Story-ideas-1011172

Timeous kashrut alerts a big challenge to BD

  • Cheese
The Johannesburg Beth Din answers comments like: “Excuse me, but what good will it do to send an alert? What about a person who doesn't have e-mail? Or who missed this e-mail? Or who forgot this e-mail? This is outrageous. As long as (these) products remain available, the BD UOS/SA is 'placing a stumbling block before the blind'. Why have they not insisted on a total recall? What can we trust anymore?” Read what kashrut head Greg Bloch has to say and how YOU can keep up to date...
by ANT KATZ | Jan 20, 2016

The Johannesburg Beth Din came under criticism from kosher consumers over the past week after issuing a “Kosher Alert” that cheese products packed by Kee Ingredients and displaying the name Kee Wings on their packaging, contain an unauthorised Beth Din logo and cannot be eaten.

User comments centred on two main issues: the non-removal of goods from store shelves; and the confusion facing kosher consumers.

The kashrut division of the Johannesburg Beth Din says, however, that kosher consumers don’t always understand the lengths the Beth Din will go to remedy, or protect the community from non-kosher or unsupervised products.

BD Bloch GregJewish Report spoke to the head of kashrut at the Johannesburg Beth Din, Greg Bloch, PICTURED RIGHT, to get a better understanding of the issues.

"From time to time companies make errors on their packaging,” explains Bloch. “This includes their use of the Beth Din kashrut logo on products illegally. The Beth Din logo is a legally protected trademark which cannot be used without our authorisation. This is a very serious matter as it could result in people eating food that is not kosher.”

Included amongst the user comments posted on last week’s story on Jewish Report online was one by a Miriam de Vos: “Excuse me, but what good will it do to send an alert? What about a person who doesn't have e-mail? Or who missed this e-mail? Or who forgot this e-mail? This is outrageous. As long as (these) products remain available, the BD UOS/SA is 'placing a stumbling block before the blind'. Why have they not insisted on a total recall? What can we trust anymore?”

Bloch told Jewish Report that “each and every instance of unauthorised logo usage we become aware of, is treated with the utmost severity to ensure that it is resolved as quickly as possible”.

He says that the kashrut division “does not have the legal right to remove products from the (store) shelves without a court order”. Wherever necessary, however, the kashrut division does pursue legal action.

“Given the unavoidable, time-consuming and complex nature of this legal process, we inform the community immediately and engage with the offending company to resolve the matter,” he said.

“At the same time, we make every effort to notify the community in real-time through as many communication platforms as possible to prevent people from unknowingly eating food that may not be kosher.”

Bloch advises kosher consumers who do not currently receive regular kashrut updates to subscribe to ensure that they receive all kashrut alerts immediately. Subscribe to e-mail alerts by -mailing [email protected]

3 Comments

  1. 3 UOS 26 Aug
    STAFF ANNOUNCEMENT
    Greg Bloch has announced that he will be leaving the UOS in order to advance his career in commerce.

    Since taking up his position, Greg has given the organisation excellent service, with great dedication. We part ways on excellent terms and wish Greg every success in his future endeavours. Greg has kindly offered to continue assisting the UOS in any way possible.
  2. 2 Nachie 26 Aug
    Mr Editor, the previous post was NOT from the UOS, I was sharing an email sent out by the UOS. You can change the name if you wish.

    ​SAJR did check the veracity of this comment with Greg Bloch who confirmed it to be the case   -ONLINE EDITOR




  3. 1 Reuv 30 Aug
    Iiiiiiinteresting. So, what's the real story behind this story?

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