Topic Wiki

Links to kosher symbol lists. Each list is obviously only as reliable as its source

cRc: http://www.crcweb.org/agency_list.php

KosherQuest: https://kosherquest.org/kosher-symbols/

Approved alcoholic drinks from the Rabbanut.  http://www.jerusalemkoshernews.com/wp-content/uploads/%D7%9E%D7%A9%D7%A7%D7%90%D7%95%D7%AA-%D7%97%D7%A8%D7%99%D7%A4%D7%99%D7%9D-%D7%9E%D7%90%D7%95%D7%A9%D7%A8%D7%99%D7%9D.pdf

These are NOT Orthodox: https://sites.google.com/site/nonorthodoxkosher/home (even though some may look legit)


Informative post regarding Kashrus Agencies
Every hashgacha has +&-.


You can also submit any kashrus questions at
https://www.askcrc.org/ask
https://oukosher.org/ask-kosher-question/
https://www.star-k.org/ask-rabbi choose General Consumer Kashrus Questions in the Subject/Topic Dropdown list
https://www.ok.org/contact/ choose Kosher in the Attention Dropdown list



Author Topic: Kosher, Kashrus and Hechsherim Master thread  (Read 967457 times)

Offline yitzgar

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Re: Kosher, Kashrus and Hechsherim Master thread
« Reply #5660 on: January 28, 2024, 02:43:40 PM »

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Re: Kosher, Kashrus and Hechsherim Master thread
« Reply #5661 on: January 28, 2024, 03:31:28 PM »

Offline moko

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Re: Kosher, Kashrus and Hechsherim Master thread
« Reply #5662 on: January 28, 2024, 03:32:27 PM »
When you send pms to that many people, it's no longer a pm

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Re: Kosher, Kashrus and Hechsherim Master thread
« Reply #5663 on: January 28, 2024, 04:14:19 PM »
PM=Public Message

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Re: Kosher, Kashrus and Hechsherim Master thread
« Reply #5664 on: January 28, 2024, 06:03:29 PM »
not based on facts at all

Are you saying that the latter is just as good, or that the former is on par with the latter which is widely considered lower?
I've been waiting over 5 years with bated breath for someone to say that!
-- Dan

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Re: Kosher, Kashrus and Hechsherim Master thread
« Reply #5665 on: January 28, 2024, 06:43:39 PM »
What am I missing...

(Pms also open)…
Shloffen Shloft Zich

Offline EliJelly

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Re: Kosher, Kashrus and Hechsherim Master thread
« Reply #5666 on: January 28, 2024, 07:10:33 PM »
after they took Tartikov  they had no need for KAJ

Colloquially "Tartikov" is the other one, B"D Minchas Chinuch/Teitelbaum-Halberstam, which is considered a far better hashgacha than Reb Yechiel Babad Empire has. The former has become recently very widespread and a shud Empire didn't get that one since Costco sells Empire at great prices.  :(

 :)
https://www.empirekosher.com/babad#:~:text=Clarification%3A%C2%A0%20In%20our,as%20Rabbi%20Babad.

Quote
Clarification:  In our press release disseminated 7-22-20, there was a reference to Rabbi Teitlebaum.  The wording may have been translated as if the Empire brand has Rabbi Teitelbaum’s supervision. We want to clarify that this is not the case. Empire Is proud to be supervised by the Orthodox Union (OU), as well as Rabbi Babad.

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Re: Kosher, Kashrus and Hechsherim Master thread
« Reply #5667 on: January 29, 2024, 09:19:43 AM »
A bit of clarification to my earlier post.
Every hashgacha has +&-.
They have areas where they excel and areas where they fall short. Some are common failings mad some are unique to a specific organization or region.
Even in areas where one excels , there are often anomalies that fall through the cracks (es chata'ai ani mazkir)....
Due to the nature of industrial manufacturing and globalization, It virtually impossible for all but the most scrupulous consumers to research individual products , locations etc to determine what is compatible with their avodas hashem.
To that end , kashrus organizations create minimum standards. Obviously, some orgs minimum standards are different than others which further complicates the subject. To that end organizations like AKO were founded to create a baseline for organizations themselves. That doesn't mean all locations , products, organizations are equal.
If someone tells you that every mashgiach they employ, every location they certify is on the exact same high level, there are no failings, etc, they are either negligently ignorant, lying, or probably combination of the two.
I try- sometimes unsuccessfully- not to publicly badmouth other agencies because, at the end of the day, we live in glass houses. Unless we have determined that said agency is deliberately acting in a way that even they know is detrimental to public standards or blatantly disregarding accepted psak, like certifying gevinas akum and misleading the public about it (extreme example).
Or if I feel that someones understanding of a specific hashgacha is based on a faulty premise...
I was recently confronted about another organization and asked why we don't accept it. I responded as follows.
I don't claim to be more machmir
I don't claim to be a greater talmid chacham (in fact he's definitely a greater talmid chacham)
I don't even claim to have better mashgichim.
We claim to know our weaknesses and have infrastructure in place to address it.
We claim to know who supposed to be responsible for kashrus at every location we certify at any given moment.
We claim to provide mandatory annual mashgiach training for all food service mashgichim
We demand online reporting for every shift a mashgiach works . Most don't get paid without it since it's also the same system they clock in and out with (happy to share what those look like)
We claim to check in on food service location at least once a week, many at least twice weekly and some daily to check in on mashgichim and ensure protocols are being followed.
We claim to recognize our failings and (hopefully) address them adequately.

