Yesterday I had to return 2 boxes of Fiber 1 cereal to Osher Ad in Givat Shaul because the date was past the date listed above. My daughter and I checked the boxes of Fiber 1 on the shelves, and ALL of them were after the above date. We didn’t check any of the Cheerios boxes, so please be careful.

    The desk **did** give me a credit, even though I no longer had the receipt, and I left a copy of the Rabbanut’s announcement with the woman in charge there, who had apparently never heard of the issue. I told her she should make sure her superiors read it….

  • Melissa Shenker
    January 31, 2012 - 08:59 | Permalink

    It is important to note that the Chief Rabbinate does not permit liquid “chalav akum”, but only powdered milk. R’ Aharon Pfeuffer ztz”l, author of the well known “Kitzur Halachot Basar B’Chalav” and was an expert on many areas kashrut, permitted “avkat chalav akum”.

  • Gary
    January 31, 2012 - 11:13 | Permalink

    The article makes it seem like Chodosh on cereals manufactured in America is a required halacha, and not a chumra that some choose to take upon themselves. This could chas v’sholom lead to people being machmir when they should not be (e.g. if they can’t return and will choose to throw out the cereal rather than eat something they believe is problematic according to the strict halacha). I think you should clarify.

  • cmb
    January 31, 2012 - 13:52 | Permalink

    I’m pretty sure there actually is no milk content in the cini-minis – it’s a keili designation.
    and to gary – who said its a chumrah? its halacha mefureshes that people found what to be somech on bshaas hdchak! maybe yechiel can put up an article clarifying the actual halacha!

  • yossi
    January 31, 2012 - 14:11 | Permalink

    i contacted the OU in america and they verified that honeynut cheerios with an expiration date of NOV 9 2012 is YOSHON!
    that is after the “cutoff date” you mentioned above, unless we’re talking about two different dates(production code vs. expiration date?)!
    the annoucment made by the cheif rabbinate specified “expiration date” (t’fuga) and their date also preceded the date that the OU claims to be Yoshon.
    something definitely needs clarification!

  • Gary
    January 31, 2012 - 14:58 | Permalink

    cmb said:

    “who said its a chumrah? its halacha mefureshes that people found what to be somech on bshaas hdchak! maybe yechiel can put up an article clarifying the actual halacha!”

    Rama YD 293. Could there be a better source for the ashkenazi community? I’m not sure what you mean that it’s a “halacha mefureshes”.

  • Shmuel
    January 31, 2012 - 21:12 | Permalink

    To Gary: you are right that yoshon is a chumra — if you are in chutz la’aretz! But in eretz Yisrael, it is a basic halachic requirement, even if the food is imported from abroad.

  • Gary
    February 1, 2012 - 11:15 | Permalink

    Shmuel, thanks for the clarification. Can you point me to a source?

  • EG
    February 1, 2012 - 12:05 | Permalink

    Shmuel and Gary, B’kitzur-Since there was machlokes both re grain of goy and grain grown in Chu’l, plus it used to be very difficult to keep etc so they were meikel in the past in Chu’l. However, today it really isn’t the same situation and just takes a little homework. Nobody is starving from lack of Cheerios…But everybody should ask their own Rav what they should do. Re stuff from Chu’l brought into EY, Rav Shmuel Salant held if brought in flour and baked here, is assur like EY-type grain and above heter would not apply. I believe this was also a machlokes Poskim. And the Cheerios are, of course, completely manufactered in Chu’l…so those who are meikel in “Chu’l chodosh” may be able to be meikel in Cheerios even in EY. Best to ask your Rav.

  • cmb
    February 1, 2012 - 13:28 | Permalink

    To gary: see excellent 3 part article here – gave me a lot of clarity!

    maybe yechiel can get permission and repost?

  • Gary
    February 1, 2012 - 14:25 | Permalink

    Eg – that’s an interesting opinion from R Shmuel Salant. L’maaseh, regarding produxts brought in from chul, you say that the halacha is the opposite of what Shmuel said above. Nobody has brought a source.

    cbm – I’m not sure how these articles support your contention that not eating chadash in chul is a “halacha mefureshes”. The exact opposite appears to be true – the halacha (based on rama and many other sources brought in your articles) is that it is mutar. Many choose to rely on the stringent opinions. However, I stand by my original point, which was that it’s wrong to present the stringent opinions as the base halacha. I don’t think anyone would disagree with that.

