Chodosh Updates from Rabbi Yoseph Herman

19 Shevat 5777

Yoseph Herman, 15 Feb 17

WINTER WHEAT PROBLEM REVIEWED

In mid January ‘17 we were informed by a mashgiach that matzos under his hashgocho are made from a combination of winter and spring wheat, contradicting our assumptions generated from the inception of the Guide to Chodosh that matzos are always exclusively from winter wheat making it Yoshon. This surprise led to a flurry of preliminary research. The research showed that indeed the winter wheat over the last several years has been declining in protein level. Therefore, even some items that used to be made exclusively from winter wheat now need to have some added spring wheat to make the product satisfactory. That revelation seemed to overturn one of the basic assumptions that have always been used by the Guide. Until now the assumption was that, with some known exceptions, items such as cakes, cookies, matzos, crackers, pretzels and other such “crunchy” and easy to break products use only winter wheat and are Yoshon. When we were first informed, we had no idea how far reaching are the consequences of this change and whether mashgichim who have been giving Yoshon hashgochos have been aware of this change. Therefore, we felt that our responsibility to the Yoshon-observant public that is relying on us, mandates that we issue a warning of possible unexplored Chodosh problems with items such as matzos, flour, pretzels, some cakes and cookies. These are all items that used to use only winter wheat.

Hard work by kashrus organizations and other sources, and our further research has now led us to conclusion that we can now cautiously  cancel that warning, but only for items under hashgocho for Yoshon.  It is indeed true that many matzos, both machine and hand matzos, are made from spring wheat as well as the usual winter wheat. However, all the matzo bakeries we had contacted that do add spring wheat are making sure that the spring wheat is Yoshon (either by storing from the past year, or by using spring wheat from those few areas where the planting takes place before pesach.) Regarding other foods, for those with a Yoshon hashgocho, it would seem that the mashgichim had probably taken this potential winter wheat problem into account.

It is important to note that the alert is being called off only for items under hashgocho for Yoshon. Other items not under such hashgocho do need to be checked individually. This includes cakes, cookies, pretzels, flour, matzos and matzo meal and foods using matzo meal such as gefilte fish. Below we present a list of items in this list that have been verified as being only from winter wheat, with no spring wheat added.

Therefore, at this point BE”H we believe that the listings in the Guide to Chodosh have are basically correct (with the exception of minor ongoing corrections and updates such as those listed below.) Naturally we plan to continue to monitor the Chodosh-Yoshon scene as we have done in the past. Now we have also been made aware that we must pay attention to the winter wheat situation as well. If need we will issue any necessary alerts in this area in the future, as we have done in the past for other problem areas. We apologize for any inconvenience anyone experienced over the past several weeks. However, our responsibility to the public demanded that we issue that alert until we had a chance to clarify the situation.

ITEMS CONFIRMED AS USING ONLY WINTER WHEAT, NO SPRING WHEAT ADDED

ALL ITEMS made in Israel under any reliable kashrus hashgocho. All items under hashgocho for Yoshon.

GEFILTE FISH: A&B, Ungar, Freunds, Dagim, Mrs. Adlers, Manischewitz, Mothers, Rokeach, Malchus

MATZOS AND MATZO MEAL: Streits, Manischewitz, Horowitz Margarettin, Rokeach, Mishpacha, Kemach, Heimishe Lokshen (matzo meal only)

MATZOS FOR PESACH: Several hand matzo bakeries that we have contacted say that they are adding spring wheat to their winter wheat flour. However they make sure that the spring wheat is Yoshon from last year. We hope to have a list of such bakeries compiled before pesach.

BAKING FLOUR: Gold Medal flour from factory KC (KC next to the date), Heckers, Ceresota, General Mills Purasnow bakery flour, Ardent Mills and Snavely’s all purpose bakery flours.

 

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CORRECTIONS TO THE MAIN GUIDE

 

Note: Vaad HaRabonim of Queens is NOT makpid on malt.

Section 4.1 Cakes, Cookies, and Crackers

Kemach Flatbreads have a code of 05 FEB 2018 and will likely be Yoshon for the whole season. Check back for updates. Pita Chips (Sea salt and multigrain) have a Chodosh code of June 16, 2017.

