Over the years, Wheely Good Smoothies has gotten the question:
“Are your pitchers kosher?”
“Can you provide new pitchers for our kosher event?”
By offering new pitchers we’ve always been able to offer worry-free experiences to our kosher observant customers, but it doesn’t feel totally sustainable to continually order brand-new pitchers for kosher use. Recently we’ve been wondering if we can keep pitchers kosher in a way our clients will trust.
In order to find out more, we reached out to a recent client, Shuli Frand. Shuli works at Bais Yaakov, a Jewish-Orthodox day school in Baltimore’s Roland Park, and was kind enough to answer our questions about kosher practices, ingredients, and resources. We wanted to know what an observant person would want to know about our operations and how we can be most respectful of kosher practices. The first thing Shuli made clear is there is a wide spectrum of adherence to kosher law in the Jewish faith, which spans from fairly secular interpretations to very strict, to “I’ll have to ask my rabbi”, and that most schools and community centers will hold themselves to the standard of their most observant members. Here’s some of our discussion which has been edited for brevity and clarity.
We’ve just picked up the new blenders you used for your event at Bais Yaakov. We’ve been careful to keep them separate from other blenders, and we’d like to reserve them for future kosher use. What can we do to make sure our cleaning and storage practices keep the blenders kosher?
If you can have your client wash the blenders after use, that will help. If they need additional cleaning, wash the blenders in cold water with kosher dishwashing detergent. Use a new sponge. Don’t put them in the dishwasher, it’s too hot and some kosher households have two dishwashers to prevent cross-contamination. Store them away from other blenders which may be used with ingredients that you haven’t confirmed are kosher. Even with those steps, some communities would still probably prefer new blenders if they cater to students or families who adhere to a high-level of observance.
Can you give us some tips on how to determine if our ingredients are kosher? We obviously never include meat in our smoothies, they’re usually just fruit and juice. What should we know about fresh and packaged ingredients?
Many observant Jewish communities would likely prefer to source their own ingredients because there is quite a lot of research that goes into learning about if a packaged product is Kosher. Fresh fruits do not need kosher certification. For processed foods anything frozen, canned, or bottled would demand a kosher certification, that goes for nut milk, cow’s milk, yogurt (which can be especially complex), bottled juices, and teas too.
What symbols should we look for to see if something is Kosher certified?
There are several symbols that are universally accepted. Look for products with OU, OK or star K. OU Kosher also has a really helpful hotline ((212) 613-8241 x3 )available to help people understand and honor the complexities of kosher law. Also, Cleveland Kosher has a downloadable card you can carry in your wallet with some of the most popular kosher symbols.
Great! For our non-kosher events, we generally use things that fit into broad categories that could be kosher but don’t exclusively buy kosher-certified products. So, we’ll be careful to keep the blenders we’d like to offer for kosher use separate from our other blenders. We know there may be a time when we don’t have new blenders available, and supply chains have been tricky this year. Is there anything else we can do to help a client feel confident using the pitchers that only another kosher observant client has used?
It’s a tight-knit community. It might be useful to keep track of the synagogues, community centers, and schools that rented the pitchers in the past, so we can check in with them to confirm how they were used.
We can do that! If anyone is interested in this information we’re happy to supply it with the permission of the client. What else can we do?
Some folks may even prefer to buy their own pitchers if you can’t offer new ones. Would you be able to share information about where you source your pitchers so we can make that decision?
Absolutely, these pitchers here are compatible with our bike blenders, and available for overnight delivery from Amazon. Full disclosure, this is an affiliate link, so buying through this link will support Wheely Good Smoothies.
This really only scratches the surface of the intricacies of Kosher practices, but we hope it will help some clients decide if they feel comfortable using our blenders. If you have additional resources or can recommend ways we can improve what we do, please don’t hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or give us a call at 443-499-2453.
For anyone interested in learning more about Kosher practices, check out these useful resources: