Promoting koshers products in Canada
Kashruth specifically refers to the Jewish dietary laws.
Conforming to Kashruth and the associated labelling requirements
increases various products’ acceptability for Muslims, the lactose
intolerant, allergy sufferers and many with other types of food
sensitivities. Hundreds of thousands of Canadians rely on the COR to
assist them in meeting their dietary requirements.
COR’s Board of Directors is composed of lay representatives from
greater Toronto’s Jewish community and the Rabbinical Vaad Hakashruth, a
committee of Orthodox Toronto pulpit rabbis. It is these two governing
bodies that guide the operation and set the standards for the Kashruth
Council of Canada. Products with the Council’s familiar COR symbol, the
symbol of one of the most recognized Kashruth agencies in the world, are
trusted kosher products.
The Kashruth Council
of Canada certifies more than 900 retail and commercial facilities. More
than 45,000 products carry the COR as a symbol of kashruth
certification. The COR’s mandate is to provide the highest level of
kosher supervision using sophisticated scientific technology to provide
customers with the knowledge that they are consuming products that meet
the most intricate parameters of a kosher diet.
What is kosher?
word Kosher is a Hebrew word meaning “fit” or “proper”. In the context
of food consumption it refers to foods that meet the requirement of
Jewish dietary laws and, thus, are fit to be eaten.
individual who is kosher observant will only eat certain types of meat
slaughtered and processed in a certain way. Fish, poultry, dairy and
wine products also have specific guidelines that must be followed,” says
Rabbi Sholom Adler, Kashruth Administrator for the COR . A central
tenet of Kashruth is the prohibition against mixing meat and dairy.
building blocks of all manufactured food products are its ingredients
and these are often derivatives of the above items, such as animal
by-products. The Kosher certification process determines that all
ingredients and derivatives meet the kosher standards and are acceptable
for consumption for those following Jewish dietary laws.
Council performs audits, reviews and spontaneous inspections of
COR-certified facilities. Food manufacturers wishing to service the
kosher market submit an application listing all the ingredients and
products used in their particular plant. A Rabbinic Coordinator
experienced in food manufacturing will perform an initial inspection to
confirm the acceptability of this list of ingredients.
Equipment and facility
ingredients are not all that must be deemed kosher by the COR. “The
kosher certification is not only about the ingredients; it is also about
the process,” says Rabbi Adler. “Cross-contamination between equipment
is another common issue.”
Kosher foods must be
processed on equipment that is deemed kosher as well. “Therefore, we
have to go through a kosherization process; a one-time procedure where
the equipment is sterilised at 100 degrees Celsius under the supervision
of a rabbi,” explains Rabbi Adler.
difficult for a company to do? Rabbi Adler says “not at all. I can’t
stress it enough. It’s not a difficult process. Today, most ingredients
on the market are already kosher by default. The awareness of kosher is
out there and it is simple for ingredients to be deemed kosher,
especially if they do not include lard, or gelatine from animal sources
which is unacceptable for Kosher diets.”
the ingredients, process and equipment have been deemed kosher and the
standard contract has been signed , the facility or product receives the
COR symbol. The Council then uses a set list of criteria dictating the
number of inspections required throughout the year at each certified
plant. This list includes the complexity of the products, the number of
ingredients used, and the number of lines and the type of equipment used
to make the products. Other important factors include the plant’s level
of organization and the degree of cooperation.
is why the Kashruth Council of Canada, the governing body that
diligently audits food products for the assurance of consumers remains
an integral part of the larger Jewish community in Canada.
originally appeared in The Canadian Business Journal and can be viewed online here.