KOSHER TIPS FOR THE KOSHER TRAVELLER
When travelling within Australia, the Kosher Australia Food Guide will prove useful as it is tailored for use at supermarkets and food retailers. For more information in obtaining access to the Kosher Food Guide and App, please contact us.
Sourcing foods overseas, particularly in Asia with sparse Jewish populations, may prove more challenging though many Australian and US products are carried in supermarkets. As a precaution, it is wise to bring some non-perishables with just in case.
Before taking food overseas, check your limitations on liquids covered under the new security measures for Liquids, Aerosols and Gels (more information here). Some countries also prohibit the import of a variety of foods (more info).
Please note that in general, the leniency of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein with respect to dairy products may be relied upon in Australia, New Zealand, North America, the United Kingdom and South Africa. This leniency does not apply to Asia, and Africa.
If you stay at a hotel or motel with cooking facilities and wish to use non-Kosher ovens to reheat food, you may double wrap the meal in aluminium foil and place it within the oven. For microwaves, place the meal preferably in two plastic bags.
Kosher airline meals should be ordered in advance. As these meals are also heated in non-kosher ovens, the airline staff is instructed to heat these meals in the same manner that they were received; totally wrapped in double foil with the caterer's seal and the Rabbinic certification seal intact. These instructions should be prominently displayed on the meal. The traveller can therefore check that the seals are intact and the meal has not been tampered with. If the meal is not properly sealed it should not be eaten. The kosher certification only applies to the food in the sealed package.
Any other food (rolls, wines or liqueurs, cheeses, and coffee creamers or snacks) served loose are not included in the kosher endorsement, unless it is sealed and bears its own separate endorsement. It is preferable to avoid hot beverages on plane as the kettles may have been washed up together with non Kosher utensils. Similarly, unless you can identify the juices served, consume water or known soft drinks that are served in their original cans.
It is always preferable to avail oneself of a Kosher venue even for a plain cup of coffee. Where this is not feasible, within Australia ONLY, we have observed that black coffee from a dedicated coffee machine in disposable cups is acceptable.
One should ensure that the milk storage is separate to where the hot liquid coffee is stored. Due to the special blends of milk used widely, unless one has confirmed that regular milk is in use, frothing milk should not be used as it may contain non-Kosher ingredients.
Juice of raw fruits or vegetables (if they are each not subject to checking for infestation) that are crushed in a Juice Bar in front of the consumer in a clean juicer, without additives, and are dispensed in disposable cups or containers, may be used.
Grape juice is subject to the strict laws of “stam yaynom” and cannot be used if crushed in such circumstances - either for use on its own or as part of a fruit juice mixture – even if the process is watched by the Kosher consumer. Consumers should ensure that the blender is washed before use.