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Tuesday, July 15, 2014 - 13:58

Please be advised that Yogurt Covered Pretzels and Granola sold by Inno Specialty Foods contain dairy (Not Cholov Yisroel) as indicated in the ingredient list but the dairy designation has been inadvertently omitted from the label. Corrective measures are being implemented and consumers finding this product are asked to contact Kosher Check at (604) 731-1803.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 15:45

Coconuts and coconut products have been a staple of Sri Lankan cooking for centuries. Sri Lanka is the forth largest producer of Coconuts in the world. Coconuts account for over 10% of agricultural produce in Sri Lanka. Over the past several years Coconut products such as Coconut Water as well as Coconut Cream have become very popular in North America given the health benefits associated with coconuts and coconut by-products.

This has lead many manufacturers of Coconut Products in Sri Lanka to seek Kosher Certification. Recently Sanmik Foods a leading producer in Sri Lanka achieved Kosher Certification through Kosher Check. Sanmik Foods commenced operations in 2003 and started exporting products in 2007. Recently Sanmik expanded their processing facility and immediately decided to gain Kosher Certification, in order to meet customer demands. In addition to producing Coconut Oil, Coconut Milk and Dessicated Coconut, Sanmik also produces a variety of Dried Fruit and spices. Within a short time of gaining Kosher Certification, Sanmik has noticed a difference. As more and more Sri Lankan food manufacturers look to increase sales and export to North America, Europe and beyond, many are turning to Kosher Certification to assist them in opening new doors.

Kosher Check is a globally accepted Kosher Certification, providing Kosher supervision on five continents to food manufacturers such as Kerry Foods, Kemin Bioscience, Golden Boy Foods, Legumex Walker to name a few. Gaining Kosher Certification through Kosher Check can help increase sales as well as potential private label business.

Thursday, May 15, 2014 - 15:48

Recently, I have received many emails and phone calls regarding the Kosher Status of Frozen Yoghurt and Ice Cream Stores in Vancouver. At present there are no Kosher Certified Ice Cream/ Frozen Yogurt stores, however there are some that claim to be Kosher.

Since these establishments are not certified and there is no Mashgiach visiting the store on a regular basis there can be many issues. Typically the store will purchase a prepared Ice Cream or yogurt base. This base will contain various ingredients including, milk, milk powder, stabilizers, thickening agents, cultures and possibly other ingredients including gelatin. Once they receive this, they will mix it with a flavour. E.g. Chocolate, Strawberry, Vanilla etc. to make the final product. Flavours are very highly kosher sensitive items. Typically a flavour company that is Kosher Certified will employ a full time Mashgiach or have someone that will visit them 3-4 times a week. The reason for this is because they produce Kosher as well as non-kosher flavours. Natural flavours can be extracted from animals or plants and artificial flavours are extracted from chemicals and other ingredients. For many years we certified a flavour company in Greater Vancouver that produced kosher flavours as well as Non-Kosher flavours such as a Strawberry flavour from Cochineal (an insect) .

When you as a customer visit the store, it can be very reassuring that the staff hand you a thick binder showing you all of the Kosher Certificates for their ingredients. However unless you have a deep understanding of the halacha’s of kashrus and check each ingredient, you will not actually know if they are kosher or not. Because the store is not certified, they are not bound by any legal agreements or surprise inspections by a Mashgiach. The only word you have that the ingredients are kosher is that of the store attendant. In addition the Kosher Certificates that they showed you, may no longer be valid or they could have since changed to a non-kosher supplier.

There is also the concept of Maris Ayin. If someone sees a Frum Jew going into or purchasing something such as Ice Cream from an uncertified store, they may unknowingly feel that everything is kosher and decide to purchase an Ice Cream with non-Kosher toppings. Even if you as the customer find out that it is no longer kosher, the person who saw you there may unknowingly still be going assuming it is kosher because he saw you there.

The ideal situation would be to have a Kosher certified Ice Cream/ Frozen Yogurt store. Until that opportunity arises I recommend not patronising these establishments. If we continue to take our families there, they will have no reason to obtain Kosher Certification. I would also suggest giving feedback to the particular companies via letters, emails, facebook etc. suggesting that they get Kosher Certification.

Richard Wood
Kosher Check Kosher Certification

Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - 17:44

Brazil's largest exporter of Peanuts recently gained Kosher certification through Kosher Check. Coplana Cooperativa located in the Jaoboticabal region of North-East SĂŁo Paulo state, with ideal growing conditions for nuts, has helped the company increase its market share to the number one exporter of peanuts in Brazil over the past few years. Many companies in Brazil are now taking advantage of Kosher Certification to help them gain access to new markets such as North America where one third of food manufacturers already have Kosher Certification.

Brazil is the Worlds fifth largest country and the worlds largest producer of Coffee, Sugar and Orange Juice Concentrate. Second largest producer of Soy Beans and third largest producer of Corn. As many food manufacturers in Brazil are looking to export in increasing numbers, many of them are now turning to Kosher certification to help them do so.

