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  • Local Kashrus Alert: Costco Produce Grown in Israel

    We have been informed of specific vegetables seen in our local Costco that have a ‘Made in Israel’ text on the produce. Costco is not the only store that has produce from Israel, and one should keep an eye out in all stores for future reference • Full Story

    We have been informed of specific vegetables seen in our local Costco that have a ‘Made in Israel’ text on the produce. Costco is not the only store that has produce from Israel, and one should keep an eye out in all stores for future reference.

    Israel is one of the world’s leading fresh citrus producers and exporters, including oranges, grapefruit, tangerines and a hybrid of a grapefruit and a pomelo, developed in Israel.

    More than forty types of fruit are grown in Israel. In addition to citrus, these include avocados, bananas, apples, cherries, plums, nectarines, grapes, dates, strawberries, prickly pear (tzabbar), persimmon, loquat and pomegranates. Israel is the second leading producer of loquat after Japan.

    U.S. total imports of agricultural products from Israel totaled  $396 million in 2019. Leading categories include: snack foods ($79 million), tree nuts ($35 million), other vegetable oils ($34 million), processed fruit & vegetables ($34 million), and wine and beer ($31 million).

    Besides all the ingredients and processing concerns that surround the kosher consumer, additional kashrus requirements apply to foods grown, produced, or imported from Israel. A consumer must be sure that terumos and ma’asros have been properly separated before eating, and that the fruits do not come from trees that are orla or neta revai or shmitta.

    We discussed this matter with the Vaad of the 5 Towns and wanted to give over this information to the community. When there is a reliable Hechsher on the product there is no need to be worried even if the item is from Israel, you may assume all Maasros have been properly separated before the product hit the market. However, if the item does not have a reliable hechsher, and the product specifies its origin is from Israel, please examine this article from the Star K on how to properly take off Terumos & Maasros.

    If you have any questions feel free to contact the local 5 Towns VAAD here, or reach out to your local Orthodox Rav.





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