Nov 18, 2019

dairy chocolate labeled as pareve

A big deal has been made about a recent kashrut labeling mistake, and kashrut mistakes are always a big deal, regarding a bar of chocolate.

The item in question is a bar of bittersweet chocolate with 60% cacao with no added sugar made by Elite. The chocolate is dairy, which is generally somewhat unexpected with bittersweet chocolate. The package was labeled with the hechsher of the Eida Hachareidis on the front of it, and they labeled it as dairy (not for Pesach0, while on the back of the package it was labeled as pareve under the supervision of the kashrut of Beit Yosef.

Pareve or dairy? Eida or Beit Yosef? So the actual correct hechsher on this chocolate is Eida and the chocolate is dairy, but the mistake is problematic - both for allergens of people who might eat it thinking it is pareve, and for kashrut of people who think it might be pareve and eat it after meat. After the mistake was caught, Elite removed the product from the shelves to correct the error.

Everyone here is to blame, including Elite, the Rabbanut, the Eida and maybe Beit Yosef. People are especially upset at the Eida over this, even though they got it right, because they always check the labeling and withhold kashrut if they don't like something on the label so they too should have caught this.

Personally I think that all kashrut organizations make mistakes. Yes, even the Eida. Everyone makes mistakes. The tragedy is NOT that a mistake was made, as bad as it could have turned out. The tragedy would be if no lesson is learned from the mistake - if no new process is put in place to help them avoid similar mistakes in the future.

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  1. Why should I immediately think there is a mistake? Maybe each hechsher holds differently regarding how a machine in the process was kashered. Maybe the machines has chocolate run through them to kasher from milcheg to parve and the eida holds using chocolate is no good and therefore it's dairy, but the other one holds it's fine and therefore it's parve. Wasn't this the same isssue with schmerling chocolate for may years until they changed (from what I heard) their kashering process.

  2. I am not familiar with the story you mention from Schmerling so wont comment on it. You make a good point. I know Pesach time some products that have two hechshers sometimes have one that says kitniyos and the other that does not. It is possible that two hechshers might hold differently about dairy equipment or some scenario such as kashering between runs..


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