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Pint of Ice Cream Israel's Chief Rabbinate calls for ban of 'non-kosher' Haagen-Dazs

from the Daily Telegraph (UK):
Israel's Chief Rabbinate calls for ban of 'non-kosher' Haagen-Dazs
To the dismay of Israeli ice cream lovers, Haagen-Dazs may soon be disappearing from Israeli supermarket shelves following an announcement from the Chief Rabbinate banning the product.
By Phoebe Greenwood in Tel Aviv

6:07PM GMT 15 Jan 2012

A notice issued last week by the kashrut, a rabbinical body that sets Jewish dietary law, states that because Haagen-Dazs ice cream is made with real milk it is not suitable for Jewish consumers.

According to Talmudic law, milk produced by non-Jews can only be consumed if it is produced under Jewish supervision to ensure it has not been contaminated with milk from non kosher animals. There is thought to be less chance of contamination with powdered milk.

As long as Haagen Dazs continues to use real milk, it will be off the menu for Jewish consumers. Selling the ice cream in kosher stores and restaurants also constitutes "a severe infringement of kashrut procedures".

"If the management of any chain insists on selling them [Haagen Dazs products] it is possible that 'kashrut [license] withdrawal' may be enacted against them, according to the law," the notice read.

In a country where half the population sticks to a kosher diet, the announcement will guarantee a sizeable drop in sales for the iconic New York brand. Israeli's spend around 30 million on ice cream annually, outside of ice cream parlours.

Israel's largest supermarket chain Shufersal has already pulled the product off the shelves in all 270 of its stores. On Sunday a Shufersal representative confirmed they would not be selling the ice cream for the foreseeable future.

General Mills, which markets Haagen-Dazs in Israel, has hit back claiming its product has been sold in Israel and enjoyed by Jewish consumers across the world for years bearing kosher certification from the Orthodox Union in the US.

Why the ban has been issued now remains unclear. The rabbinate claim their notice about Haagen Dazs has been issued several times previously but gone unheeded, recommending Israelis turn to home-made kosher ice creams to fill the gap.

"There's enough choice here that we don't need to rely on this leniency," Rafi Yochai of the kashrut told the Jerusalem Post. Jewish Haagen-Dazs lovers, Yochai advised, would simply have to adapt: "Love God more than ice cream."
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haagen-dazs, israel, kashrut, kosher, religious authorities

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