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In Melbourne Shabbat begins Fri 5 May 2017 05:10 PM and ends Sat 29 Apr 2017 06:16 PM

Label Confusion

בס׳ד
ב' חשון ה' אלפים תשס"ט

While Kosher Australia does not advocate look­ing at the ingredients on a product to determine its Kosher status, occasion­ally statements or claims written on labels create questions in the minds of consumers. Some of the questions from confused consumers are:

Q) “I’ve just picked up a product marked pareve yet the label states that it may contain traces of dairy – do I have to kasher my kitchen?”

A) No, the labelling reflects an allergen warning to protect consumers who are lactose intolerant where even a few parts per million may cause an allergic reaction. The actual product itself does not contain any dairy and is halachically fully pareve. An example is Nesquik Chocolate which is Kosher certified pareve (not be confused with Neqsuik Chocolate ‘Plus’ which IS dairy).

Q) “Kosher Australia have marked this product as dairy, but the company claims that it’s lactose free.”

A)  In all likelihood, the product does not contain any dairy ingredients, however it may have been processed on the same equipment as dairy products. The company would perform a very adequate allergen clean which, unfortunately, would not constitute a cleaning for Kosher requirements. The real status of the product is that it is dairy in that it cannot be eaten with meat products, but that aside, it is pareve. Many authorities in the US refer to this product as being DE – made in Dairy Equipment – but the general consensus is that this designation could cause confusion. Therefore, the Orthodox Union and the OK Laboratories label these products as being Dairy as do we.

If you have any label queries, please do not hesitate to ask Kosher Australia. Their number is 1300 KOSHER or email info@kosher.org.au.

 


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Lactose intolerance is evident in even several parts per million that from a kashrus perspective is even insignificant in the first instance. Some of the products mentioned, are tested and have 1-3 ppm of lactose. Re the logic of absorption, at the end of the day, the concept of kashering utensils is biblical, and that the Rabbis have quantified this.

Posted by YW on 2008-11-03 06:50:14 GMT


Re YW's response to my question. My question was prompted by the answer to the first question. If a particular product contains nothing in it that is of a "dairy" origin then why would the manufacturer put a warning on the label? How can it be that from a lactose intolerence point view there is some very small part of milk and yet halachically it is fully parve?

Posted by mt@bigpond.net.au on 2008-11-03 05:27:20 GMT


I'd like to make a follow-up comment /question : Is it not the case that the logic of absorption originally dictated the halachic requirements, but once the halachot were established and accepted, new logic and new science cannot alter the halacha?

Posted by Ralph Zwier on 2008-11-03 05:15:07 GMT


Kashering is not necessarily reflective of what can analytically be detected. The concept of absorption/kashering is based on the Torah requirement (Bamdibar 31:22)despite the materials science.

Posted by YW on 2008-11-02 23:59:19 GMT


I have query on the answer that has been given to the second question. A lactose intolerant person can react to a very small amount of lacotse(few parts per million). Halachiclly if food is processed on the same equipment that had previously been used with milk it needs to be "kashered".The reason for the "kasherring" is that the milk that was absorbed into the equipment will find its way into the food that is processed thereafter. If the food is described as "lactose free" it means that any milk that may have been absorbed into the equipment in the earlier process has not entered into the non dairy food. If it would have entered the lactose intolerant person would react to it. My question is why in these cirumstances does the equipment need to be kashered?

Posted by mt@guests.com.au on 2008-10-31 01:17:41 GMT