Are all Nestle products Kosher?


Source: OU Kosher.

Nestlé was founded in 1847 when Henri Nestlé developed the world’s first infant food for babies who were unable to breastfeed. Over 157 years later, providing the very best in nutritious food and beverage products is still a company priority. Nestlé has been committed to making good food for all occasions in life—from the first cup of Nescafé® coffee in the morning to an evening treat with Nestlé® Toll House® candy bars. Nestlé is also known around the world for its high standards of quality. Therefore, Nestlé’s understanding of the integral role food plays in life, coupled with its devotion to quality, spurs on its commitment to providing kosher products.

Nestlé USA has been named Fortune Magazine’s “Most Admired Food Company” six years in a row. With 2002 sales of $11.1 billion, Nestlé’s well-known brands include Nestlé® Toll House®, Nestlé® Nesquik®, Nestlé® Coffee-mate®, Nescafé®, and Nestlé® Carnation®. Nestlé USA is part of Nestlé S.A. in Vevey, Switzerland—the world’s largest food company with 2002 sales of $57.6 billion. Nestlé USA and the Orthodox Union (OU) have a long-standing relationship that dates back to the original Nestlé Foods Corporation, which was opened in the United States in 1900.

Kosher was a priority for Nestlé’s initial confections business in this country. The company established a close relationship with the OU, which was its local kosher certifying agency as well as the largest such agency in the United States. In addition, Nestlé recognized that the OU symbol is the most widely known kosher symbol and is highly regarded for the certification standards it represents. Nestlé acquired other companies through the years, and when they were consolidated into Nestlé USA in 1990, the relationship with the OU was carried over to other businesses as much as possible. Today, providing kosher products is still important to Nestlé USA.

Maintaining a tight process is key when so many different players are involved. Clearly defined policies and procedures ensure the integrity of the kosher program. Richard Hutson, Director of Quality Assurance, oversees all of the kosher labeling information for the Nestlé USA’s Confections & Snacks Division. He says the biggest challenge in obtaining and maintaining kosher status is the availability of kosher raw ingredients.

Kosher dietary laws significantly influence the food-buying needs of more than seven million consumers. Providing kosher products is another way Nestlé meets consumers’ unique needs. Nestlé USA’s kosher program covers a wide spectrum of food and beverage products from thirst quenchers and coffee break delights (including Nestlé® NESQUIK® flavored milks, Nestea® instant and regular tea, Nescafé®, Taster’s Choice® instant coffee, Nescafé® Frothé®, and Nestlé® Coffee-mate® coffee creamer), to tasty treats and baking pleasures (such as Nestlé® Baby Ruth®, Nestlé® Butterfinger®, Nestlé® Crunch®, Nestlé® Toll House® Candy Bar, Nestlé Signatures TreasuresTM, Nestlé® SignaturesTM Turtles®, and Nestlé® Carnation® evaporated milks). Nestlé USA also has kosher baby products (such as GOOD START® ESSENTIALS and GOOD START® ESSENTIALS SOY infant formulas) and foodservice products (including Nestlé® Toll House® cookie dough and Trio® gravies and sauces).

“Each product has a complex formulation that requires a multitude of ingredients. Each ingredient has to be kosher. This can be a hurdle in achieving kosher status. Despite this obstacle, Nestlé USA strives to help brands that want their products OU-labeled to achieve their goal.”

Continue reading “Are all Nestle products Kosher?”

Can I learn Torah on Christmas day or Nittel Nacht?

Is it better to learn, or not learn Torah (playing chess) on XMS and Nittel Nacht (Yiddish: ניטל נאַכט‎)?

There are two opinions (שיטות): It is a mitzvah or it is forbidden.

It is a Mitzvah De’oraita

It is a mitzvah de’oraita of learning Torah every day and night. After all, what’s more important — a mitzvah de’oraita, or an Minhag Goyim? Obviously, the latter.

Continue reading “Can I learn Torah on Christmas day or Nittel Nacht?”

Can I Operate Motorized Shades on Shabbat?

Window Blinds New York – Allow perfect flow of light through your windows, but not invading eyes. As for privacy, Judaism certainly values windows covering to prevent unwanted eyes watching the family and women. For the Jewish woman, modesty is a gift and a validation of her own ability to assess what she wants to share about herself – and when. Roman Shades New York – Roman shades can be made from many different materials, including wood or fabric. Even within the many choices there are more choices as the type of wood is varied as well. Common options include Pirouette and Provenance woven wood, but in reality anything goes. Wood is a very popular material because they create a natural look as well as providing a touch of genuine warmth.

Don’t forget that motorized Shades cannot be used on Shabbat!

The remote is “muktze“.

I’m observing Halal, can I eat Kosher or do I become Haram?

Short answer: Yes,  Muslim’s cat eat kosher in peace. Just make sure there is no alcohol in any of the ingredients.  You’re not doing anything wrong, so you will not become Haram.

Let’s understand “Halal” and “Haram”

What is “halal,” and what is the term “haram,” the opposite term, and why could Muslims “make do” with Jewish kashrut—and less—nowadays?

The halal rules are mainly related to meat, but not only. Halal related to all aspects of life and is not necessarily limited to things that concern food. With religion, as soon as something concerns food, things get the narrowest meaning and immediately points to meat.

We all know that Muslims, like Jews, must not eat pork in any form. The source of this is found in the verse (marked 173) in Sura—which is known as “al-bakhra,” or “surah al-cow”. It is clearly defined that pork should not be eaten. At the same time, the Kuran forbids eating meat from the dead or consuming blood, comparing pork to food.

