It’s a good thing . . .

. . . that I’m not drinking Dr. Pepper now, because most of the few stores in Israel that sold it have removed it from their shelves. It seems there is a kosher issue, of sorts.

Don’t be alarmed, the formula of the sweet delight hasn’t been changed. It’s still the pleasure that you remember,  even if you prefer Dublin Dr. Pepper over Dr. Pepper.  (If you don’t know what Dublin Dr. Pepper means, skip over it for now.)

You can read some blog reports about what happened to Israel’s limited supply of Dr. Pepper, but I’ll thumbnail it for you here: The Dr. Pepper company in Britain, which apparently is a major importer to Israel, has a hechsher (kosher stamp) from an organization that “certifies” OR “approves” items as kosher. There’s a difference, and this is where it can get tricky.

“Approves” means that based on an interview with the company the supervisor determines the product is kosher. “Certifies” means the kosher supervisor actually visits the company and inspects the product to determine it is kosher. In a case where the supervisor certifies an item as kosher, that certification is valid only in Britain. Thus when the certified cans of Dr. Pepper were shipped to Israel, the certification became invalid. The end result of this discovery (the illegitimate kosher stamp) was that the London-sourced cans were removed from the shelf, leaving mostly French or Polish made Dr. Pepper. And, who wants one of those?

For those with no experience with kosher rules and/or practices, this may sound really strange or overbearing or unnecessary. But in the Orthodox Jewish world, following the dietary rules isn’t something left up to chance or personal choice.

If you have little or no idea what kosher is, you can read more in this article by the Kosher London Beis Din, “. . .  one of the world leading kosher certification agencies operating in 50 countries across 6 continents.. . . “

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