17 Nov KASHRUS QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK
Sh ould a h a s h g a c h a put on the product they certify the beracha one sh ould make on that produ ct?
We at the OU are constantly getting calls about what’s the right bracha. I’d say the two foods we get the most questions about are breakfast cereals and granola bars, because different cer eals and dif fer en t gra nol a bars are made under different conditions. Many people have recommended to us that the co mpany shou ld put the bra-cha on the packaging so that everyone should know what to do. The answer is quite simple. I need to remind everyone that we live in galus and most of the companies we deal with are not Je wish companies; they are here to market to the ge neral com-mu nity. We kosher consum-er s are a nice mark et, but we’re not without limits; we’r e just a ve ry small part of the popula-tion. Companies are not ready to give up valuable real estate on their labels to put on the brachos. It’s very important to remember that. Pe ople write to me all the time that companies should put the bracha on their product or other suggestions. Th ey’ re great sug ges tions, I ap-pr eciat e the suggestion s, and it would be great if we could do it. But you can’t go to co m-panies like General Mills or other companies and say “Well, we’r e worried about brachos.” It doesn’t really work. Some of the Heimishe companies do put on the bracha. Osem used to make a mezonos cake for Pe sach with ma tza me al. Th en, be-cause the community that was careful with g e b r o c h t s s t a r t e d g r o w i n g , they stopped making it with matza meal and started using potato startch. So mebody called me who al-wa ys us ed thos e cakes for kid-dush on Pe sach and realized that it isn’t mezonos any more. He said I should be noting that this product is shehakol and not me zono s. So we spoke to Os em an d they did. They star ted la-beling it with the right bracha. But that’s when you’r e dealing wi th an Israeli company that has an appreciation for it. Mo st of the com panies we’re wor king with don’t have an appreciation for hilchos br achos. A mar ke t-ing manager once told me that the fact th at they’re giving you th at space on the label, some ev en on the front of the label, is hu ge! They measure every mil-limeter of what they put on and do n’t put on a label so ther e’s on ly so far we could go with it.