June 15, 2015

Must Commercially Cleaned Lettuce Still be Checked? Kosher Agency says Yes

Chicago - The kashrus world is unanimous in requiring lettuce to be checked for insects. Agencies generally accepted the notion that pre-washed (bagged) iceberg lettuce is acceptable from any source, even if it is not certified as kosher.  This is because the method of commercially cleaning leafy lettuces is sufficient to remove the insects typically found in iceberg lettuce.  However, in recent weeks, says the cRc, lettuce coming from specific regions in California have been more heavily infested than usual, and that the cleaning methods in use have not always been successful in removing all insects from the lettuce.  This has caused some kashrus agencies to temporarily remove certification from a number of brands of iceberg lettuce, of which the Fresh Express brand is the most prominent.

A cRc statement noted: “We have not been able to independently confirm these results on a national scale, but accept the findings of these hechsherim based on the research of experienced Mashgichim in multiple cities.  Accordingly, the cRc recommends that for the remainder of June 2015, consumers nationally should either (a) purchase iceberg lettuce which bears reliable kosher certification, or (b) wash and inspect iceberg lettuce (fresh or bagged) as per the directions found at http://kshr.us/IcebergLettuce.