Coles and Kosher Australia apologise to kosher consumers
Kosher food certifying body Kosher Australia has assured consumers that no un-kosher chickens were sold at a Coles supermarket under the Kosher Australia label, after reports that roast chickens at a Coles supermarket in the Melbourne suburb of Elsternwick were labelled incorrectly.
The Australian newspaper reported earlier this week that Kosher chickens had been supplied in regular Coles bags usually used for non-Kosher product, creating confusion regarding the Kosher status of the chickens packaged this way.
Kosher Australia said in a statement that “consumers should be assured that at no time has anything but strictly kosher chickens sourced from Solomons Kosher Butchers been used and packaged in packaging that bears Kosher Australia seals”.
Kosher Australia said it has a full time Rabbinic supervisor (called a Mashgiach) in place at Coles who checks, monitors and seals the chickens continuously. The chickens are prepared with properly secured and monitored dedicated kosher ovens and utensils.
Regular Coles bags used as ‘interim measure’
Kosher Australia said that due to the success of the Kosher chicken program, Coles had not planned for sufficient numbers of clear bags in which to package and seal the Kosher chickens. As a consequence, for a short period during the recent holiday period when resupply was virtually impossible, the regular Coles bags were used as an interim measure. Kosher Australia said the bags used in this way for Kosher chickens “were all double-sealed appropriately by the Mashgiach with Kosher Australia seals and labelling, satisfying Kashrus requirements” and that non-Kosher ingredient panels were covered.
“This was only an interim measure and the supply of proper clear plastic bags appropriately bearing solely Kosher Australia seals and labelling has since been replenished,” Kosher Australia said.
Both Coles and Kosher Australia have apologised for any confusion that may have resulted and assured consumers that “there has been absolutely no compromise at any time of the Kosher status of any appropriately sealed chickens bearing Kosher Australia label and seals”.