IKU Behind the Scenes Kosher Arrangements
All foods at IKU are Bishul Yisrael. We have developed, commissioned and continuously monitor reliable robust systems that satisfy Halachic requirements for Bishul Yisrael. The photograph showing myself sealing the electric wall plug of a rice cooker, illustrates but one component of this system. We do not seal any wiring at the device since that is mostly illegal and dangerous besides, being exposed to the work area is likely to become worn, frayed or wet and then becomes a burden to maintain. We prefer to use the KISS system – Keep It Simple, St-p-d.
HARDWARE MODIFICATIONS FOR B.Y.
We have had all IKU’s rice cookers modified to our specifications to provide continuous heat via an electric heating element that runs 24/7 [there are also spare rice cookers that have been Kosher modified and are ready for instant use should one of those in use require replacement].
This system offers the IKU chefs complete control to cook the foods as and when they wish without need to call upon a Kosher supervisor. The chef operates the cooking device as normal, the Kosher modifications sit quietly in the background doing their job, and everybody is happy. The chef is not imposed upon, the Kosher arrangements are permanent, reliable and robust and most importantly, the consumers are assured of a failsafe Kosher system that permits them to eat Kosher at every IKU outlet, with perfect confidence.
All electric points at which the electric circuit may be broken [and they must be so due to safety legislation and concerns for OH&S] are sealed with tamper evident security. Any breach in this system is immediately identified and takes but a few minutes to repair.
Similar modifications have been made to the other cooking apparatus used by IKU.
scotching the nonsense
"You Aint Nothin Till You're Envied"
Our Mashgichim, locals from Sydney, as well as the IKU internal store manager, regularly verify the Kosher systems.
ADVANTAGES OF ITS KOSHER SYSTEMS
Bishul Yisrael is thus constant and continuous and not at all dependent upon human intervention. This is a far more reliable and preferred system than dependence upon a Mashgiach who may not arrive on time, whose late arrival will certainly not please the kitchen and shop staff which creates tension between the Kosher agency and the provider and is certainly the worst possible threat to successfully providing Kosher service. It is well documented that irate staff will deliberately compromise Kosher standards when they are treated with disrespect.
AVOIDING POTENTIAL STUFF-UPS
Even the best intentions cannot guarantee that a Kosher agency overcome the day to day vagaries of life, be they flat tires, traffic, illness, bad hair days, failed alarm clocks [even one of our Olympians failed to wake on time for her event] and overcrowded schedules. This leads unfortunately to tremendous temptation and tests that are sometimes beyond average human endurance.
This system also sidesteps the issue of providing Bishul Yisrael on Shabbos and Yom Tov.
SHABBOS AND YOM TOV
Nestle Peters, Keloggs, Cadburry, Sanitarium, Heinz etc etc etc. all manufacture foods 24/7. Their foods are Kosher, certified or approved with or without assistance from Kosher agencies [see London Beth Din FAQ and other major K orgs] notwithstanding that their foods are cooked on Shabbos and Yom Tov. The reason for this is that the foods are not cooked specifically for Jews. Even those facilities producing foods bearing a paid for, legitimate, Kosher seal, are not prepared specifically for the Kosher consumers; who are 0.01% of the target market. In Israel the case MAY be different, but even there a significant proportion is cooked for the Arabs and other non-Jews and may be permitted during Shabbos.
All foods and ingredients used by IKU are verified to be Kosher, be they Australian manufactured or imported. Furthermore, all ingredients that IKU wishes to consider using for R&D or for substituting present foods and ingredients, will be investigated at the very first steps of being considered.
SHARED K AND NON-K CROCKERY
IKU food outlets use dedicated crockery and cutlery. Request disposables at Chifley.
Dear Rav Rabi
I hope you had a meaningful fast. I am writing to you as a frum resident of Sydney's Eastern Suburbs in regards to the certification of IKU. The KA has posted up a warning that the standards of IKU are not acceptable to be trusted under your hasgacha. While I know that there have been ongoing problems I will admit that I do eat a number of things bearing your certification, however I do not eat out at establishments.
Perhaps if you could clarify, as a go between for IKU, the specific problems that the KA is referring to that IKU was unwilling to rectify in order to obtain KA certification (prior to being certified by yourself), then I could approach my own Rav to discuss with him his opinion on the matter and see if there is any common ground to be found that would permit me and my wife to eat at IKU.
With the love of Torah,
Shalom to you C,
May this year's fasting and mourning for the lost values of our Nation be our last; LeShana HaBaAh BiYeruShaLaYim.
I would gladly assist you if I but knew what concerns KAS have regarding the Kashrus of IKU, or any other establishments that I certify.
I appreciate your difficulty in approaching me in this delicate situation where you do not know me personally and can not know how I might respond in such matters that are sometimes highly charged and even a little explosive. I appreciate your respectful posture.
I know nothing from KAS nor from Reb M Gutnick about any of their concerns. If they would have contacted me, I would have already responded to them and would gladly forward that communication to you.
As a matter of Torah and business ethics and professionalism, we always inquire from prospective clients if they have had or presently have dealings with other agencies. We make it clear that we do not wish to gazump and that we do not want to know anything of the programs, costs and methods of our rivals. If by chance some information is dropped or alluded to, we at the very first opportunity will remind our clients that we are uncomfortable with the discussion.
I can assure you that I am a Charedi Yid. I learn 5 days a week from 8.30 to 1pm in Melbourne's premier Kollel situated in the ultra-orthodox congregation not 5 minutes walk from my home. I have been learning and teaching for over 30 years. I do not cut corners in my Yiddishkeit nor in the Kashrus I provide. I readily admit that I am an innovator but that all the innovation is within the boundaries of traditional Frum Halachic guidelines. I am in regular consultation with Rabbonim in the UK, US and EY.
IKU foods and ingredients have been audited for Kashrus. IKU uses bread from GMoses, Pas Yisrael; the rice cookers in all the stores have been modified to provide Bishul Yisroel through a dedicated internal electric heat lamp that is permanently wired in and is checked weekly. We have made similar modifications to the IKU main kitchen; and we have verified the system for Bedikas Tolaim, checking the veggies for insects that more than satisfies Halachic requirements.
I am happy to answer any further queries you or your friends may have and I am also happy to chat with Rabbi …… if he wishes to contact me.
Dear Rav Rabi, Thank you for your reply. Firstly I would like to ask that my name and Rav ……… not be included in any public discussion at this time.
Secondly, I would like to tell you that I have no interest in kashrut other than that of a frum yid and consumer of kashrut
I have certain problems with the way Kashrut is handled here. As you alluded to but did not explicitly say, I find that there is some politically charged and underlying issues that in my personal opinion have led to Kashrut in Sydney being a business first and a service to the community second. In saying this, the purpose of my enquiries are to try to bridge the issue, or otherwise even solve them (with the help of HKBH") so that Sydney Jews, including my family, can have better access to Kosher products.
In this regard, I have asked Rav Gutnick to specify the issues that the KA has with the certification of IKU and your hashgacha in general so that I can take that information, in conjunction with the information which you have just provided me, and approach Rav ……… for his opinion on the matter.
Thank you for your response and for working towards the broadening and furthering of the provision of Kashrut in Australia. May we merit the unification of our people so that next year we will be feasting instead of fasting.