That said, we recognize that there will be variances from place to place
When someone inquires regarding the acceptability of our kashrus, I'll often ask them what are their personal standards at home. If they rely carte blanche on their local Vaad and eat at restaurants with any national hashgacha, they can rely on our certification carte blanche. It's not to say that there aren't variances but rather the derech they've chosen to follow . There's not necessarily anything wrong with that as mentioned above. That's why organizations like AKO, cRc, and others have created lists which are hopefully based on adequate research.
If someone asks a specific question, whether it be regarding PY/BY standards, Yoshon, toila'im etc... we respond a accordingly.
To start comparing individual hashgachos without specifics is not really helpful because many of us who re involved with these hashgachos often have different experiences.
To that end I will not respond publicly regarding the question of BDMC/TBD is a 'better' hashgacha than RYB because my experiences are likely different than other people experiences. My first hand experience with one of them and that likely colores my judgement.

I recommend as follows....
If you have specific hanhagos, educate yourself in how to ask questions related to those hanhagos.
If your part of a specific community, reach out to the regional leadership of said community.
If your a litvishe yungerman, a call to the local rosh kollel is probably a good first step.
If your affiliated with a modern Orthodox community, reach out to the leading community Rabbi.
If you're a lubavitcher, find out who the local shluchim follow for psak .
For all the above, don't rely on some random person of your affiliated community who personal hanhaga doesn't reflect the reality of what you should be doing. Even if he's a good friend of yours....
In our community, I think people might be surprised to hear what the most respected shliach (as a talmid chacham and Dayan) or the Kollel rabanim, or leading Modern Orthodox rabinate (in fact they're pretty closely aligned across all communities) has to say about the practices of the hamon am....more on that another time.


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Re: Kosher, Kashrus and Hechsherim Master thread
« Reply #5668 on: January 29, 2024, 10:53:23 AM »
A bit of clarification to my earlier post.
Every hashgacha has +&-.
They have areas where they excel and areas where they fall short. Some are common failings mad some are unique to a specific organization or region.
Even in areas where one excels , there are often anomalies that fall through the cracks (es chata'ai ani mazkir)....
Due to the nature of industrial manufacturing and globalization, It virtually impossible for all but the most scrupulous consumers to research individual products , locations etc to determine what is compatible with their avodas hashem.
To that end , kashrus organizations create minimum standards. Obviously, some orgs minimum standards are different than others which further complicates the subject. To that end organizations like AKO were founded to create a baseline for organizations themselves. That doesn't mean all locations , products, organizations are equal.
If someone tells you that every mashgiach they employ, every location they certify is on the exact same high level, there are no failings, etc, they are either negligently ignorant, lying, or probably combination of the two.
I try- sometimes unsuccessfully- not to publicly badmouth other agencies because, at the end of the day, we live in glass houses. Unless we have determined that said agency is deliberately acting in a way that even they know is detrimental to public standards or blatantly disregarding accepted psak, like certifying gevinas akum and misleading the public about it (extreme example).
Or if I feel that someones understanding of a specific hashgacha is based on a faulty premise...
I was recently confronted about another organization and asked why we don't accept it. I responded as follows.
I don't claim to be more machmir
I don't claim to be a greater talmid chacham (in fact he's definitely a greater talmid chacham)
I don't even claim to have better mashgichim.
We claim to know our weaknesses and have infrastructure in place to address it.
We claim to know who supposed to be responsible for kashrus at every location we certify at any given moment.
We claim to provide mandatory annual mashgiach training for all food service mashgichim
We demand online reporting for every shift a mashgiach works . Most don't get paid without it since it's also the same system they clock in and out with (happy to share what those look like)
We claim to check in on food service location at least once a week, many at least twice weekly and some daily to check in on mashgichim and ensure protocols are being followed.
We claim to recognize our failings and (hopefully) address them adequately.

