A Look at Tnuva & It’s Mehadrin Line

23 Adar II 5774
March 25, 2014
As in past years, I will blei neder be posting articles this year on a number of topics that I feel require clarification for consumers. This includes products from the nation’s largest dairy, Tnuva. I will try to explain the Pesach labeling process in addition to some general background information pertaining to the company’s mehadrin product line.
Tnuva Hashgacha
Tnuva has its own in-house hashgacha, which is headed by Rabbi Ze’ev Whitman. Rabbi Whitman certifies the company’s product line and assumes the responsibility for kashrus supervision in all its facilities.

Vaad Mehadrin
In addition, there are some products, known as the “mehadrin line” that are under Rabbi Whitman’s supervision in addition to what is known as Vaad Mehadrin, the Mehadrin Committee. This committee is a conglomeration of a number of rabbis and hashgachos;

• Rabbi Mordechai Gross, Chairman (Av Beis Din Chanichei Yeshivos, Bnei Brak)
• Badatz Belz Machzikei Hadas
• Badatz Chug Chassam Sofer Bnei Brak

Vaad Mehadrin committee members include:
• Rabbi Amram Edri, (Author of Kashrus Encyclopedia and other seforim)
• Rabbi Yehoshua Horowitz (Noted dayan in Jerusalem & Bnei Brak)
• Rabbi Dov Landau (Chug Chassam Sofer Bnei Brak)
• Rabbi Eliezer Stern (Serves on the beis din of Rav Shmuel Halevy Wosner Shlita)
• Rabbi Yosef Mordechai Zilber (Expert and consultant on ingredients)
• Rabbi Avraham Schlesinger (Vaad Mehadrin supervisor)

Badatz Eida Chareidis
A third Tnuva kashrus option offers products that are supervised by Rabbi Whitman in addition to Badatz Eida Chareidis.

Vaad Mehadrin Must Approve Any & All Ingredients
Any time a new product is being introduced the committee will review each and every ingredient and production is dependent on their approval. The rabbonim are involved in every aspect of production.

The mehadrin products are clearly marked for Pesach and year-round with the logo of the Vaad Mehadrin, separating them from the regular non-mehadrin Tnuva line.

Tnuva products with an Eida Chareidis supervision will only come from Shomer Shabbos farms. While the mehadrin line rejects Shabbos milk, , it may be from a farm that is not Shomer Shabbos. The Eida Chareidis adds this additional stringency of only taking milk from a Shomer Shabbos farm.

Mehadrin Milk
The following is an extremely brief overview of the Halacha.

To cite one example, the mehadrin products will only use milk that is not from cows milked on Shabbos. “Shabbos milk” refers to milk obtained on Shabbos in a fashion that is contrary to Halacha. According to Halacha, only a non-Jew may milk on Shabbos [for the cow’s sake], the milk must be poured out, not used. A milking machine that works on the Halachic ‘grama’ principle may be used. (there is a wealth of Halachic literature regarding Shabbos milking, the machines and how this is done).

There are opinions that milk obtained on Shabbos contrary to Halacha may be used by others on motzei Shabbos. Other opinions prohibit this milk forever. Some rabbonim posit that by using this milk, one is a partner in the chilul Shabbos by encouraging the practice.

The Vaad Mehadrin does not use the Shabbos milk. This is why some consumers will only buy milk marked “mehadrin”, not wishing to drink the Shabbos milk.

Once upon a time mehadrin consumers would check product dates, telling themselves that milk towards the end of the week couldn’t possibly be from Shabbos. The experts at Tnuva explain to me this is not so today for with the modern technology, improved pasteurization and refrigeration, milk sold on any day may be from Shabbos. Therefore, if you do not want Shabbos milk the only way to be absolutely certain is to buy milk marked mehadrin.

Tnuva must and does maintain total separation between the mehadrin and non-mehadrin milk. Mashgichim report to the mehadrin farms after Shabbos and use the computerized systems to review the activities from that Shabbos to make absolutely certain there was no prohibited Shabbos activity. Non-mehadrin milk will never be introduced in a mehadrin product, not relying on any of the leniencies including bitul of a rov (majority) or 1:60 or any other heterim.


Vaad mehadrin logo that appears on products










Vaad Mehadrin certified sour cream



Eida Chareidis certified butter



Non mehadrin Tnuva yogurts


  • Shmuel
    March 25, 2014 - 15:38 | Permalink

    Is there a difference between the different levels of hashgacha regarding Cholov Yosroel? Is the regular, non-mehadrin Cholov Yosroel?


  • danny myers
    March 27, 2014 - 09:17 | Permalink

    yasher koach for your incredible & informative work!
    danny myers

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