Frum Brands Asked to Make ‘Shabbos-Friendly’ Packages With Fewer Letters

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(VINnews) — Ripping open packages on Shabbos creates a common Halachic issue which impacts many frum families, especially those with children. Packages which have lettering all around them, make it difficult to rip them open without destroying letters. (Please note: there may be other halachic issues associated with opening packages, however those are beyond the scope of this article).

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The lettering poses a potential Melacha of erasing on Shabbos, at least according to many poskim, and now one vocal Jew is calling upon frum companies to make more “Shabbos-friendly” packages, which would contain ample space without letters.

The “Frum Tiktok” Twitter account posted:

“A request to all Kosher/Heimish food companies: Please make your products Shabbos friendly, so we can open them up without ripping any letters. Any company that would have Shabbos friendly packaging, would get rewarded by the consumers.”

It certainly begs the question, why do companies NOT simply make packaging that avoids this issue? It certainly seems plausible.

The Twitter thread then gets involved in a detailed discussion about whether there are poskim who permit ripping the letters, since it is done without intent. (The Rama in OC 340 famously prohibits cutting a cake with lettering, which is very comparable to this scenario and seemingly a source to prohibit it.)

Either way, one wonders if there is any specific reason that the companies do not make Shabbos-friendly packages, as this is a source of frustration for many parents. In addition, it may chas v’Shalom lead to Melacha being done on Shabbos.

(It should be noted that seemingly there is less of a concern over ripping images or pictures on packages, however it is not clear why, since there seems to be a problem of “mechika” with images as well. This seems to be addressed by the Dagul Me’rvava regarding Matzos which used to have drawings on them)

Hopefully the frum food companies will respond to this request, and even better, it would be wonderful if they would change their packaging to accommodate this serious matter.


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34 Comments
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Hyper Active
Hyper Active
13 days ago

And while they are taking care of Shabbat problems, maybe they can do another Mitzva by lowering the sugar content for the sake of the health of our children.

Thinking jew
Thinking jew
12 days ago

Once we’re at it, why won’t heimish companies put expiration dates on their products??

Chamas hemelech
Chamas hemelech
12 days ago

Feeding and eating that toxic garbage has more complicated shaalos than ripping open the package

Democrats support mutilating confused children.
Democrats support mutilating confused children.
13 days ago

There is no reason for the packaging to be covered in letters, as we see on non Jewish brand products, all letter free where they are to be opened, only Heimishe brand packaging are a problem, which is counter intuitive.

B. P.
B. P.
13 days ago

I sent an email to Paskesz about this many years ago…

From: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Sent: Tuesday, July 08, 2014 5:06 PM
To: [email protected]
Subject: online contact form

From: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Brooklyn, NY 11204, 718-xxx-xxxx
Contact me by email
Subject: Product Complaint, Product Feedback

Message Body:
RE: Paskesz Funtime Big Dipper,
item 12476,
Family Pack of Big Dipper -single packets. (You only show the package of
Double packets on this site, which may also have this problem, but I have
not purchased it, so I don’t know.)

I’m quite sure you are aware of the weekly “Shabbos Party” event,
considering your years in the kosher candy business. Last week the kids
picked out this candy for Shabbos party. The package has an obvious notch,
to tear the packet easily across, near the top. Unfortunately, your graphics
make it ossur to open the package this way without being mechallel shabbos!
The packet is not made in a way that the top can be pulled apart intact
either, like a potato chip bag.

There is virtually no way to open the package, even with a sharp knife,
without cutting, or tearing letters! I found a way to do this, with a very
pointy grapefruit knife, wiggling through the front of the packet in one
tiny spot, on only the FRONT LAYER OF THE PLASTIC. I then needed to drag the
knife swiftly across the part with no words, to avoid the plastic from
tearing in whatever direction happens naturally… toward the letters. The
process took me quite a few minutes per packet!

As a religious company, I think you should consider the laws of Shabbos when
designing your packaging, since so many Jews will buy it for their kids for
the special treat of a Shabbos party. Your choice of kosher certification
make it obvious that you are marketing the candy to Yidden who are
scrupulous in the Laws of Shabbos. You maintain a quality hechsher so we can
prevent eating foods prohibited by the Torah. Causing people to tear letters
on Shabbos is equally prohibited by the Torah! In the case of this candy,
which contains loose sugar, opening it before Shabbos is unrealistic, since
the sugar is too likely to get spilled out!

The packet explicitly says it is made in China FOR YOUR COMPANY. If you
continue this product, please ensure that the back of the packaging has a
reasonably sized space ON THE BACK, parallel to a space on the front, in
which there are no words that will tear, when attempting to cut the package
open. You can’t count on the majority of religious Jews having a grapefruit
knife on hand to struggle with sugar packets for Shabbos party!

Thank you for making Shabbos exciting for yiddishe kinderlach aroung the
world!

Bxxxxx Pxxxxxxxxxxx

P.S. If the responsibility for the graphics of the packet lies with your
Belgian division, please forward this message to whomever is responsible.


This e-mail was sent from a contact form on the Paskesz website.

ron
ron
12 days ago

Lets appreciate Kedem wine who already does this!

Really Kosher
Really Kosher
12 days ago

How can they have “fewer letters”??
A simple pack of potato chips has 6 different hecsherim, kosher / kosher lemehadrin / lemehadrin min hamihadrin / and the list goes on…

B. P.
B. P.
13 days ago

This is the response I received

Dear Mrs. Pxxxxxxxxxx,

Thank you for your letter and your concern.

Whenever possible we try to make our products “shabbos friendly” so that
children can open the packages without tearing letters.
Many of our packages are small and there is a lot of information that is
legally required.

I will forward your constructive words to our packaging people to see if
this can be corrected in a future printing.

Thank you,

Saralee
Paskesz Customer Service
Paskesz Candy Co.
4473 1st Ave
Brooklyn NY 11232
T:718-832-2400
F:718-832-3492
http://www.paskesz.com

bestcpa
bestcpa
12 days ago

Just use peal.able layer on the packaging . It’s patent pending. It’s Shabbos friendly. Extra cost.

Or eat it before Shabbos.

Yes! This is a real issue and can be fixed
Yes! This is a real issue and can be fixed
11 days ago

I have been thinking the same thing and appreciate the letter writer bringing awareness to the issue.

My suggestion for a solution is that the Hechsher agency should make the hechsher conditional that the packaging is Shabbos friendly.

Hoping we see positive changes — and BTW I have made buying decisions based off Shabbos friendly packaging

Robert
Robert
11 days ago

Or, you know, determine the maximum amount of candy that the children should consume on Shabbos and open only that amount before Shabbos.

D to the C
D to the C
9 days ago

I’m still trying to figure out how they send a Masgiach to IRP to certify Zillions.
IRP = Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

Also, why do frum brands use so much MSG? Are they trying to slow our kids down at school?

The_Truth
Famed Member
The_Truth
12 days ago

Similarly, shabbos friendly bottle caps – ones that do not rip apart. And shabbos friendly thin plastic that covers the bottle cap – no need for excessive lettering on that too.

thegreatfixer
thegreatfixer
10 days ago

Remember you are their BOSS if they do things you don’t like you can ” fire them” …. they need you more than you need them!!!

Yish Yehudi
Yish Yehudi
11 days ago

An appeal to the candy and dairy companies: once you start reviewing labels and working on them, please try to put pictures of kosher animals instead of Lions like in this one or a bear like in the givat yogurt and perhaps have some creative way in which the pictures always are a lesson to the kids or at least a neutral thing. What kids look at and pay attention to makes a difference.