That said, we recognize that there will be variances from place to place
When someone inquires regarding the acceptability of our kashrus, I'll often ask them what are their personal standards at home. If they rely carte blanche on their local Vaad and eat at restaurants with any national hashgacha, they can rely on our certification carte blanche. It's not to say that there aren't variances but rather the derech they've chosen to follow . There's not necessarily anything wrong with that as mentioned above. That's why organizations like AKO, cRc, and others have created lists which are hopefully based on adequate research.
If someone asks a specific question, whether it be regarding PY/BY standards, Yoshon, toila'im etc... we respond a accordingly.
To start comparing individual hashgachos without specifics is not really helpful because many of us who re involved with these hashgachos often have different experiences.
To that end I will not respond publicly regarding the question of BDMC/TBD is a 'better' hashgacha than RYB because my experiences are likely different than other people experiences. My first hand experience with one of them and that likely colores my judgement.

I recommend as follows....
If you have specific hanhagos, educate yourself in how to ask questions related to those hanhagos.
If your part of a specific community, reach out to the regional leadership of said community.
If your a litvishe yungerman, a call to the local rosh kollel is probably a good first step.
If your affiliated with a modern Orthodox community, reach out to the leading community Rabbi.
If you're a lubavitcher, find out who the local shluchim follow for psak .
For all the above, don't rely on some random person of your affiliated community who personal hanhaga doesn't reflect the reality of what you should be doing. Even if he's a good friend of yours....
In our community, I think people might be surprised to hear what the most respected shliach (as a talmid chacham and Dayan) or the Kollel rabanim, or leading Modern Orthodox rabinate (in fact they're pretty closely aligned across all communities) has to say about the practices of the hamon am....more on that another time.

Best post on kashrus in a very long time!
Can we, like, pin a slightly shortened version of this in the wiki? and in the wiki of other kashrus related threads?

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Re: Kosher, Kashrus and Hechsherim Master thread
« Reply #5669 on: January 29, 2024, 11:26:03 AM »
Great post. That being said, two of my LOR have very different opinions of RYB which is why I was interested in hearing what you have to say.

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Re: Kosher, Kashrus and Hechsherim Master thread
« Reply #5670 on: January 29, 2024, 02:15:59 PM »
thanks @moko for a very nice post. What I think you have failed to adress is that some hechsherim are assumed to be run in a way that even machmirim can eat without research . The understanding of many experts (unless all of us ask the same guy ) is that BDMC is a hechsher with higher standards than others including Rabbi Babad . You insinuated that this is not true. Do you stand by that?

Offline moko

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Re: Kosher, Kashrus and Hechsherim Master thread
« Reply #5671 on: January 29, 2024, 02:25:57 PM »
thanks @moko for a very nice post. What I think you have failed to adress is that some hechsherim are assumed to be run in a way that even machmirim can eat without research . The understanding of many experts (unless all of us ask the same guy ) is that BDMC is a hechsher with higher standards than others including Rabbi Babad . You insinuated that this is not true. Do you stand by that?
depending on your definition of machmir/chumra , there's virtually no such thing.
Perhaps Landau in EY...maybe R CM Wagshall in the US but virtually non existent. More machmir than other? Definitely but without specifics, you end up in a game.... Similar to the chart that was published in EY with seemingly very vague parameters almost definitely based on mostly anecdotal information at best. That's not to say there shouldn't be categories.....but when you start analyzing Hisachdus vs BDMC vs Tarnapol vs Nirbater vs  etc....... you end up going nowhere but arguing. Of course there's are extreme on both ends but creating such an exact scale is virtually impossible.
I can probably tell a story about each hashgacha that you claim is mehadrin that would change your mind and for the remaining few, we'll just tell stories about how fanaticly nonsensical they are.the result being there's no one to trust.
Bottom line, either educate yourself on exact details to ask questions or rely on your community standards.
Unfortunately, this level of detail causes confusion and opens the door to this who wish to say 'its all politics and it's all the same.' which is most definitely incorrect.

