Religion Magazine

Mass-produced Bread in USA to Lose Kashrus Certification

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
According to reports (JNS, JP, Jewish Link NJ, etc) Bimbo Bakeries USA has decided to drop the kosher certification from the OU on its various lines of nationally produced breads and buns. This includes breads under the names of Arnold's, Sara Lee, Entemann's, and others. Other products under the Kof K certification will also be removed from the kashrut certification.
While in cities with substantial Jewish populations there might be a local kosher bakery to rely on for breads now, in many places this decision will make buying kosher bread very difficult. It will anyways be a major change as kosher consumers have gotten used to being able to buy kosher bread in just about any supermarket, and also the availability of kosher pareve hot dog buns is something that will be difficult to lose... and that's before we even know what other products are going to be dropped from certification...
Without knowing about any material changes being made to the products, and that very well might make a difference, it seems that people who eat bread considered "pas palter" - mass produced bread by companies - as long as the bread is not dairy and made with butter and there is no knowledge of problematic ingredients, should be able to continue eating these breads. A competent rabbi should definitely be consulted if one finds, or expects to find, himself in such a situation.
Regardless, it is a shame that this issue of kashrut will become so much more difficult now for so many people. In a generation where more and more foods are becoming kosher and in the USA it always seemed so easy to keep kosher no matter where you are because by default so many products on the shelves of the average supermarket are certified kosher by default, and with bread being such a staple product, this is going to be very difficult for so many people..
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