Contrary to what many of us believe, the rules of halal—all that is permitted—compared to haram, all that is not permitted—do not relate only to meat matters. The definitions also relate to other things, although the background to most things is really meat. These are the rules and prohibitions:

Eating pork and its products

Eating carcasses: the reference here are to animals that were not properly slaughtered or already dead. The slaughter is performed with a knife. If the animal was killed in Mecca or utilizing any other method, the slaughter is no longer kosher.

Eating animals that were not slaughtered in the name of Allah

This is an interesting passage since it does not require that the slaughterer be a Muslim, but rather that he should believe in one God and call his name during the slaughter. Therefore, one of the interpretations of this section permits eating meat from kosher slaughter (which is also technically similar to Muslim slaughter), as opposed to eating meat that was slaughtered by a Christian who believes in the Trinity. Reading and believing in the name of an entity other than one God is the issue here.

Carnivorous animals

Eating carnivorous animals that feed on the dead, for example, predatory birds and land animals without external ears (ie, snakes, lizards, chickpeas, etc.).

Blood consumption and blood products

It is very likely that you will not see blood sausage in Saudi Arabia, but there is no obligation to extract the blood from the meat before eating. The whole Kosher matter of salting and washing, and the famous Jewish custom of burning liver does not exist in Islam, which allows them to eat their meat in good condition.

Eating other things, like seafood

Eating foods that contain all of the above-mentioned ingredients, animal gelatin, enzymes, etc. are unclear foods because of their origin. Quite similar to the Jewish rules, in the end.
In contrast to Jewish dietary laws, Muslims are permitted to consume fish and seafood of any kind, even if they die when they are removed from the water.

Where is Haram (Arabic: حَرَام‎ ) here?

Contrary to the supposition that eating “haram” is a death sentence in any case, the Kuran does allow the consumption of prohibited products if it is a real danger to life. The argument is simple and logical: if the only thing that might keep you alive is pig and you will not eat it, then you are committing suicide. Suicide is a sin that Dinu burned with hellfire. The amount you are allowed to eat is what will keep you alive—no more. Considering that a full Muslim meal is one-third of the stomach’s capacity for food and drink, and in such a situation it is forbidden to eat a full meal, it is certainly something that is supposed to keep you alive and nothing more. It is forbidden to suspend this permission under certain conditions, and in any case, it is necessary to eat with great sadness and lack of desire.

Read more

IFANCA, one of the world’s leading resources for halal information:

IFANCA: Halal Food Certification

What is Batel B’Shishim (nullified in 60)?

A mix of two kosher ingredients that can make it kosher or not-kosher depends on if it is “Batel B’Shishim” or nullified in 60 (Hebrew: בטל בשישים), and can apply to:

  • Milk and meat
  • Fish and meat
  • Kosher for Pesach and Chametz (hint: the nullified in 60 is never applied for Passover!)

How is it calculated? 1/60th of the total volume of the food.

I can’t write better than Rabbi Dovid Heber from Star-K kosher:

Chart and many scenarios can be found here

Can I Trust a Pure Hindu Vegetarian Meal to be Kosher?

Short answer – No. Kosher food does not end with meat and fish. It is much more complicated. Insects, preparation and sub-ingredients, to name a few crucial aspects of kashrus. The famous Kosher Rule of thumb:

If it is 99% kosher – It is 100% not kosher!

Stuck in Airport Without Kosher Food?

Follow these steps:

  1. Ask information about grocery stores in any of the airport terminals (there are probably a few terminals) and look for packaged items with any of these kosher symbols. I can guarantee that you will find some kosher items. Yeah, this is not really “food”. If you need real food and are not short on time – go to the next point
  2. Buy fruits, vegetables and other items that do not need a Kosher symbol for. For example, soft cheeses (read more about it here). We will try to post about this topic later.
  3. Ask Siri or google, “kosher near me”. You will be surprised! A year ago, I was stuck in a long, unplanned connection at Schiphol, Netherlands with no kosher food at all – nada. The steps in this blog were all tried, tested, and succeeded!
  4. Can I buy plain bread (or bun) in a non-kosher store? Short answer – no, you can’t, not in a place you have no access to the baker. We will try to post about this topic later.
  5. There is no kosher food on board, can I eat a pure vegetarian Hindu meal instead? No, you can’t trust it to be kosher. Read why here.

Test case:  Finding kosher food in Schiphol, Netherlands

I asked Google Assistant “kosher near me”, and got these results. Most of the kosher restaurants will be glad to deliver hot meal for you and your mates, usually within 30 to 40 minutes. Note: Sometimes Google can suggest kosher places that are not kosher at all. Don’t trust Google for your Olam-Ha’ba.  You must check with the restaurant if they have a valid kosher certificate or check with the local rabbinical authority. We will make your life easier – Search & Find Badatz Amserdam phone number here.

This is what you would find using eKollel Search

Can I get Kosher food in Banff/Jasper National Park?

Short Answer: Yes.

Long Answer: You have to know how to do it and plan ahead.

Food you can find in any Grocery Store

You can find many types of kosher food in any grocery store in Canada. You have to learn the Kashrut Signs (here), but COR and OU dominate the kosher certifications field. If you’re a little patient, besides ice cream and cookies (most of them are kosher), you can even find kosher bread. FYI, many dairy products are kosher too. Learn more here, and here. You can also buy fish if you know the law of fish kashrus. You will not find meat products anywhere around.

Cooked food, meat and “real food”

You can find in Edmonton, AB. List is here.

The Fairmont Hotels

I was able to celebrate a few Shabbatot in two of these Fairmont hotels enjoying Gourmet Glatt Kosher food. Contact me to learn how.

Is there a Chabad house near Banff/Jasper National Park?


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 Where can I get Kosher Food in Edmonton, Alberta (AB Canada)?