Decoding kashrut

Keeping kosher is more than just learning the basics, buying kosher food, and not mixing meat and dairy. Just like learning Torah, it is something you must continue to keep up with. Here are some resources we have found helpful in our practice of kashrut:

Weekly alerts – Unfortunately, no one is perfect and mistakes happen (sorry for the trite reference). Mistakes happen in labeling of kosher products, in ingredients that get used, and in allergy information. Luckily, there are people and agencies keeping an eye out for all of this. The website http://www.kashrut.com collects all of the alerts and news from various kashrut agencies and makes them available to consumers. You can sign up for their email list and get all of these updates. This has been particularly helpful to us, especially when products may lose or change certification, when products are mistakenly labeled as kosher, products are recalled, or guidelines for fresh foods change.

Reference lists: The Star-K, one of the major kashrut agencies, has a great website full of helpful information. My  favorite features include (in the Kosher Consumer section under Latest Star-K lists):

– Slurpee and beverage lists
– brachos for cereal
– products that do not require a hecture 

Their website has many other features and articles that deal with keeping kosher year-round. Check it out at http://www.star-k.org.

Other kashrut information: For even more in-depth information on keeping kosher, go to the experts at http://www.ou.org. Their website is very extensive and contains information on many other Jewish topics. They even have helpful videos.

Local news: We also keep up with news from our local kashrut agency. If you don’t know what agency is closest to you, Kashrut.com has a list of certifying agencies on their website. Most have their own websites and some have their own alerts you can receive via email. For St. Louis, our Vaad’s website is http://www.ovkosher.org and they now have their own email alert list, too.

Have a good Shabbos!

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