Question: I’ve noticed that there room a lot of different symbols that show something is kosher. One OU, a triangle K, a cRc in a triangle, etc. One of my friends just eats things with few of the symbols, and also not others. What’s the difference?–Pam, AustinAnswer: You’re right that there space dozens of various symbols that suggest something is kosher. Every symbol, known as a hechsher, comes from a various organization or rabbi.

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What The Labels and also Symbols Mean

So when you view an OU ~ above a package (designated by a U within a circle, or O), you know that product to be certified as kosher by the Orthodox Union. A cRc comes from the Chicago Rabbinical Council. KSA represents Kosher Supervision that America, and also so on. You can look up all the symbols and their institutions here.

Arguably, the best known and most widely accessible one in phibìc America is the Orthodox Union’s, i beg your pardon looks like this:


The Hebrew spelling of “kosher,” which shows up on specific seals and also certificates, looks choose this:

Since kosher laws require keeping meat and also dairy separate, kosher commodities alwaysspecify whether or no they are meat (also well-known as fleishig), dairy (also well-known as milchig or chalavi) or pareve (containing neither meat nor dairy).

Foods certified together kosher for Passover gain a different label that claims “kosher because that Passover” or “kasher l’Pesach.” Sometimes the label has theHebrew indigenous only, whichlook like this:


Here is an example of a kosher-for-Passover brand on a product:


In this context, the ns at the finish stands because that Passover. Not all products require a different kosher-for-Passover certification. A complete list and also guide is available here.

When shopping because that kosher products, the is vital to remember the just due to the fact that some items created by a companyare kosher does not mean all of the company’s products are kosher.

Here room some additional kosher symbols you could come across. There are countless out there that differ from an ar to region.


Why So countless Different Symbols and also Agencies?

If all commodities with kosher symbols on them have been certified as kosher by someone, climate why perform we require so numerous symbols? Well, since some human being only trust details organizations to carry out a an excellent job of making certain something is kosher.

For this reason, ifyou are buying other to bring to the residence of a friend that keeps kosher — possibly as a hostess gift or because you are making ashiva(visiting a mourner) speak to — the is a good idea first to discover out i beg your pardon certifications lock trust.

To help explain why civilization don’t all to trust the same labels, ns consulted v Rabbi Asher Lopatin, president of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School. He said that occasionally a rabbi or company will accept a halachic (Jewish legal) leniency about food the others take concern with.

What’s a great example?

“While there have actually been some lenient opinions over the centuries regarding gelatin,” Rabbi Lopatin said, “current Orthodox practice, at least in the Diaspora, is to no accept gelatin from non-kosher animals. Therefore, supervisions which carry out accept the leniencies that gelatin native non-kosher animals are no acceptable to (Orthodox) neighborhood standards.” and also once you have an organization that permits for gelatin from a non-kosher animal, the community might it is in nervous accepting the organization’s supervision on any food, even if the doesn’t contain gelatin.

Think of it like hiring a babysitter. If you discover out that your babysitter has been giving your children ice cream for dinner, you might decide not to trust the babysitter to be in charge of your youngsters ever, even if friend ensure the there’s no ice cream cream in the house.

Rabbi Lopatin carried up other concerns a ar might have: “The second issue might be that while the rabbi providing the supervision can be a great scholar, he can not have the expertise to supervise a complex system which calls for expertise in contemporary machinery and processing systems.The third issue is that occasionally a supervision is just not seen as rigorous sufficient in yes, really watching what is walk on. There are some supervisions — local and national — where civilization have seen very first hand the the mashgiach is no around and also that things are going top top that might make the assets non-kosher.”

Ensuring that a product is kosher is other many human being take very seriously, for this reason they want to be positive that the civilization charged with that duty recognize what they’re doing, and also are present consistently sufficient to be sure that nothing improper is walking on.

There space two more factors that identify amongthe kosher symbols. One is money. In order for a product to be certified kosher, the firm has to salary a rabbi or kosher supervision company to come in and supervise. This can be very expensive, and it’s same to i think that once a firm decides which organization they desire to lug in to certify your product, they will select a certification the fits within your budget.

Finally, it’s worthwhile to keep in mind that all of the kosher certification body are competitors with each other, and also so that behooves them to keep firmly the their own hashgacha (supervision) is the most trustworthy.

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As you might expect, a rabbi whose brother is the head of a kosher certification body might be inclined to tell his neighborhood that his brother’s company is the ideal one out there. There deserve to be (and have actually been) all kinds of political shenanigans pertained to kashrut and also kosher supervision, yet it’s complicated to know exactly if and when this is going on. Most civilization come up with a traditional policy around which symbols they’ll accept in conjunction with their rabbi and/or community.

All this talk of food supervision is making me hungry. I think it’s high time that ns supervise the make of part cookies…