Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most common questions we get asked about, kosher laws, kosher certification, and our kosher programs. If you don’t see your query here, fell free to contact us.
Q: What are the kosher laws?
A: The laws of kosher date back to the time of Moses, over 3300 years ago. They are intricate and extensive, detailing which foods a Jewish person is permitted to eat, and the ways in which they may be prepared. One well-known example is the total separation of dairy and meat or poultry ingredients. Although the essential laws have not changed since they were given at Mount Sinai, their application to issues presented by modern processing requires expertise in both kosher law and food technology.
Q: What does it mean to be kosher certified?
A: There is a mistaken belief that certified kosher food is that which has been blessed by a rabbi. In actuality, kosher certification refers to the process by which rabbinical experts verify that products are made in accordance with kosher law. The certifying agency tracks and monitors this status through record-keeping of processes and ingredients, as well as periodic audits to the manufacturing facility, and more. For a free, downloadable presentation on kosher basics, check out our Kosher 101 PowerPoint Slideshows.
Q: What is the purpose of a kosher certificate?
A: A kosher certificate confirms that a product is properly vetted and monitored from the perspective of kosher law. It also alerts customers to any specific kosher category the product might fall under, such as dairy, meat or Passover status. For businesses, kosher certification is a regulatory seal which increases the appeal of their products in the wider market, and is a huge selling point. Products are endorsed as kosher by us only when bearing the OK symbol on the label or with a valid OK Kosher Certificate (view a sample certificate). If you are considering kosher certification for your company and want to know about the process, have a look at our 5 Steps to Certification page.
Q: There are a so many different kosher certifications and symbols. What’s the difference?
A: Though all kosher certifying agencies share the goal of verifying and ensuring kosher law is adhered to, each one of these agencies around the world has its own policies and procedures. Consumers, retail buyers and suppliers choose what products to buy based on the standards and reliability of the certifying agency. The familiarity of the trademarked kosher symbol is the visual connection to the certifying agency of choice. Our trademark is the bold K in the circle – a ubiquitous sign known around the world for excellence in kosher.
Review our tips for how to choose an agency, to best educate yourself on becoming reliably certified.
Q: What differentiates OK Kosher from other kosher certifiers?
A: OK Kosher is the world’s largest independent kosher certification agency. Our kosher symbol is one of the world’s most valuable and recognizable kosher logos, trusted by consumers in North America and around the world each day.
We pride ourselves on the fact that, although we certify companies large and small across the globe, our programs are custom-tailored to the needs and goals of each company. Over the years, we’ve developed advanced systems (such as our exclusive DigitalKosher customer portal) that help our customers maintain OK Kosher’s stringent standards in an accessible, user-friendly way. It is with our 80+ years of experience, expertise and professional staff that OK Kosher can deliver personalized customer service to each and every customer, internationally. At OK Kosher, our people are our greatest asset, bringing together premium solutions, guidance and the world‐class expertise necessary to our customers’ ongoing success with kosher certification.
To view or download a presentation on our company profile, please see our OK Kosher 101 PowerPoint Slideshows page.
Q: What is your fee structure and how much will I pay?
A: OK Kosher certification fees are structured as annual payments, sometimes entailing additional fees for special productions. In contrast to other types of food certifications, our fees are never tied to production volume, sales numbers, or company size. Rather, we simply calculate the cost of making the needed visits and maintenance of your program, nothing more. Visit our Benefits and Pricing page for detailed information on how we determine fees.
Q: What is entailed in producing kosher wine? Is it more complicated than regular kosher certification?
A: Wine, grape juice and other grape-derived products are a particularly sensitive category from a kosher perspective. Whereas normally the rabbi’s role in kosher certification is one of supervision, with wine and grape-derived products the rabbi will actually need to be involved in the manufacturing of the product, in a hands-on way. Setting up a proper system for this will include the harvesting of the grapes, kosherizing equipment, in addition to other measures. Even products using grape-based ingredients in their formulas need verification that only high-level kosher raw materials are being used in them. By listening to your company’s needs, and with our experience, we can develop a program that works for you. If you are considering certifying your winery, or products containing grape-based ingredients, please contact a certification specialist for a free consultation and guidance on your particular requirements. Otherwise, you can simply submit a cost-free, obligation-free application.