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Kosher baked goods


Rabbi Yoel Lieberman

Av 19, 5775
Dear Rabbi, I was wondering if you could clear up the following issue that I am not sure about In a well known supermarket (that is not Jewish) that has a bakery section would it be acceptable to buy plain wholemeal bread? This bread is one that is made on the site Thanks
ב"ה Shalom I am happy to see that you take the responsibility for verifying the kashrut of certain staple foods before eating them. Some people make the grave mistake that some foods do not require kosher supervision. In regard to your question, there are three issues that need to be dealt with: 1. The ingredients. I will just quote here from the internationally renowned OU kosher organization: "These[Breads, Rolls, Challah, Bagels etc.] basic household staples present several kosher problems and require kosher certification. Many types of bread are made with oils and shortenings. Basic ingredients of specially prepared dough mixes and dough conditioners are shortenings and di-glycerides. In bakeries, pans and troughs in which the dough is placed to rise and to bake are coated with grease or divider oils, which may be non-kosher. These oils often do not appear on the label. 2. Bread being baked by a gentile: Our Rabbis in the Talmud prohibited eating bread by a gentile unless part of the baking process was performed by a Jew. In the case of the supermarket bread, if all ingredients are found to be kosher, since the bread was not baked in a private home the reason for the Rabbi's prohibition of bread baked by a gentile doesn’t apply and if there is no bread baked by a Jew which is available, one would be permitted to eat it. 3. The third issue is if there are other pastries made in the oven or if utensils for preparing the bread were used for preparing non-kosher products. In short, the question you presented is a problem. Though the issue of non-Jewish baking doesn’t pose a problem in a supermarket where no kosher bread is available , without previous knowledge if the ingredients are kosher, the bread may NOT be eaten. In addition, there is also problem of the use of the oven and utensils. Therefore ,you should contact your local kashrut authorities who may have already looked into the matter and follow their guidelines. All the best
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