03 January 2006

Mike's Hard Lemonade...

I recently inquired to Mike's Hard Lemonade as to whether they are kosher or not. And the vague response...

Hey there Drew,

Thank you for taking the time to contact mike's hard lemonade with your question.

Although mike's hard lemonade products do not contain any inherently non-kosher ingredients such as animal derivatives or grape juice, we have not applied for kosher certification. Our products are produced at multiple sites throughout North America that are co-manufacturers for our products and are unable to make any claims as to what ingredients are or are not used in other products run on the same equiptment.

Have a great day and Make it Mike's!
So I don't know what's up with Mike's....

21 comments:

Meredith said...

I'm not sure what your point of confusion is. By normative Orthodox standards, it's clearly not kosher.

Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

why is it clearly not kosher?

there are many alcoholic beverages out there without hekhshers that are accepted as kosher by orthodox communities.

Drew_Kaplan said...

First of all, I've had to delete twice a comment made by someone calling themselves "Drew Kaplan." You may think it's funny to claim to be someone else, but it's not fair to the character of the person you claim to be, misrepresenting that person. In this case, that's me and I am so not cool with that.

Meredith,
How is it "clearly not kosher"? Which ingredients within Mike's are such? To which "normative Orthodox standards" are you referring? Steg's hit the nail on the head with his comment.

Anonymous said...

What Steg is right about is that they are accepted as such bu the Orthodox community. That acceptance is based upon knowledge. Here you have lack of knowledge. It isn't a question of having to know what ingredients are not permitted in order for the product to be prohibited, rather one need know that no such ingredients are included before the poduct is permissable.

Drew_Kaplan said...

Anonymous is also correct. I wanted to put up this posting for a couple of reasons, I know some people think that it is NOT kosher and know some people who are either unaware of its uncertain kashrut status, or drank it anyway. Hopefully, people will be just a little bit more informed about this topic, but it is unclear whether it is kosher or not - presumably why it has not yet been accepted as kosher.

Grey said...

Steg, I don't like that sort of deceptive reasoning. Yes, alcoholic beverages usually don't need hecshers, but the exception to that rule as your carefully worded post hints you already know, is flavored alcoholic beverages. The flavor opens up a whole different can of worms. Is it halachically not kosher? From the word of the company spokesperson it seems not, and I'd bet it's not either. But as many legit claims you can have against the OU, the system is a good idea just from an organizational standpoint. Whose word can we trust and in what context? Organizationally trusting your own man, a mashgiach, makes the most sense. It's not halacha, but it is the best method of keeping it on a large scale.

SS said...

It obviously is kosher. You have been informed by the company that there are no treif ingredients in it. The fact that other products might be made using the same equpment is irrelevant.

In the Lee of the Wind said...

I agree with the kosher status...bittle by sh'ishim

If it residual, it is not going to amount to anything when changing the flavor or texture.

Also, it is fairly complicated to switch over machinery. It is done rarely. And then clean the machinery in between, to FDA standards. This is not Like a seasoned pot which retains its oils of food.

Nor should you care about the oils that oil the machinery, they do not touch food.(just think about why...i isn't clean to do so, you use the oil to keep the machine clean and to trap dust.)



JMO...not that I am authoritative.

Anonymous said...

"It obviously is kosher. You have been informed by the company that there are no treif ingredients in it. The fact that other products might be made using the same equpment is irrelevant."

Not so simple -- on what basis is one allowed to believe a non-Jew in these matters? (Answer: one isn't allowed, period.)

SS said...

R. Moshe Feindstein in Iggerot Moshe, first vol. of Yoreh Deah says that you can absolutely believe the company when it tells you what ingredients are in the package. How does anonymous think people ate before all the hashgachot were createed in the last two generations. How does anonymous think people eat in Europe and elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

If you're referencing the "cholov hacompanie" psak of R' Moshe, this would be an erroneous extension of that psak. The FDA allows items that make up less that 2% of an items content to be omitted from a declaration of ingredients. This means that the govenrmental oversight isn't stringent enough for us to depend upon (2% isn't butul), unlike the case with oversite of milk.

SS said...

First of all, the teshuvah of R. Moshe refers to relying on a compnay to tell you that there is vegetable shortening not animal shortening. That's how every posek ruled until recently.

Second, it is absolutely false that less than 2 percent can be omitted from the ingredients according to the FDA. I don't know where this legend started. ALL ingredients (except for trace ingredients that are extremely tiny and have nothing to do with the food) must be included on the ingredients.

So anonymous, you are wrong one both counts.

Alexis said...

I've always heard/been told that the "trace" ingredients that the FDA is not required to list *is* anything less than 2%... of course, it's also extremely late and I don't feel like looking it up, so if you can find proof otherwise, please share it with us

SS said...

Alexis,

What can I say, you were told wrong. Just go to the FDA website. Go to kashrut.org's faq. If companies don't list everything they can be sued if someone is allergic etc.
the 2 percent business is false. Itis possible that 40 years ago it was true, I don't know, but it is false today. Somewhere I saw that if it's less than 2 percent the products don't need to be listed in the order of weight. I don't know if that's true.
see
http://vm.cfsan.fda.gov/%7Edms/flg-4.html

Anonymous said...

Kashrut.org.. Bwahahahahahaha.

Alexis aka Sister said...

ss-
The site that you linked to includes the statement about trace ingredients that "It depends on whether the trace ingredient is present in a significant amount and has a function in the finished food. If a substance is an incidental additive and has no function or technical effect in the finished product, then it need not be declared on the label." (#7) Which doesn't convince me that there's no part that isn't known/publicized. In addition, I searched and found in this US gov't bill dealing with alcoholic beverages section 2E stating that "The term `ingredient' shall not mean incidental or trace ingredients." ~ http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c103:H.R.1420.IH: In addition to this, I'm going to disagree with itlotw about the 1/60th thing because it does not apply in a continual accepted process, so even if it's only 1/1000 if it's something known about that is intentional it still isn't so kosher. Drew...just learn how to mix your own Mike's tasting stuff with known kosher ingredients!! Please?!?

Shaya said...

there's a difference between what a hasgacha is allowed to give a hasgacha to, and what is 100% perfectly ok b'dieved (i.e. after the fact).

SS said...

Alexis,

There is a machloket about how bittul works. The majority view does not seem to be in accordance with what you have stated. Many, many poskim state that even if the tiny amount is put in as part of the regular process, that it is still batel.

All ingredients, except fo rtrace ingredients, must be listed. That's exactly what both statements you cite say. If you hold like the view described in the previous paragraph, then it is all batel.

Anonymous said...

is it kosher for passover? i am desperate! long long long day at work
help

Anonymous said...

For the second time I have bought a "Best Of Mike's" and it did not have the flavors that it said on the outside of it be within? How can they sell a product and not have what is to be in it, in it?
I bought apple and got tea, bought berry and got cranberry. I'm getting pissed. I love the drink but I'm a simple man with simple needs. If I buy a drink I buy it because I want it. I'm not playing, "Guess what we think we put in this box!"

concerned said...

is alcohol kosher?