Old London Cookies and Crackers have a Chodosh code of Jul 29, 2017 (12 months after packing) for those containing wheat. For products with oats the code is Jul 20, 2017.

Section 4.4 Melba Toast

Old London Melba Toast has a date of July 20, 2017 as it contains oats

Section 5.1 Regular Noodles, Pasta, Mandlen and Croutons

Kemach Heimishe Egg Noodles have a CHODOSH code of 01-26-18.

Ronzoni (Catelli & Lancia) (COR 235) – Regular (white) pasta – BB code of OCT 1 19. Smart, Whole Wheat, Egg, and Vegetable pasta- code of OCT 1 18.

Section 6.3 High Gluten Flour or Bread Flour

Gold Medal Bread Flour and Bread Wheat Blend Flour code Feb 7 18, (558 days after packing.)   Bread Flour from factory KC is always Yoshon. Malt may be a problem after Dec 15, Chodosh code June 26, 2018.

Pillsbury bread flour for home use, Chodosh code Jan 29, 2018 (18 months after packing).

 

Section 8.1 Breakfast Cereals

Arrowhead Mills Cereals:  Wheat bran and Organic Oat Bran have a Chodosh code of Jan 20, 18 for wheat and Jan 11, 2018 for oats. (540 days after packing.)  All cold cereals including ­Organic Seven Grain Cereal, Multigrain, Kamut, Oat Bran Flakes, Organic Barley Flakes (rolled) have a code of July 20, 17 (1 year after packing) for oats and July 29, 17 for wheat.

Attune Foods Cereals: Uncle Sam Cereals have a code 1 year after packing. For wheat, the code is July 29, 2017.     Erewhon Cereals have a code that is 12 months after packing. For Oats that would be a code of July 20, 2017.

Fiber 1 Chewy snack bars have a Chodosh code of March 25, 2017.

Kemach Corn Crisps and Bunch O Crunch have a Chodosh code of November 1, 2017. Fruit Whirls, Honey Crunch, Honey Nut Toasted Oats and Toasted Oats Chodosh code December 1, 2017.   Kemach Crunchy Cinnamon Bites do not contain malt and are always Yoshon.

KIND Healthy Grains Granola Bars. Chodosh code 20 April 17. (9 months after packing).

Taanug Cereals with a Yoshon label are Yoshon under the Hashgocho of the OU.

Section 9.1 Frozen and other Packaged Foods

Aunt Jemima clarification: Frozen pancakes have a code of April 29, 2017 (9 months after packing). Frozen Waffles have a code of July 29, 2017 (12 months after packing).  Pancake and Waffle mixes have a code of July 29, 2017 (12 months after packing).

Pepperidge Farm products cannot be recommended at this time due to inconsistencies in the shelf life of the products. Consumers can call the company about individual products and give the representative the UPC code. Find out when it was produced. If it was produced before July 29, 2016 it is Yoshon.

Tuscanini Pizza is Yoshon under the OU as well as Rabbi Weissmandl and Euro-K.

Section 9.3 Soups and Soup Mixes

Kemach soups in tubes or boxes: onion and split pea soups are always Yoshon. Vegetable soups have a Chodosh code of 6295A (6-year, 295-day of the year) and Minestrone soups have a code of 6295A, Under the hashgocho of Rabbi Nussen N. Horowitz.   These codes will be updated when more information is available.

Streits Ready to Serve (RTS) canned soups are Chodosh: Chunky Chicken Soup Best By Date January 2020, Code P864 1804, 1701732 12 55.   Mushroom & Barley Soup Best By Date January 2020, Code VM 4801  1704622 09:19

 

Section 9.7 Candies

Darell Lee Licorice made in Australia has a Chodosh code of October 1, 2017 (1 year after packing).

Jolly Rancher candies are Yoshon OU (aleph)

 

Section 14.1 Food Imported to Israel

Cheerios imported to Israel under OU hashgocho are all Yoshon

 

Post Cereals are being sold in Israel with an UNAUTHORIZED Kof-K Yoshon sticker on them. They are NOT certified as Yoshon by the Kof-K.

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