Kosher 101

October 10, 2011

Need a quick reference regarding Kosher Foods? Here is SupermarketGuru’s quick 101 on Kosher Foods

What are Kosher Foods? Kosher foods are those that adhere to biblical rules – general exclusions are pork and shellfish. Animals must be humanely slaughtered by specially trained butchers, and raised with certain specifications. Dairy and animal flesh is never eaten together. Kosher foods also have higher standards for production sanitation.

How to Buy: It’s easy for vegetarians and vegans to keep kosher, as all produce (fruits and vegetables) are acceptable. Meat, poultry, and fish are not: most certified kosher meats and poultry can be found in the freezer section, or at a specialty grocer. 

How to Read the Label: Regulators provide manufacturers of certified kosher foods permission to use registered trademarks, following strict examination of food and plant.

Symbols: Orthodox Union (OU); Kof-K (the Hebrew letter kof, a backward looking letter C with a K inside); Triangle-K, (a triangle with a K inside); Star-K, (five-pointed star with a K inside). Words near the symbol: Pareve (Yiddish), Parve or Parev (Hebrew), indicates food is neither meat nor dairy; M or Glatt is meat; D is dairy; F is fish; P is kosher for Passover, when diets exclude foods with leavening, spelt, barley, rye, oats, wheat, corn, rice, legumes.

Choices: There are over 400,000 items that carry kosher symbols found in seventy countries. There may be special Kosher sections in your market.

How to Use: Dairy is not to be mixed with chicken or beef. Dairy with kosher fish is OK.

Health Benefits: Sales of kosher foods far exceed the market of those who observe kosher or halal; it is public perception that kosher foods are healthier and adhere to high food safety standards.

Smarter Shopping & Other Tips: Foods marked with an M are halal, for Islam dietary laws. Most kosher foods are halal.