  • cmb
    February 1, 2012 - 15:13 | Permalink

    To Gary – did you even read the article or extensive footnotes? the halacha mefureshes is “hachadash assur min hatorah bchol makom”.
    several authorities brought sevaros to be meikil bshaas hadchak – each of which is knocked off by the majority of poskim – and you still call it a chumrah? amazing!

    as to issue of cheerios brought in – one of the footnotes in part2 above discussed it – that you lose aruch hashulchans hetter b/c based on that grain from chu”l cant possibly be brought to e”y – well cheerios proves it can! here is the footnote copied:
    10]It can be debated that the Aruch Hashulchan’s hetter would no longer apply nowadays, when chodosh products, such as Cheerios are easily purchasable in Israel. For more on this topic of chodosh grain from Chutz La’aretz used in Eretz Yisrael, see Shu”t Achiezer (vol. 2, 39), Shu”t Chelkas Yoav (Y”D 33), Shu”t Har Tzvi (Y”D 239 -240), Shu”t Tzitz Eliezer (vol. 20, 40, 1, in the name of Rav Shmuel Salant, originally printed in Kovetz Kenesses Chachmei Yisrael 126,1) and Orchos Rabbeinu (vol 4, 70, pg 30, quoting the Chazon Ish and the Steipler Gaon).

    i looked into some of them – they all seem to not be too happy with it.
    i think this author did a big service to explain all the backgrounds and opinions etc.
    gary – you can do what you like regarding chodosh – you have what to rely upon, but dont call a halacha a chumra!

  • Gary
    February 2, 2012 - 15:49 | Permalink

    cmb -

    I’m still not sure you understand what “halacha mefureshes” means. Moreover, the conclusion of the article is disingenuous, as the body in fact contains a number of reasons to be meikil (esp if this is the custom in your community, and not at all b’shaas hadechak). An example is the Rama. It quotes that GRAKE disagrees, but this is hardly a reason to relegate the Rama to the status of being meikil only b’shaas hadechak, and GRAKE as “halacha mefureshes”. Those who are machmir point to the meikil opinions and allow them b’shaas hadechak. Those who are meikil would be meikil in any instance.

    Thank you for allowing me to do what I’d like regarding chodosh. I certainly will, though that is not the issue. The issue is whether it is legitimate for a kashrut organization to present the issue of yoshon as if there is no meikil opinion.

  • Rabbi Peretz Moncharsh
    February 3, 2012 - 12:43 | Permalink

    Gary: Did you notice that the Rema’s “Heter” is Mutav sh’Yihiyu Shogegim? He doesn’t say that it Mutar at all, just that it is not worth informing people of the Issur!!!

  • cmb
    February 3, 2012 - 13:00 | Permalink

    Gary – Now I am sure you do not understand what “halacha mefureshes” means. If the Rema is lenient only due to a sfeik sfeika which – according to R Akiva Eiger and others – does not actually exist, [And especially nowadays when all mill information is public knowledge - pretty much taking out all the guesswork] – and the rema himself concludes that his reasoning is “mutav shyehyu shogagim v’all thyu mezeidim -[yes, i looked it up - did you?] – does not seem to translate to “the halacha is that it is 100% muttar”, but rather to one has what to rely upon, even though all poskim from rif and rambam to tur and shulchan aruch [plus shach, taz, gr"a et al] EXPLICITLY FORBID IT!!

    so again – you can do what you like regarding chodosh – you have what to rely upon, but don’t call a halacha a chumra! your question however should be the opposite – whether it is legitimate for a kashrut organization to ignore the issue of chodosh as if there is no reason to be makpid on yoshon!

  • Gary
    February 5, 2012 - 01:55 | Permalink

    I’m not a rabbi, and I’m very happy that you looked up the Rama, cmb. However, the Rama is talking about two types of chadash. It is about the second that he says mutav sheyehiyu shogegin. What is very clear is that in previous generations, everyone ate chodosh in chul (MB says this about his generation, Taz about his, etc). And in our generation, the OU paskens against this “halacha mefureshes”. cmb, you might not rely on the OU, but the fact that you can describe their poskim as holding against a “halacha mefureshes”, and then pointing to arguments in the poskim, saying that in each one, the “halacha mefureshes” is like the machmir shitta, is embarrassing.

  • Rabbi Peretz Moncharsh
    February 6, 2012 - 15:53 | Permalink

    Gary: While it is true that the Rema describes two different cases of Chodosh, the current reality is analogous to his second case, the one where he requires Mutav sh’Yihiyu Shogegim. Statistics from the USDA confirm that the overwhelming majority of spring wheat is planted after Pesach.

  • Comments are closed.