Sep 3, 2020

Ukrainian Coca Cola now certified as kosher

I have written several times about the issue of Coca Cola imported to Israel from other countries, including from Ukraine and from the Palestinian Authority territories, and the kashrut status of those drinks.

Generally, there is a dispute among kashrut experts and organizations regarding whether Coca Cola without a hechsher can be considered kosher. Some say it is not kosher and cannot be drunk (by kosher-observant people), and others say ti is kosher everywhere, even without a hechsher, and some say ti depends on the place and while some places might be problematic, other places, such as Europe, are perfectly kosher even without a hechsher.

In the past, in an attempt to compete with locally produced Coca Cola, at times Cola has been imported from other countries, sometimes with no hechsher and sometimes with a hechsher that came under scrutiny and debate as to its reliability.

Kikar is reporting on a new development in this realm. The sporadically imported Ukranian Coca Cola that has often presented Israeli kashrut with a challenge might no longer. Or maybe the challenge will be greater.

According to Kikar, the kashrut authority of Belz, known as Badatz Machzikei Hadat, is now officially certifying Coca Cola from Ukraine as kosher. And therefore the Chief Rabbinate is allowing its import once again and authorizes the product as kosher (based on the hechsher of Belz). And, supposedly, other kashrut organizations are in contact with the factory that produces the Coca Cola in Ukraine about adding their hechshers to the product with the hope of also importing. Everybody wants a piece of that pie. 

Some kashrut experts are still questioning the reliability of this, as they say that the Coca Cola production is unsupervised and Belz should not be authorizing an unsupervised product as kosher. The Belz kashrut people reject this claim and say they have visited the factory and have been able to send in rabbis and kashrut supervisors, mashgichim.

Again, this blog takes no position on the question of whether or not Coca Cola with no hechsher is kosher or not. I just want to present you with the available information and then you can decide for your self, or in consultation with your rabbi. Personally, once it has a hechsher from Belz I think the discussion is over - it is no longer a no hechsher product. Now you can decide if you rely on Belz kashrut or not.

And maybe they can even use the Breslavers in Uman to supervise the product!

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1 comment:

  1. as an aside, the KLBD hechsher offers the following guidelines for soft drinks without a hechsher:
    the general guidelines for soft drinks, which is that all soft drinks are permitted, unless they contain grape juice or non-permitted E-numbers. Drinks containing unspecified Fruit Extract, Fruit Sugar and Natural Sweeteners should be avoided unless approved, as these could be derived from grape


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