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Q: [We drink milk which is not chalav Yisroel.] In the past, we’ve called the cRc and been told that it would be better if we would buy milk that has a kosher symbol, but if that wasn’t available then we could even buy it without certification assuming is was just plain milk with no additives (other than the vitamins). You’ve also told us that we should only buy fruit juice with hashgachah, and we were wondering what the difference is between milk and juice. Isn’t it true the pasteurizers used to hot-sterilize milk and juice is also used for non-kosher beverages; that’s why juice requires hashgachah so why can I buy plain milk if no one kashered the pasteurizer?
A: You are correct that there are other items processed on milk pasteurizers which are non-kosher, and for exactly that reason there are some who recommend that milk only be bought with hashgachah. We permit milk without hashgachah because so much milk is pasteurized at one time that any non-kosher taste absorbed into the pasteurizer are surely batel b’shishim (nullified) in the finished milk. This is a reasonable position regarding milk since milk is bottled cold such that the (hot) pasteurization of lots of milk is done at once, and then the bottling is done at a later time.
In contrast, most fruit juices are bottled hot such that (a) there is more equipment involved and there are therefore more b’lios which have to be batel and (b) the complications of bottling make it likely that the process will have to stop more frequently, and this negatively affects the bitul calculations. Therefore, we recommend to consumers that they only purchase fruit juice which bears a reputable kosher certification, but permit plain milk even if it is not certified.