Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Kosher Collaboration

Kashrus Agencies Move Towards Increased Information Sharing
(New York)
A rapidly changing food industry and increased demand for kosher foods has prompted leaders of kosher certification agencies to take steps to share information on kashrus. The agencies agreed to designate the Association of Kashrus Organizations (AKO) as the “clearinghouse” for all information at an executive session of the kashrus organization held at the headquarters of the Orthodox Union last week. The information would include changes in technology, unauthorized uses of symbols, new ingredient items, and developments affecting the kosher status of products. According to Rabbi Sholem Fishbane, executive director of AKO, the organization has 65 dues-paying members, including all of the large kosher certification agencies. AKO’s Executive Committee consists of Rabbis Menachem Genack and Moshe Elefant (OU), Saul Emanuel (MK), Sholem Fishbane (CRC), Glick (Hisachdus), Don Yoel Levy (OK), Avram Pollack (Star-K), Ari Senter (Kof-K) and Avrohom Teichman (LA). In addition to the information sharing, other topics discussed at the Executive Committee meeting were kosher certification issues in China, payment of foodservice mashgichim, proper communication when companies switch to another agency, and European hashgachos. Several committees were formed including a very important “bedikas tolayim” (inspection of produce for insects) committee.

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