Kosher Check is a globally accepted Kosher Certification, providing Kosher supervision on five continents to food manufacturers such as Kerry Foods, Kemin Bioscience, Golden Boy Foods, Legumex Walker to name a few. Gaining Kosher Certification through Kosher Check can help increase sales as well as potential private label business.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014 - 16:49

STEM is a leading Egyptian company which cultivates and exports herbs and Spices. The company is quite distinguished with the privilege of having its roots down to 1950s; where the owners had been granted the advantage of being cultivators having their own apt lands for cultivating herbs, spices and other agricultural products.

Today Stem sells product around the World. This recently lead them to contact Kosher Check. A Globally recognized Kosher Certification Agency to take care of their Kosher needs.

Monday, February 17, 2014 - 16:23

Mentha & Allied Products Limited, popularly known as "Mentha" is one of the India's oldest and largest Natural Menthol, Essential Oils and Aromatic Chemicals manufacturers. Ever since it came into being, the Company has emphasized the best-in-quality products. Realising the demand of Kosher Certified Products. Recently Mentha Chose Kosher Check as its choice of Kosher Certification.

India is the largest producer and exporter of Menthol Oil in the world. Over 70% of the world's mint is grown in India. Today many Menthol Oil and Essential Oil Manufacturers in India are turning to Kosher Certification to assist them in opening new markets. Menthol Oil and its derivatives and commonly sought by manufacturers of Chewing Gum, Peppermints, lozanges, toothpaste as well as in use by many of the large industrial flavour houses. Today food manufacturers in North America turn to suppliers in other parts of the world including Asia and Europe. In turn these manufacturers are now turning to Kosher Agencies such as Kosher Check to assist them with their Kosher Certification needs.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014 - 12:26

Over the past decade the demand for Kosher Certified products has increased dramatically. The Kosher market has been growing at an annual rate of 15% for the past several years and kosher certified products continue to outsell both Organic and All Natural. In order to keep up with demand and as Food Manufacturers in North America and Europe looks to new sources of Ingredients, they increasingly turn to Asian countries such as India for new sources.

India has the World's second largest population, third largest economy and is the World's second largest producer of food next to China. AC Nielsen recently named India as a hotspot for food manufacturers, food producers and food ingredient professionals and the country is now becoming an integral part of the global food ingredient network. Given this trend, India has become one of the most important destinations for food investment, with the food industry growing at an annual rate of 17%. As Food exports continue to increase in India, many Indian food manufacturers are now turning to Kosher Certification to assist them in gaining new markets and increased sales.

As a part of this trend Kasyap Sweetners, India's largest producer of Sorbitol recently turned to Kosher Check to gain an internationally recognized and accepted Kosher Certification.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - 16:00

Catalyst Development and their brand of Gnubees natural fruit drinks recently gained Kosher Check certification. Catalyst Development is a manufacturer of Pouched beverages. For more information please visit

Thursday, January 9, 2014 - 17:30

On Tuesday January 7th, Rabbi Mendy and Steve Burton creator of Icicle Food Safety Technology ran a joint webinar. They discussed the relationship between Kosher certification and HACCP-based food safety. Giving a background on both and demonstrating how both can be managed on the same platform using the Icicle food safety technology developed by Burton Software Inc.

Watch the Webinar and learn more!

Rabbi Levi is the Rabbitical Field Administrator Inspector checking product in the Garden Protein manufacturing facility. Photograph by: Kim Stallknecht, PNG
Friday, November 29, 2013 - 13:06

Everything’s kosher as certified foods move into the mainstream

A reputation for careful production and inspection has driven popularity of food that meets Jewish dietary laws


Take a little non-profit agency run by an innovative orthodox rabbi — in no way a contradiction in terms — and you get Kosher Check, a Vancouver kosher certification agency that sends rabbinical inspectors as far away as India and China.

“Companies want to get kosher certification because it makes their products easier to sell,” Kosher Check business manager Richard Wood said.

“The majority of people today buy kosher products not because they are Jewish but because they are vegans or vegetarians or celiacs or lactose intolerant,” Wood said. “They could be Muslims or Seventh Day Adventists.”

The primary reason North Americans buy kosher is for its reputation for more careful production and inspection, market research firm Mintel said. In response to the market perception, Kosher Check will now require adherence to advanced food safety protocols such as Canada’s Hazard Awareness Critical Control Points (HACCP). It already requires food manufacturers to meet Canadian Food Inspection Agency minimum standards.

Kosher Check certifies food as having been prepared according to Jewish dietary laws and labels foods as dairy, a meat product or dairy free (pareve).

Certain animals, fowl and fish (such as pork, rabbit, catfish, shellfish and most insects) are not kosher, and even kosher species must be slaughtered and prepared in a prescribed manner. Dairy products must come from kosher animals. Meat and milk may not be combined, and ingredients within a kosher product must be kosher. Fruit and vegetables are kosher, but must be inspected and certified that they are not contaminated by anything non-kosher, such as insects.

Eighty per cent of global kosher sales are outside traditional Jewish markets, Wood said. “Kosher outpaces organic, natural and gluten (free) and continues to be the market leader in North America,” he said.

