New York – “Unorthodox” Crackers Certified Kosher By OU


    Ritz crackers with a flavored imitation of Bacon with the OU kosher stamp. New York – They are two words you don’t often find together on the same product packaging: Bacon. And kosher.

    But the newest variety of Ritz crackers is a bacon and black pepper flavor, and ironically, the product which is certified kosher by the Orthodox Union, actually contains dairy ingredients.

    According to Rabbi Moshe Elefant, the chief operating officer of the OU’s kashrus division, despite the unusual nature of certifying a bacon flavored product, it is something that has been done numerous times before.

    “We have had the same debate on all imitation related products, not this one more or less than any other,” Rabbi Elefant told VIN News. “At one point we were deciding whether or not to certify imitation crab – should we, or shouldn’t we? In the end, it is a good debate because both sides are right.”

    When giving its approval to products of this nature, the OU is vigilant about proper package labeling.

    “One thing we do insist on is that it is clearly marked as an imitation, not the real thing,” noted Rabbi Elefant, who said that there had been an issue approximately six months ago with a bacon flavored potato chip whose designation as an artificially product was not noted as prominently as the OU would have liked, a problem that has since been corrected.

    Rabbi Elefant said that he understood that many would be uncomfortable eating a bacon flavored product, even one with rabbinical supervision.

    “It is your choice,” said Rabbi Elefant. “If you aren’t comfortable eating it because of dietary rules or because of moral feelings, then don’t eat it.”

    Ritz crackers were introduced by Nabisco in 1934 and are available in a variety of flavors including regular, whole wheat, roasted vegetable and garlic butter.

    Ritz was eager to have the new crackers certified by the OU, according to Rabbi Elefant, who said that many items in the Ritz product line are certified by the agency. Despite the precedent of having previously certified flavors that might be considered by some to be unconventional, the OU held meetings to determine if it should give its stamp of approval to the bacon flavored crackers.

    “The OU’s position is that we are here to certify food that is kosher and to make food available to the public,” explained Rabbi Elefant. “We are not here to tell anyone to eat anything. If you don’t want to eat pastrami because it has cholesterol, then don’t eat pastrami. The only food we can tell you you must eat is matza. Anything else is up to you.”

    Ritz cracker remains the top savory snack for consumers in the U.S, according to published reports.

    Listen to the VINnews podcast on:

    iTunes | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | Podbean | Amazon

    Follow VINnews for Breaking News Updates

    Connect with VINnews

    Join our WhatsApp group

    Most Voted
    Newest Oldest
    Inline Feedbacks
    View all comments
    9 years ago

    Rabbi Elefant is a smart ruv. No one is forcing anyone to eat these crackers. The fact of the matter is that there have been artifically flavored treif foods around for decades.

    9 years ago

    I love these kinds of articles it let’s the world know that being orthodox isn’t some kind of weird cult we are normal

    9 years ago

    It is funny how everybody (All Hasgaha’s) come to OU for their approval, before they put their name on it….

    yaakov doe
    yaakov doe(@yaakov-doe)
    9 years ago

    I’ll pass on the crachers as I have on bacon bits and the OU immitation crab. We have enough to ear without these foods.

    9 years ago

    Warning: This product is only OU-D. It is made with Cholov Akum.

    9 years ago

    My personal favorite was when UTZ mad a Maryland Crab cake flavor with an OUD, but maybe this will be as good.

    9 years ago

    Better reason not to eat it: it is not cholov yisroel or pas yisroel. Everyone would agree that it is better to avoid it.

    9 years ago

    I’d rather run the risk of eating real bacon than whatever sorts of chemicals were mixed together to create this drek.

    Active Member
    9 years ago

    A few weeks ago, I was in a certified Kosher restaurant in Pico, LA California. They had Bacon on the menu. When I confronted the Masgiach, he claimed that Bacon doesn’t necessarily come from a pig. Bacon is a type of meat cured using large quantities of salt. its usually made from the sides or belly of a pig. It could however, be made from the belly of a cow, turkey, etc.

    9 years ago

    If you ever wanted to know how bacon tastes- now you can try this!

    9 years ago

    Kosher imitation bacon bits have been on the market for like 25 years.

    9 years ago

    Why of course it’s imitation bacon! There’s no such thing as milchige bacon!

    9 years ago

    The problem is there are so many items that are mislabeled this might confuse the general public.

    9 years ago

      Le Marais NY, NY they sell Veal Bacon, DELICIOUS.

    9 years ago

    INAPPROPRIATE !!!! I, for one, will not bring anything into my home which has the word “bacon” an the package, imitation and kosher or not. Inappropriate in a kosher home.