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What Is Kosher?

What Is Kosher?

What is kosher?

Kosherness in Jewish tradition

Jewish dietary laws - Kashrut - divide the food products into “kosher” ones that are allowed to be consumed and “non-kosher” ones that are not. In our country, the term "kosher" is often used as a synonym for "impeccable" or "harmless". Key points of kosherness are:

* division of animals into allowed and not allowed ones
* division of foods into meats, dairy and neutral (not containing meat and dairy)
* food production guidelines
* prohibition to consume blood
* Basic requirements:
* vessels and dishes containing meats and dairy products must be visually separate from each other
* meats and dairy products must not be eaten at the same time.

These dietary laws are strictly observed, especially by Orthodox Jews,. Foods that do not comply with the specified degree of purity are considered non-kosher. These include dairy and cheese products with animal fat, foods containing meat or small amounts of meat additives, ingredients of insect origin and alcohol made from grapes.

A kosher life goes beyond eating. All the things that are made according to the "Halacha" religious law are also considered "kosher". A "kosher" person is somebody who leads his/her life in accordance with the Jewish religion.

Kosher certificate as a guarantor of food safety
The value of foods awarded with the kosher certificate is steadily raising, not only for religious reasons. More and more of not strictly religious people and non-believers lean towards using kosher products due to their special purity. Kosher products are also suitable to those suffering from lactose intolerance or following a diet that is 100% free of animal additives.

Food & nutrition regulations
Kashrut - Jewish dietary laws
Even though dietary regulations are not respected strictly by all Jews anymore, they are still an aspect of Jewish identity. The Kashrut defines the foods that are considered kosher, as well as guidelines for their production. Therefore, to obtain the kosher certificate, not only the raw materials and ingredients of food and dietary supplements are tested, but also their production and storage facilities. A strict separation of kosher and non-kosher food must be ensured throughout the production process. Non-kosher foods such as animal substances of non-kosher animals, e.g. gelatine or tallow, are strictly prohibited. In addition, the simultaneous consumption of meat and dairy products is not allowed.

* beef, mutton, goat meat
* poultry meat, e.g. from chicken, goose, duck, turkey
* fish with fins and visible scales, like tuna or salmon
* eggs lain by kosher poultry
* milk of kosher animals, like cow, sheep, goat, 
* plant products

Non-kosher - “treife”
* blood/products containing blood
* meat/products containing meat from pigs, horses, rabbits, boars, birds of prey
* seafood like lobsters, shellfish
* snails, insects

Specific characteristic
Passover celebration 
During the Jewish Passover celebration, special food regulation apply. Since it is forbidden to consume or to own cereals or leguminous plants in the course of this approximately week-long celebration, no cereals or leguminous plants are used. Dishes and kitchen utensils must be made „kashed”, thus purify from contact with grain. Cheese made of microbial Lab is harmless. 

The family celebration begins after the Jewish calendar on the eve of the 15th Nisan. It usually takes place from March to April.

Wine, Milk and Cheese 
Orthodox Jews can only drink kosher wine. Kosher wine and juice cannot contain gelatin. Nowadays since milk is rarely mixed with mare’s milk, kosher certification is only relevant to ultra-Orthodox Jews. 

Below, we present frequently asked questions concerning the kosher certificates and answers to them:

1) Is the presence of kosher inspector necessary for the entire production process?
No! When all ingredients are confirmed to be kosher, it is usually enough for the inspector to visit the production site regularly.

2) In what cases is a full-time control required?
If your product is being made in a plant that also manufactures non-kosher products, a full control is required. This is the only way we can confirm there is no contact between kosher and non-kosher products.

3) Do we have to buy new machines to start making kosher products?
No! Usually it is not that hard to sterilise all your machines before commencing production of kosher goods. However, as each production process is different, a kosher inspector must verify the circumstances on the spot.

4) Does the kosher inspection requires idle time of the production process?
Idle time may be required, for up to 24 hours. In such cases, we try to carry out the inspection within a single weekend. If the line must be cleaned regularly, we arrange the date of inspection with the production management to avoid unnecessary idle time.

5) Will I have to change the recipe/ingredients for my product?
I depend on whether the product currently contains non-kosher ingredients. Usually there is a lot of kosher-certified alternatives to choose from. We will gladly assist you in selecting the best one!

6) Are the alternative kosher raw materials more expensive than non-kosher ones?
Usually no. There is currently a lot of kosher-certified raw materials made in Europe. 

We will gladly provide you with advice!

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