Only 14 per cent of U.S. consumers buying kosher foods do so because they adhere to Jewish dietary laws, according to Mintel. In addition, 10 per cent of consumers buying kosher foods do so because they follow other religions with similar dietary rules.

India and China have become prime customers for the Vancouver non-profit agency as food manufacturers increasingly seek more affordable, Asian-produced ingredients such as dehydrated onion powder, menthol oil, guar gum and glucose, Wood said.

Kosher Check certifies 14,000 products of which 2,000 are manufactured and certified in Asia.

“Seventy per cent of the world’s mint comes from India. The mint in your toothpaste probably comes from India,” Wood said.

He also recently sent a rabbi to Tanzania and Mozambique to examine cashews.

“Quite often I will refer to (the rabbis) as inspectors, as in many countries they have no idea what a Jew is or what is a rabbi,” Wood said.

Kosher Check, then known as B.C. Kosher, has been certifying manufacturers since 1983 and operating in Asia since 1985, when Rabbi Avraham Feigelstock, the organization’s originator and supervising rabbi, identified an opportunity. Although the service had been available in Vancouver, Rabbi Feigelstock greatly expanded the scale.

Historically, the rabbi in each community would certify the local butcher and baker, but as food manufacturing grew more sophisticated, the Jewish community began to create certification agencies to cope with the intricacies involved. Heinz was one of the first manufacturers to be certified kosher back in the 1920s. In 1935, Rabbi Tobias Gessen in Altanta, Ga., famously certified Coca-Cola as kosher. More than two-thirds of food manufactured in North America is certified kosher.

Kosher Check, an offshoot of the Orthodox Rabbinical Council of B.C., is the only kosher certification agency in Canada that operates internationally, thanks to Rabbi Feigelstock’s entrepreneurial mind, and it is the largest agency east of Ontario.

Vancouver has a Jewish population of just 26,000 compared to 189,000 in Toronto and 91,000 in Montreal and not all people who identify themselves as Jewish buy kosher food. Nevertheless, Kosher Check is probably among the top 10 kosher certification agencies in North America, Wood said.

Most agencies are non-profit or run as an extension of a synagogue. There are about 1,000 kosher certification bodies worldwide.

Kosher Check’s 500 customers include local heavyweights Canada Safeway, Rogers Sugar, Garden Protein, Golden Boy Foods and Sunrise Soya. It employs 20 rabbis worldwide to supervise kosher food production and operates across Canada, in 13 U.S. states, and in Chile, China, India, Japan, the Philippines, South Africa and Vietnam.

Inspectors arrive unannounced.

“People say we come more often than the Canada Food Inspection Agency,” Wood said. “At the moment, there’s a shortage of coconut product from the Philippines. One of our manufacturers in Coquitlam wanted someone in Sri Lanka certified.”

Kosher certification can get quite complex. Meat must be ritually slaughtered to minimize pain to the animal, separate utensils must be used for meat and dairy, and manufacturing equipment may need to be purged at specified high temperatures.

Kosher Check is now looking to expand its reach in Asia. Toronto and Montreal’s kosher certification agencies have the advantage of being located in major food manufacturing hubs and do much of their work locally.

“We want to become more of a global agency and in order to do that we have to go further afield,” Wood said. Kosher Check is ideally located to work in China and India, the first and second largest food producers in the world, Wood said. The organization’s primary goal is to increase the supply of kosher food for the kosher consumer, he said.

“With the federal government making these free trade agreements with countries like Vietnam, it only encourages food manufacturers there to become kosher certified and we want to be part of that action,” Wood said.

The U.S. kosher food market was worth $12.5 billion US in 2008, a 64 per cent increase from five years earlier, Mintel said. Kosher food sales in Canada are estimated at $500 million, Wood said.

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

Sunday, October 27, 2013 - 07:13

Purdy's Chocolates, a leading Chocolatier has gain Kosher Check certification. Purdy's Chocolates are available for purchase through their vast network of stores located throughout Ontario including stores located in Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Hillcrest Shopping Centre in Richmond Hill and Vaughan Mills. In Edmonton at the West Edmonton Mall. In Calgary at the Southcentre Mall and Chinook Mall. In Vancouver at Oakridge Mall. For more information regarding store locations, please visit

Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - 17:37

Export Trade Group a leader in commodity trading recently gained certification for their processing facilities in Tanzania and Mozambique.

Export Trading Group owns and manages the most vertically integrated agriculture supply chain on the African subcontinent with operations spanning in procurement, processing, warehousing, distribution and merchandising. In addition to ETG’s presence in more than 30 African countries, it is actively present in North America, India, China and South East Asia.

For more information visit or contact Kosher Check.

Happy Planet Juice
Thursday, September 26, 2013 - 11:21

Please be advised that HAPPY PLANET juices are no longer certified kosher by the Orthodox Rabbinical Council of British Columbia (BC Kosher). For more information, please contact Richard Wood at (604) 731-1803 ext 103.


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