Sunday, August 17, 2014

Why we need the DE designation!

Someone commented:

Please bring back the DE designation, and enable us to make informed decisions instead of circumventing the designations you put in place. Isn't that the entire point? Please stop assuming that people are uninformed, and stop speaking to the lowest (knowledge) common denominator. If we can understand what D means, we can understand DE. Bring it back!

To which the OU replied:

OU Kosher Thank you for contacting the OU.

At the Orthodox Union we value all opinions and appreciate the effort you to take in making us aware of what is important to you.

Some kashrus agencies use a DE symbol to denote products that are made on Dairy equipment but do not contain any actual Dairy ingredients. The OU has chosen not to use a DE designation to minimize the possibilities of confusion for the kosher consumer. Also, to be a true DE product, the equipment must be properly cleaned of residue after a dairy production, and that level of cleanliness is sometimes difficult to maintain and guarantee.

Please do not hesitate to contact us again should you have any further questions.


  1. I personally have gone back to minhag yisrael sabba, and now just check the ingredients.

    I should add that I'm a regular black hat wearing ballaboss, who went to the big yeshivas, and even learned bossor b'cholov/tarubos. Its obvious the kashrus industry has gotten out of control, precisely because of what that commenter wrote.(It wasn't me!) They are trying to appeal to the lowest common denominator, which in this case mean the frummest kosher consumer. Thus they don't use bittul, they don't use DE, they are choshesh for every daas yachid. Remember, all of kashrus is built upon a foundation of derabbanans to begin with! I'm not interested in "the strictest standards" of kosher.

    I wont eat meat, cheese, or wine without a hechsher. But everything else though, I just check the ingredients. I'm not going to deny myself a world of food and food products for no reason.

  2. This is a great opportunity, by the way, for an enterprising person in the rabbinic world to really do well for people AND make a fortune at the same time. Start a new hechsher, and make it perfectly clear that it has no aspirations of "strictest" standards, it is simply kosher food. Like the Koren siddur is a contrast to Artscroll, someone should be the Koren hechsher to the OU.

    I actually think the Triangle K, which is headed by a huge talmid chacham, is already poised to become this. Wouldn't people want to start eating Hebrew National, at a fraction of the price of other brands? Triangle K should start a massive marketing campaign, showing people that their products are 100% kosher, they just don't necessarily use chumrahs that the consumers never personally adopted anyway. People don't even realize that the same shochet who works for the OK on Tuesday and Thursdays, works for Triangle K on Mondays and Wednesdays! It's the same people, just under a different name!

  3. DE is not even a chumra. its straight halacha.

    and other hashgachot still use DE.

    by the way, OU still labels some brands of worstershire (?sp?) sauce without an FE, like they used to. I think they claim the amount of fish is batel be'shishim. but I think batel be60 does not apply, cause a: its a sakana, not technically a kashrut issue, and b: its added for taste, so its not batel.

  4. >"DE is not even a chumra. its straight halacha."

    All of kashrus is chumrah. The Torah says not to eat certain animals, that's it. We've somehow interpreted three verse not to cook a kid in its mothers milk, which is perfectly understandable on its own, to mean a whole series of laws which - lets be honest - is not what the Torah intended. All the laws about beliah (absorption) zeah, bottol, etc., are wild extrapolations that have no real source in the Torah. That's what I mean by its all derabbanan. And where we are today with not using ain mivatlin issur lichatchila and other things is just dirabbanan piled on dirabbanan piled on dirabbanan etc, coupled with safeks and sakanas that are - again, lets be honest - far fetched, to put it mildly.

    To a degree this criticism can be leveled at all of orthodox Judaism, not just kashrus. (i.e., why should we accept the Babylonian rabbis interpretation of the Torah for anything.) I get that, which is why I don't say it too often. I'm not trying to uproot the whole thing. But Kashrus (and Niddah too) is an area where the absolute lack of foundation is very clear, in an area of life that affects everyone. So despite all this I'm not ready to give up kosher altogether. But for sure I'm not going to worry about ticky-tack OU chumras like "dairy equipment."

  5. so basically you are a Karite