Pre-Printed Seals on Packaging
With the millions of general kosher retail items produced today, the vast majority of the 'seals' have degenerated
to being nothing more than a pre-printed Kashrus Authority logo.
This applies equally to a packet of salt, milk, cheese and meat.
With some high risk items, the Kashrus Authority may add a hologram to give an impression of raised security, but we have seen
above the futility of such labels.
In virtually all cases, the packaging is sourced by the non-Jewish company making the product under supervision.
There is no supervision possible that would somehow stop the manufacturer from using the same
packaging on a non-supervised production. We seem to be relying on nothing more than the fear of
the manufacturer being discovered and thereby losing business.
Forging these symbols is not at all difficult. To put it bluntly, it is extremely easy.
Putting it even more bluntly, they require zero effort or financial expenditure as they are
part of the necessary pre-printed packaging - all under the control of the non-Jewish factory.
As to the printing on the tin itself, which includes the name of the Kashrus Authority (blanked out),
the production date, the best‑before‑end date and some batch numbers,
what assurance of Kashrus does any of the printing provide?
It is printed by a machine that is programmed by the factory staff and whatever the machine prints
on 250,000 kosher tins it can also print on any number of other tins - whether produced under
supervision or made long after all the Mashgichim have gone home.
Where the potential profits are large enough or a suitable opportunity arises,
production of counterfeit products becomes almost a certainty.
If we were being truthful to ourselves we would have to admit that all such 'seals' are
nothing more than 'informational' and we all, unwittingly, just rely on them as 'proofs' in the hope
that they are true.
Obviously, the forger need not be the original manufacturer. Any other company, seeing the
success of a particular brand, can easily copy the packaging and distribute counterfeit copies.
We fail to understand how such packaging can be considered as complying with Halacha.
We have also seen the use of a paper label - see side panel - stuck on a tin of sardines.
Its purpose is rather obscure, as it does not add any extra level of authenticity to the item.
We suspect its purpose is to satisfy the Halacha's requirement for 'two seals' for fish, though
we do not understand how this is actually achieved.
In any event, no one can claim that such seals guarantee kashrus in any way.
We have been told of a kashrus seminar where a Kashrus Authority representative told of a
incident at a production run at a foreign location. Towards the end of the production, one of the factory workers whispered
to the Mashgiach that he wanted to show him something when no one was around.
Later that day he took him to some outside area and opened a door and showed him a consignment
of the same product that they had just supervised, with identical packaging and labelling as the kosher product.
A lovely story of "Siata D'Shmayo"? That is what the story teller had in mind, but to a suspicious mind it
just conjures up a vision of all the other productions where the 'other consignment' was never discovered.
Click on any image below to enlarge it.
Sardine tin label
The top image shows the outer box with the Kashrus Authority logo.
The second image is of a Kashrus Authority label stuck to the inner tin itself.
Do either of those 'seals' somehow assure the purchaser that the tin is genuine?
Are either of them Halachic seals?
Sardine box with two Kashrus logos
Above is the box of a tin of sardines produced under two Kashrus Authorities.
(We have blanked out the two logo-seals as the actual Kashrus Authority involved
is not relevant to this discussion as they all work in virtually identical ways).
Above are the production codes as printed on the actual sardine tin.
It includes the name of the Kashrus Authority (blanked out) but what assurance of Kashrus
does any of the printing provide?