Secaucus, NJ…Technology will have a major impact on kosher certification in years to come, was the conclusion of a panel of rabbinic experts at a Kosherfest seminar on Wednesday November 14th. Entitled “Using Technology to Upgrade Kashrus Supervision: New Challenges and New Opportunities, several prominent kashrus experts gave examples of the changes already underway as a result of technology. Rabbi Akiva Niehaus demonstrated the use of www.askcrc.org to get up to date information geared for consumers. He also explained how the Chicago Rabbinical Council can monitor a company’s “bishul Yisrael” from his Chicago office by using temperature gauges that offer read-outs on the agency’s office computer. Another example he cited was the use of a tempstick which is a crayon that melts at a specific temperature. By “coloring” a vat or belt with this tempstick we can see if the vessel in question really met koshering temperatures.
Rabbi Shimon Adler showed how the use of AI (artificial intelligence that studies people’s actions) can determine whether restaurant personnel are adhering to kashrus laws. Rabbi Sholem Fishbane, Rabbinic Administrator of the cRc wondered whether a robot making hamburgers in a Japanese restaurant would still constitute “bishul akum” (unsupervised cooking).