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Re: Kosher, Kashrus and Hechsherim Master thread
« Reply #5672 on: January 29, 2024, 03:13:16 PM »
depending on your definition of machmir/chumra , there's virtually no such thing.
Perhaps Landau in EY...maybe R CM Wagshall in the US but virtually non existent. More machmir than other? Definitely but without specifics, you end up in a game.... Similar to the chart that was published in EY with seemingly very vague parameters almost definitely based on mostly anecdotal information at best. That's not to say there shouldn't be categories.....but when you start analyzing Hisachdus vs BDMC vs Tarnapol vs Nirbater vs  etc....... you end up going nowhere but arguing. Of course there's are extreme on both ends but creating such an exact scale is virtually impossible.
I can probably tell a story about each hashgacha that you claim is mehadrin that would change your mind and for the remaining few, we'll just tell stories about how fanaticly nonsensical they are.the result being there's no one to trust.
Bottom line, either educate yourself on exact details to ask questions or rely on your community standards.
Unfortunately, this level of detail causes confusion and opens the door to this who wish to say 'its all politics and it's all the same.' which is most definitely incorrect.
i here  .but still somebody wrote
Colloquially "Tartikov" is the other one, B"D Minchas Chinuch/Teitelbaum-Halberstam, which is considered a far better hashgacha than Reb Yechiel Babad Empire has. The former has become recently very widespread and a shud Empire didn't get that one since Costco sells Empire at great prices.  :(
To which you responded that this is unfounded. Many of us here seem to have heard that Tartikov beis din is top of the line (unlike r' babad ) So either you are saying that  TBD  isn't really great  or Babad is too ,or that  you hold there really is no such thing as a top hechsher . Which one did you mean?

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Re: Kosher, Kashrus and Hechsherim Master thread
« Reply #5673 on: January 29, 2024, 03:47:01 PM »
depending on your definition of machmir/chumra , there's virtually no such thing.
Perhaps Landau in EY...maybe R CM Wagshall in the US but virtually non existent. More machmir than other? Definitely but without specifics, you end up in a game.... Similar to the chart that was published in EY with seemingly very vague parameters almost definitely based on mostly anecdotal information at best. That's not to say there shouldn't be categories.....but when you start analyzing Hisachdus vs BDMC vs Tarnapol vs Nirbater vs  etc....... you end up going nowhere but arguing. Of course there's are extreme on both ends but creating such an exact scale is virtually impossible.
I can probably tell a story about each hashgacha that you claim is mehadrin that would change your mind and for the remaining few, we'll just tell stories about how fanaticly nonsensical they are.the result being there's no one to trust.
Bottom line, either educate yourself on exact details to ask questions or rely on your community standards.
Unfortunately, this level of detail causes confusion and opens the door to this who wish to say 'its all politics and it's all the same.' which is most definitely incorrect.

But how would a stam individual who is not well acquainted with kashrus professionals be able to make distinctions when hashgachos are less than transparent on specific standards (both halachic and procedural) (or are entirely inaccessible for distant consumers) and other local hashgachos are not willing to provide specific details about the distinctions?

For example, many times one hashgocha is willing to say that it accepts another hashgocha on a product-by-product basis. But it's rare (at least in my experience) to get specifics of the relevant parameters (such as whether the distinction is over a particular machlokes on how to treat a certain product or disagreements on the frequency of checks on mashgichim or even lack of knowledge about how a specific hashgocha operates with respect to a particular industry or product).


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Re: Kosher, Kashrus and Hechsherim Master thread
« Reply #5674 on: January 29, 2024, 04:02:12 PM »
But how would a stam individual who is not well acquainted with kashrus professionals be able to make distinctions when hashgachos are less than transparent on specific standards (both halachic and procedural) (or are entirely inaccessible for distant consumers) and other local hashgachos are not willing to provide specific details about the distinctions?
are you referring to refusal to answer specific questions or if someone asks 'are you mehadrin?" They should guess what the individual is referring to?
If someone asks me if my hashgacha is reliable or he if he can eat it they should expect a fairly generic answer. If they ask more specific or explain in general what hiddurim or zehirus they care for, they can expect a more detailed answer from us. Just happened an hour ago....
For example, many times one hashgocha is willing to say that it accepts another hashgocha on a product-by-product basis. But it's rare (at least in my experience) to get specifics of the relevant parameters (such as whether the distinction is over a particular machlokes on how to treat a certain product or disagreements on the frequency of checks on mashgichim or even lack of knowledge about how a specific hashgocha operates with respect to a particular industry or product).
that's often not based on a particular chumra/kula but rather based on the product complexity and the hashgacha ability to adequately understand and supervise the operation

