Kosher FAQs

Why Kosher?

Ad Week Magazine calls kosher certification a “… Good Housekeeping seal of approval”. Blue Ribbon Kosher calls it “Quality assurance for the consumer; Quality control for the company.”

MYTH: Kosher food is the same as any other, it’s just that rabbi blesses the food.

FACT: Although the food may be a blessing to the consumer’s palate and the company’s bottom line, the rabbi is there to supervise and assure compliance with the many exacting kosher laws. Kosher means fit or proper, and that’s what the rabbi certifies it is.

MYTH: Kosher supervision is overpriced. “I can’t produce profits with kosher certification.”

FACT: Kosher doesn’t cost. It pays. With an estimated forty to fifty percent, and rising, of all grocery store products displaying some sign of kosher supervision, it must be beneficial to companies, both large and small. The advertising industry has even listed kosher foods as one of the “Top Ten Hottest Trends” and so far they’ve been on target. Your actual cost per unit will be minimal. Remember, a small operation can cost less to certify.

MYTH: The Rabbi will get in the way.

FACT: The certifying rabbi is part of the production process. He is specially trained to facilitate producing the products he supervises. Often, his expertise makes him a problem solver.

MYTH: Kosher is old fashioned; I’m high tech.

FACT: The formulation of the 5000 year old biblical kosher laws has accommodated an unbroken chain of knowledge, up to and sometimes beyond, the cutting edge of modern technology. This extends to expertise in the microbial and genetic sciences, electronics, bio-mechanical engineering and more. All this knowledge is necessary to assure a quality product and a quality supervision. After that, the basics are easy.

MYTH: The Jewish population is too small for me to profit from kosher certification.

FACT: Almost eighty percent of today’s kosher consumers are NOT Jewish. Of the $500 billion in food sold in the United States each year, about $180 billion (and growing) of it is kosher certified. The marketplace consists of Muslims, Seventh Day Adventists, and Hindus who use kosher certification as a way to adhere to their religious dietary restrictions; Vegetarians, health food and health oriented groups and people who simply seek the higher quality perceived with the seal of kosher supervision; And over 50 million lactose intolerant people and people with allergies to dairy foods, can look for the kosher-parve designation as their best assurance that a food contains no dairy. This all translates into better sales and pricing.

MYTH: Every kosher certification agency is the same.

FACT: Although it is true that kosher laws are the same regardless of geography, interpretations sometimes vary. Different rabbis will rely upon different precedents. As with all professions, qualifications vary among rabbis, too.

MYTH: The biggest supervision agencies are the best.

FACT: Selection of a kosher agency depends on many factors. The largest agencies (including those widely known) are often the most expensive due to their overhead and staffing. However, a smaller agency doesn’t automatically guarantee a smaller price, although it frequently is less. You must ask yourself if your distribution and volume requires a large certifying agency or, perhaps, a reputable regional or local supervision makes the most sense for you.

MYTH: My ingredients are all kosher already. I don’t need supervision.

FACT: Since there is more to kosher than just ingredients, supervision is still necessary. Remembering that not all kosher supervisions are equally acceptable, consumers rely on the certifying rabbi. Additionally, the equipment, processes and many other factors are, also, critical in determining acceptability.

Who Is Blue Ribbon Kosher?

Letter from Blue Ribbon Kosher:

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We at Blue Ribbon Kosher are available to answer your kosher questions and to help certify your products. Known in the industry for our high and exacting standards, we join in and work with all the accepted mainstream agencies, large and small, in an effort to assure we are always upto date on all the latest technological and industry changes. This is necessary so we know what impact it may have on the industry and how it affects kosher supervision. More importantly, it is essential in our efforts to maintain our continuing commitment in helping to provide top quality kosher supervision for the marketplace, a reputation we’re proud to own.

Blue Ribbon Kosher is small enough to react quickly to all your needs and large enough to be a reliable mainstream affordable alternative for all your kosher requirements. Whether you are large or small, whether you need a speaker, a consultant, or a problem solver, we are here to assist you. Please give us a call and find out for yourself, how kosher can benefit you. All inquiries are held strictly confidential.

Who Is Rabbi Baruch Meir Clein?

Rabbi Clein is a human physiologist with studies in nutrition and seven years in medical research, ranging from experimental drug investigations for the Air Force to coordinator of diabetic transplant research at the University of Minnesota Hospitals. He is an expert in horticulture with a specialty in tropical and exotic plants and entomology.

Rabbi Clein has published many papers and articles in both disciplines. His schooling and degrees were at the University of Minnesota, Washington University, and UCLA. He wrote a horticultural column for the industry for 10 years, and a bimonthly kosher column for the food industry publication, FDM, Food Distribution Magazine, for over 8 years. Rabbi Clein’s rabbinical studies were at Yeshiva Chaim Berlin, in New York. His work within the kosher food industry spans over 30 years. He has been the Kashrus Administrator of Blue Ribbon Kosher since its inception in 1992. The agency, with its network of kosher supervisors, consults and gives certifications internationally, with emphasis on organics, dairy products, baked goods, nutraceuticals, botanicals, chemical products, and functional foods. As a writer, speaker, and consultant for the kosher food and nutritional industries, Rabbi Clein’s kosher and nonkosher experience includes presentations of published research papers; seminars for State Departments of Agriculture and Health; Institute of Food Technology, (IFT) international conference presentations; trainings for many kosher marketing and sales groups; various talks and classes, and appearances on numerous radio and television talk shows. Since 1988, he has written for and remains a part-time consultant to KASHRUS Magazine, the “Consumer Reports of the kosher world.

Rabbi Baruch Meir Clein A kosher certifying rabbi wears many hats. He is an important link in the food chain, accessible to suppliers, producers, distributors, and the public. He serves as a reliable information source. The level of trust between a certifying rabbi and his clients and their consuming public, ultimately defines the worth of his kosher certification. The rabbi, himself, must follow the Jewish traditions without concern for personal preferences or outside pressures. Certification provides an attractive business opportunity for you. We are staffed to provide a wide range of services including: kosher formulation, inspection and certification, as well as kosher marketing experience, internationally.

Rabbi Baruch Meir Clein
Kosher Administrator

P. S. I would be happy to personally speak with you and address any questions you may have about the kosher certification process or if you would like additional copies of this pamphlet.

Kashrus Administrator BLUE RIBBON KOSHER
Rabbi Baruch Meir Clein
Rabbinical Advisory Board
Rabbi Boruch Hirschfeld
Rabbi Moshe Tuvia Lieff
Rabbi Aaron Tendler
2716 Kipling Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55416
(952) 925-3651
Fax (952) 925-3059