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Kashrus Alerts

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Ice cream stores and trucks

As we begin the summer months, please note that there are retail ice cream or frozen yogurt stores that sell products that are certified by cRc Kosher or other reliable agencies, when in their original factory-sealed containers.

Most of these stores are not certified themselves, and, therefore, one may only partake of these products after the following steps are taken: 1) See the original container or “bag-in-box” (for a soft-serve machine), and ensure that it bears a kosher symbol. 2) Other products purchased, such as cones, toppings, cakes, and novelty items should be inspected to determine if they are kosher. 3) Any scoop or spoon used by the employees should be washed before it is placed into the kosher ice cream. These steps must be taken each time one makes a purchase, to be sure that the store did not change suppliers or make other changes.

As the average person may not be aware of all of the kosher regulations, it is always preferable and recommended to only frequent shops under a reliable kosher supervision. The cRc certifies several locations that serve ice cream and frozen yogurt. Among them are: Dairy Star 3472 W Devon, Lincolnwood, IL, Graeter’s 1347 Shermer Road, Northbrook, IL, Rita’s of Park Ridge 157 North Northwest Highway, Park Ridge, IL, and Rita’s of West Ridge 5940 North Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL.

On a related note, there are several organizations that hire ice cream trucks for their events, with a popular one being Kona Ice trucks. According to WKS, the kosher agency for the Kona syrups, the trucks are not directly certified by WKS. While the ice cream trucks may have their kosher letter hanging for consumers to see, it is important for consumers to read the kosher letter carefully before purchasing. As an example, the WKS kosher letter that one may see on Kona Ice trucks clearly states that their flavors are only certified when labeled Kreations and bears the WKS and in no way includes the individual trucks and vehicles that are involved in dispensing.

As with all kosher products, consumers should be diligent in following the guidelines given by its certifying kosher agency.

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