News & Alerts


January 17, 2020

It has come to our attention that GE mistakenly removed a critical piece of information from some STAR-K certified oven manuals. In the following GE, Hotpoint and Crosley models, Sabbath Mode does NOT control the light inside the oven. The light WILL turn on if you open the oven even when in Sabbath Mode. Owners of these ovens should either leave the light on over the duration of Shabbos/Yom Tov or simply loosen the lightbulb ahead of time. List of affected models is here. Corrective action is being taken.

Oneg Shabbos Gourmet Butcher
January 04, 2020

Oneg Shabbos Gourmet Butcher, located at 164-08 69th Avenue, Fresh Meadows, NY 11365, is using an unauthorized STAR-K symbol in their advertisements. Oneg Shabbos Gourmet Butcher is NOT CERTIFIED by the STAR-K.

Barley, Brown Rice & Quinoa Alert
December 16, 2019

BROWN RICE sold in the Northeastern USA has been found to be infested due to issues in the distribution chain and storage. According to our continued research, this issue is more widespread than previously thought. Affected batches were found in markets from NY to Maryland.
Our research is ongoing and we will issue updates as warranted. In the interim, we are recommending that consumers in the affected areas check all brown rice prior to use, using the following procedure:
• Place brown rice in a fine mesh strainer. Shake for 25-30 seconds over a light box or white paper. • Examine the surface of the lightbox or paper under a strong light for any insect presence. Our research identified weevils as the most common insects.
QUINOA has also been found nationwide to be infested for the same reason as brown rice. Quinoa in general seems to be more susceptible to infestation than other similar grains. The problem was mainly found in quinoa that had been stored for over a year (i.e., it had been packed more than a year prior). Quinoa packed within the year was generally not infested.
However, due to differences in each company's date coding, we are recommending that all quinoa be checked prior to use, in the same manner as for brown rice above. Booklice and mites seem to be the most common insects being found in quinoa.
Click for a video demonstration for checking brown rice and quinoa.
BARLEY (particularly Yoshon brands) continues to have consistent issues with infestation. Therefore, we are now recommending that all barley be checked prior to use by soaking in water for 10-15 minutes prior to use. If there are insects present, you will see them floating in the water. For barley checking instructions, click here.

Ancient Harvest White Quinoa
October 24, 2019

Please be advised that bags of Ancient Harvest brand white quinoa with the bag code Best By 05/22/21 7NI, being sold in NY/NJ area stores, have been found to be infested. Our research indicates that the issue originated at a distributor which was out of Ancient Harvest's control.
This alert does not apply to other bag codes or in areas outside of New York and New Jersey.

FYI - Reminder for Rosh Hashanah
September 18, 2019

At this time of year when many of us are using figs, dates and leeks, this is a reminder to check these items properly:
DATES: It is recommended that one open and do a visual inspection on a few out of each container. If no insects can be seen, one can assume the rest are insect-free.
FIGS: Open each one and check carefully for infestation (typically wasps, beetles or worms).
Checking instructions for dates and figs apply even if they have a hechsher, due to the possibility of improper storage.
LEEKS: Examine the outside for any leaf miner trails. Check in between the leaves for thrips or other insects.
BLACK EYED PEAS: Dried peas should first be boiled in water. After they have been fully cooked, allow the peas to soak in the water for 2-3 hours. The peas will then swell and the peel will become translucent.

Canned or frozen peas may be checked straight out of the can/bag; there is no need to boil or soak.
To check, take the peas and inspect for holes or dark-colored stains as this may indicate an insect beneath the thin peel. If there is a dark spot on the peel, remove the thin skin and check if there is a cavity with a bug in it. (The black "eye" spot is not a sign of infestation. Similarly, orange colored stains on the surface are not signs of infestation; only dark or black stains are of concern.)

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