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Re: Kosher, Kashrus and Hechsherim Master thread
« Reply #5675 on: January 29, 2024, 04:34:58 PM »
are you referring to refusal to answer specific questions or if someone asks 'are you mehadrin?" They should guess what the individual is referring to?
If someone asks me if my hashgacha is reliable or he if he can eat it they should expect a fairly generic answer. If they ask more specific or explain in general what hiddurim or zehirus they care for, they can expect a more detailed answer from us. Just happened an hour ago....that's often not based on a particular chumra/kula but rather based on the product complexity and the hashgacha ability to adequately understand and supervise the operation

The specific situation I had in mind was that I once asked a local hashgocha about a product certified by a small foreign hashgocha that shows up fairly regularly on a handful of products in the U.S. made in that country. The response I got was the foreign hashgocha in question was accepted on a case-by-case basis, but that the local hashgocha had no information on the particular product in question or any other product certified by the foreign hashgocha. But there were no further details of what types of products are acceptable from the foreign hashgocha or what concerns might arise on the type of product in question, such that I could get clarity from the foreign hashgocha.

Obviously it would be silly to try to make the person answering guess specific chumros of concern from a broad question like mehadrin status. And I agree that it's generally easier to get details on potential chumros that aren't taken into account when certifying a particular product. But in my experience hashgachos are wary of being specific about things to look for/ask about in other hashgachos (beyond the generic recommended/not recommended).

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Re: Kosher, Kashrus and Hechsherim Master thread
« Reply #5676 on: January 29, 2024, 05:06:28 PM »
The specific situation I had in mind was that I once asked a local hashgocha about a product certified by a small foreign hashgocha that shows up fairly regularly on a handful of products in the U.S. made in that country. The response I got was the foreign hashgocha in question was accepted on a case-by-case basis, but that the local hashgocha had no information on the particular product in question or any other product certified by the foreign hashgocha. But there were no further details of what types of products are acceptable from the foreign hashgocha or what concerns might arise on the type of product in question, such that I could get clarity from the foreign hashgocha.

Obviously it would be silly to try to make the person answering guess specific chumros of concern from a broad question like mehadrin status. And I agree that it's generally easier to get details on potential chumros that aren't taken into account when certifying a particular product. But in my experience hashgachos are wary of being specific about things to look for/ask about in other hashgachos (beyond the generic recommended/not recommended).
I just gave a list of things to ask .... First and foremost, do you or one of your managers know and have a hard list of who is responsible for onsite kashrus at any given moment.

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Re: Kosher, Kashrus and Hechsherim Master thread
« Reply #5677 on: January 29, 2024, 05:12:32 PM »
I just gave a list of things to ask .... First and foremost, do you or one of your managers know and have a hard list of who is responsible for onsite kashrus at any given moment.
Are you referring to your post further up the thread?

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Re: Kosher, Kashrus and Hechsherim Master thread
« Reply #5678 on: January 29, 2024, 05:13:14 PM »
Are you referring to your post further up the thread?
yes

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Re: Kosher, Kashrus and Hechsherim Master thread
« Reply #5679 on: January 30, 2024, 10:16:04 AM »
depending on your definition of machmir/chumra , there's virtually no such thing.
Perhaps Landau in EY...maybe R CM Wagshall in the US but virtually non existent. More machmir than other? Definitely but without specifics, you end up in a game.... Similar to the chart that was published in EY with seemingly very vague parameters almost definitely based on mostly anecdotal information at best. That's not to say there shouldn't be categories.....but when you start analyzing Hisachdus vs BDMC vs Tarnapol vs Nirbater vs  etc....... you end up going nowhere but arguing. Of course there's are extreme on both ends but creating such an exact scale is virtually impossible.
I can probably tell a story about each hashgacha that you claim is mehadrin that would change your mind and for the remaining few, we'll just tell stories about how fanaticly nonsensical they are.the result being there's no one to trust.
Bottom line, either educate yourself on exact details to ask questions or rely on your community standards.
Unfortunately, this level of detail causes confusion and opens the door to this who wish to say 'its all politics and it's all the same.' which is most definitely incorrect.

Why? From The Torahs viewpoint, עד אלד נאמן באיסורים, so it is all the same, barring extreme negligence or dishonesty.
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