Security of Kashrus Today
The world market is flooded with counterfeit items. For the counterfeiter, anything that can make money
for the counterfeiter is fair game. Food in general, and kosher food in particular is no exception.
It would be naive to assume that kosher food is somehow safe from such attacks.
Kashrus Agencies the world over try their very best to prevent counterfeiting of their products,
but the volume of forgeries that have been discovered indicates that this may in fact be
only the tip of the iceberg.
This problem has existed for hundreds of years (see sidebar on the right) – since the days
when products like wine and cheese were packaged in one place and delivered and consumed elsewhere.
Then, a few Hebrew letters strategically placed on the
packaging was considered halachically adequate proof that the item was of Jewish origin and had not been
tampered with during its journey.
Today, kosher productions take place all over the world.
Today, anyone can print anything in any language and can replicate any symbol.
Today, how can a few Hebrew letters, symbols or logos prove
the authenticity of a package, Restaurant or Hotel?
The risks are so high that we must have some
irrefutable ‘seal’ to prove that an item is indeed genuine.
The answer to all three questions is a definite YES.
On the next page we expand on the risks involved and the page after we give a brief tour of past and present methods
of 'sealing' kosher products and investigate their effectiveness.
We will then present the TeMWIA Kosher‑Passport system
(444-444-444.org) which provides
absolute proof of authenticity and guarantees
that the item is kosher.
The TeMWIA Kosher‑Passport project is not just a concept. It has been fully implemented
and is currently used in the UK, Europe and the US.
As long as such a system did not exist, there may well have been no choice but to 'do our best' and
accept the inherent risks.
But now that a proven and inexpensive system exists that can ensure the Kashrus of all products,
surely it is incumbent upon us all to utilise it and ensure that all food we eat is indeed kosher.
Click on the images above to enlarge them.
Right image: Shulchan Aruch: Halacha mandates the use of seals when sending kashrus sensitive food via a nochri.
A Hebrew letter is deemed equivalent to a seal, but not when a nochri is able to write Hebrew letters.
Left image: Tur - Beis Yosef, quoting Rashbo: You may not buy cheese from a nochri even if it has a Jewish seal molded into the body of
(The Jewish cheese makers had wooden ‘seals’, engraved with the word
‘Kosher’ or similar. These were placed into the mould before pouring in the liquid cheese,
thus embossing a 'seal' in the cheese).
The reason given for forbidding the purchase of such cheeses is that these seals are easily
lost or stolen and would end up in the hands of the nochri who could then make counterfeit
To view further details and the relevance of these Halachos to today please click