Sharon, MA – What happens when a company mislabels a product as kosher with a specific certification when it is not or the reverse, a company that says that it is not kosher and actually does have certification. In nearly 20 years and 6000 alerts, you might say that Kashrut.com has seen it all, but in truth there’s always something that Arlene Mathes-Scharf finds that is worthy of flagging. Ms. Scharf, an MIT-trained Food Scientist who specializes in Kosher, feels duti-bound to not only alert the public about kashrut issues but also if a product is contaminated or is a subject of a government recall. Kashrut.com posts alerts about recalled and mislabeled kosher products as part of its goal of educating the kosher consumer and supporting the kosher food producer.
Kashrus officials say that despite more effective policing by kashrus agencies, mistakes do happen. One of the most common infractions is the use of an authorized symbol that is often an innocent mistake, which can be very costly for a company that has a large supply of packaging with a symbol when it should not be. The officials say that greater consumer awareness has been an important tool in the effort to reduce kashrus mislabeling. They also credit technology with helping deter mislabeling. “With an app today the consumer can immediately verify the authenticity of the kashrus,” said one official. Despite the improvement, kashrut.com still appears as the eyes and ears of kosher consumers.