How To Get Kosher Certification For A Food Or Beverage Product
‘Kosher’ is derived from the Hebrew word, ‘kashér.’ It means being proper, pure, and fit for consumption. It is a Jewish term used to denote food and food groups that comply with the traditional diet standards depicted in Jewish law. It is, for some, not just a diet guide but a way of adhering to religious rules and instructions. This guide is laid down in the Torah, the Jewish sacred book, and collectively known as ‘Karut.’
Kosher Certification Standard And Process
The standard for Certified Kosher products is that they are made with completely Kosher ingredients and that the production process is also in line with Kosher guidelines.
Each certifying agency has its verification process and its method of doing things, but all their procedures correspond with a general process. To get a beverage or food product certified as Kosher, the general guidelines are as follows:
- The producer makes a request to any certifying agency of his choice for certification of his product(s).
- Next up, the producer has to send a comprehensive list of ingredients he used in manufacturing his products, including the production process and the machinery used. This is to enable the agency to investigate and ascertain the Kosher status of the whole process.
- The agency’s representative will also walk through the entire process to determine its Kosher status. The standard is that even the slightest introduction of non-Kosher ingredients or processes will render everything non-Kosher.
- The producer also has to agree to certain record-keeping or documentation of the process.
- Once verification is completed, and the product(s) has been approved, the producer can now use the Kosher certification symbol on his product(s) packaging.
Steps To Getting Kosher Certification
Application is the first step to take. After you have obtained information about the certifying agency you wish to use, go ahead to fill their application form. Most of the agencies have an online application form.
One is often required to provide producer and manufacturing plant or company information during application. After this step, a Rabbinic Auditor is usually allocated to the application and would be there to answer all your inquiries and guide you through the whole process too.
Manufacturing Plant Visit
At this stage, an experienced Rabbinic representative is sent to the manufacturing plant specified within the application to assess the production process and machinery and estimate the possibility of certification.
Travel and processing expenses are usually footed by the producer himself. It is paid before the arrival of the representative.
Here, the rabbinic coordinator collates the results of the inspection, studies it, and advises the producer on whether or not the certification of his product.
At this stage, the Rabbinic coordinator drafts a contract including all the kosher certification rules. If the contract is suitable for the producer, it is then sent to the agency, which issues certification to the producer.