How to Buy Kosher Food

About three-quarters of packaged foods in the United States are certified kosher, and many major U.S. food brands have stricter Orthodox certification. Not only Jewish people buy kosher food. Others prefer kosher foods because the foods are perceived to be safer or more wholesome. Most kosher foods have Hechsher (Hebrew: "kosher approval") symbols on them.


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    Shop in kosher supermarkets or supermarkets with kosher foods.
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    Note there are three categories of kosher foods: dairy, meat, and pareve. Pareve foods are neutral foods such as bread, fruits and vegetables that have not had contact with dairy or meat, and are not prepared with dairy or meat. Pareve foods are kosher unless they are combined with dairy or meat foods.
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    Familiarize yourself with Hechsher symbols, which are special certifications that indicate kosher food preparation and packaging. Look online for a list of hechsher symbols printed on kosher food packages in various nations. A simple capital "K" does not necessarily mean food preparation was supervised by a rabbi, but some reliable Hechsher symbols incorporate a K.
    • Talk to your Orthodox rabbi about reliable Hechshers.
    • Note that an "R" in a circle does not indicate kosher foods. It indicates a registered trademark.
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    Look for the hechsher symbols on all breakfast cereals, cheese, baked goods, sauces, pasta, canned fish, frosting, dressings, ice cream, pudding, desserts, candy, cake mixes, preserves, condiments, relish, ground spices and margarine. Be sure all prepared foods such as soups and French fries, were prepared with rabbinic supervision and have a kosher mark.
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    Purchase kosher food in bakeries and butcher shops that are supervised by rabbis to be certain that the foods are truly kosher. A rabbi will make certain the proper ingredients are used and that kosher goods won't be prepared on equipment used to prepare non-kosher foods. A rabbi will also make certain the meat is drained of blood and salted, per kosher laws.
    • If you shop for meats and poultry in a supermarket, buy whole kosher chickens with a plumba attached, which is a small metal tag with a hechsher. If a kosher chicken is cut up, the plumba will be attached to the bag. Buy kosher meats only from the front quarters of the animal. Be sure the meat is prepared under rabbinic supervision by a butcher deemed reliable in kosher practice.
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    Check to make sure fish have fins and scales, as fish without fins are not kosher. Fish must have scales that can be removed with a knife or by hand without ripping the underlying skin.
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    Learn which products do not require kosher certification. If the product grew from the earth and is not mixed with any oils or other products, it is automatically kosher. This includes nuts (which may be salted), flour, wheat, oats, vegetables, fruits, popcorn, coffee, raisins, soybeans, rice, spices, sugar, tea, coffee and some liquors.
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    Eat hard cheese that is certified by an Orthodox rabbi. Some rabbis say rennet, used to make certain cheeses, is made from calves' stomachs, and therefore can't be mixed with dairy under kosher laws. Other rabbis says rennet is processed in a way that it is acceptable to eat hard cheese prepared with rennet. Milk, butter and cream are deemed kosher.


  • Most of them have symbols on them with a K in a circle.


  • Don't buy anything that doesn't have reliable Hechshers.

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Categories: Food Selection and Storage