Newspaper article The Canadian Press

CFIA Charges Company for Allegedly Selling Non-Kosher Cheese as Kosher

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

CFIA Charges Company for Allegedly Selling Non-Kosher Cheese as Kosher

Article excerpt

Charges laid over alleged fake kosher cheese

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TORONTO - A Toronto-area food manufacturer and distributor is facing criminal charges after allegedly trying to pass off ordinary cheese as a kosher product.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has laid five charges against Creation Food Co. and one of its officials, alleging the company forged documents to knowingly sell non-kosher cheddar cheese to Jewish summer camps in the summer of 2015.

The alleged forgery came to light when a kitchen manager at one of the two Ontario camps discovered irregularities in the labelling and paperwork related to the cheese, which had already been delivered to two Ontario camps.

An organization that certifies food as kosher in Canada alleges that Creation altered certificates in an effort to pass the cheese off as kosher when it was not.

Court documents show the CFIA laid charges against Creation and executive Kfir Sadiklar, alleging they created and used forged documents as well as unlawfully sold non-kosher food to the two camps.

Neither the CFIA nor Sadiklar responded to requests for comment.

The allegations against Creation and Sadiklar were levelled by the Kashruth Council of Canada, an organization that certifies food as kosher throughout Canada. The council is commonly known as COR, the same label applied to foods that have passed the company's certification process and have been deemed suitable for those following a kosher diet.

The word "kosher" comes from Hebrew and means "fit for use or fit for consumption," according to COR managing director Richard Rabkin.

It relates to a body of laws found in both the Bible and Talmud and is relied upon by many different groups in addition to the Jewish community including vegetarians, people of other faiths, those with certain allergies or others who simply prefer the fact that the food has gone through a third-party certification process.

Rabkin said the specific rules that dictate whether or not a food is considered kosher vary according to the product in question. Spinach may be deemed non-kosher if it has come into contact with insects, for instance, while cheese can only be considered kosher if a rabbi has personally poured in the enzyme that helps the product coagulate and then supervised the rest of production to make sure no non-kosher ingredients are included.

Creation received COR certification for its manufactured food, Rabkin said, but the company ran afoul of the certification criteria and lost its status in 2012 after numerous infractions.

The company continued to act as a distributor of other products that were certified kosher, which is how it resurfaced on COR's radar in 2015, Rabkin said.

COR's statement of claim alleges that Creation sold a batch of Gay Lea Foods' Ivanhoe Old Cheddar Cheese to both the Moshava and Northland B'nai Brith summer camps in June 2015. …

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