Perhaps now, more than any other time in history, it is easy to determine what foods in the supermarket are kosher. With pre-printed packaging, it is as easy as reading the label!
- Know what "kosher" means. Kosher food is prepared according to the Jewish Dietary Laws in the Bible. Kosher meats and poultries must be slaughtered in a certain manner and drained of their blood before preparation to be considered kosher. Meat and dairy may never be prepared together. Only certain animals (those that chew their cud and have split hooves) can be eaten and then, only certain parts of the animals can be consumed.
- Know the symbols. When an Orthodox agency has determined that a food is kosher, it affixes its symbol to the food packaging. By knowing the symbols, you can determine if a food is kosher, and if so, to what standards and degree the food and its preparation has been held.
- For the past 50 years, a respected kosher certification agency has been the Chicago Rabbinical Council. Their symbol, CRC, is indicative that the food passes the standards of one of the most highly respected not-for profit Orthodox agencies in the United States.
- The OU symbol stands for the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations. If you see this symbol on your package, it has been determined kosher by the strictest of standards.
- Other symbols include Kof-K, located in Teaneck, NJ; Triangle K, an organization run by Orthodox Jewish Rabbis, and Star-k, whose company boasts the highest technological advances in kosher food preparation today.
- Know the sub-categories. In this way you can tell whether the food is meat, dairy or neither meat nor dairy (Pareve).
- The word "dairy" or the letter "d" means that the package contains some form of milk or dairy.
- The word "meat," the letter "m," or the word "glatt" (smooth), if placed near the kosher symbol, means that the food package contains some form of meat.
- If there is a letter "F" next to the kosher symbol, it means that the package contains fish ingredients.
- If the word "Pareve," "Parev," or "Parve" is next to the symbol, it means that the package does not contain meat or dairy.
- If the letter "P" is placed next to the kosher symbol, or in conjunction with any of the letters mentioned above, it means that the product is kosher all year, and also for Passover.
By knowing the symbols and letters on the food label, you can easily tell if a food package contains kosher or non-kosher foods.