June 17, 2013

Kosher Agencies Deal with Annual Summer Issue: Slurpees

NEW YORK — Slurpees is a major topic on many websites of major kosher certification agencies, particularly during the summer. It has become a tradition that agencies publish a list of the kosher frozen carbonated beverages. It is one of the reasons why many youngsters run to 7-Eleven stores with their special machinery to make Slurpees. 

Some rabbis have suggested that while the Slurpees products may be kosher, the machinery may not be. But Rabbi Sholem Fishbane, Kashrus Administrator cRc (Chicago Rabbinical Council) explains it this way: “7-Eleven franchises, independently owned and operated, are allowed to contract the use of generic-brand syrups for their Slurpees." Owners might want to do this in order to save a few dollars. 

Rest easy, kosher consumers—the franchises have a contract with corporate 7-Eleven: if an independently owned and operated franchise uses generic brand syrups, they must place a hand-written flavor sign on the machine. This alerts consumers and corporate representatives, who visit regularly, that the particular store is adhering to its contract with corporate 7-Eleven. If it is not in keeping with the contract, that franchise has much greater problems than kosher.” 

In any event, the cRc has an extensive list of kosher Slurpee flavors, which also appears on the Star-K and Orthodox Union websites. Montreal Kosher (MK) recently sent out a list of kosher flavors “used in frozen carbonated beverages manufactured by Coca-Cola Canada.” It included such brands as Coca Cola, Sprite, Barq’s, Minute Maid, Fanta and Powerade.