Pork in my baby food?

The Jewish Chronicle - - KOSHER - BYRABBI JEREMY CON­WAY

PEO­PLE OF­TEN t e l l me that they are sur­prised to see so many baby foods listed as non-kosher in the

What could pos­si­bly be wrong with sweet potato, ap­ple and ba­nana or baby rice, they ask.

The an­swer is that in many cases “baby chicken” and “pasta and pork” have been pre­pared on the same equip­ment as those ac­cept­able-sound­ing baby meals. Just as a kosher home has sep­a­rate pots, cut­lery and crock­ery for meat and dairy and two more sets for Passover, so a fac­tory pro­duc­tion line can­not be kosher if it is also used for non-kosher pro­duc­tion.

It is com­mon for a baby-food man­u­fac­turer to pro­duce an en­tire range — non-kosher meat, poul­try, dairy and veg­e­tar­ian — on the same equip­ment. An un­usual as­pect of baby-food pro­duc­tion is that, due to the crit­i­cal need to keep the pro­cess­ing equip­ment and sur­round­ing ar­eas at the most asep­tic lev­els, pro­duc­tion of­ten takes place vir­tu­ally 24/7 and deep cleans­ing is ac­tu­ally less fre­quent than with other foods, so as not to in­tro­duce any bac­te­rial con­tam­i­na­tion. How­ever, from a kashrut point of view, baby rice cooked on equip­ment which pro­duced baby pork only a few hours ear­lier is pork­con­tam­i­nated and very non-kosher. None­the­less, the

lists some 250 ap­proved baby food and drink prod­ucts that have been checked for non-kosher in­gre­di­ents and pro­cess­ing aids, as well as shared use of equip­ment and, of course, in kosher stores there are plenty of hechsh­ered baby foods from Is­rael and Amer­ica, so there is no dan­ger of our go­ing hun­gry!

It’s pure fruit — but it may have shared a pro­duc­tion line with treif meat

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