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Q: Some of the canned baby food I see in the store has a hechsher and other varieties from the same company do not. The one I was looking at had just peas and water which seemed to pose no kashrus issue. May I buy it?
A: We would not recommend it.
After the baby food is put into the jar, the entire jar is put into a machine called a “retort” where the jar is cooked at high temperatures so as to prevent the food from spoiling. Those same retorts are usually also used to cook non-kosher varieties of baby food such as those with beef or chicken. The hashgachah on the label assures you that the specific jar was produced on kosher machinery – either because the company has special machines for kosher or because they kasher the retort before they produce that variety of baby food – but if there is no hechsher then the jar may have been cooked when the machinery was non-kosher. Accordingly, we recommend that you should only purchase jars of baby food that have hashgachah, even if the ingredients seem innocuous.