Rabbinate issues warning ahead of Shavuot

Buyer beware: Kashrut department warns some dairy products are labelled kosher despite lack of Rabbinate approval.

Rafael Levy ,

Dairy products in Israel
Dairy products in Israel
Nati Shochat/Flash90

The Israeli Rabbinate’s kashrut department issued a warning ahead of the upcoming Shavuot holiday, cautioning shoppers that not all products labelled “kosher” had indeed been inspected by the Rabbinate and been certified as adhering to Jewish dietary laws.

In particular, the Rabbinate noted that many imported cheeses lacked the Rabbinate’s kosher certification. This is true even of products approved by local kashrut departments from their countries of origin.

Even where products have been certified as kosher by foreign agencies, the standards used vary, Rabbinate officials noted, and shoppers need to be aware that food lacking the Israeli Rabbinate’s seal of approval may not adhere to the same norms expected of kosher food in Israel.

The notice included a number of products which, while marked as kosher, did not adhere to Rabbinate standards:

  • Boursin cheeses, including various types of cheese, imported from France, under the “Boursin” label. The cheeses are labelled “kosher l’ochlei avkat halav nochri”.
  • “Uriel” brand cheese spread made from goat cheese. Imported from France, the product is marked “kosher l’ochlei halav nochri”.
  • Gouda cheese imported from the Netherlands under the “Henri Willig” label. The cheese is marked “kosher l’ochlei halav nochri”.
  • Kraft cream cheese spread imported from the US under the label “Philadelphia”. The product is marked “kosher l’ochlei halav nochri”.
  • “Mini Babybel” cheese wheels imported from the Netherlands.