General Commonly Asked Questions

Kosher SA, a division of the UOS (Union of Orthodox Synagogues) is the organization that oversees the supervision and production of kosher food in South Africa. Kosher SA maintains two offices, one in Johannesburg and one in Cape Town. The MD of Kosher SA is Rabbi Dovi Goldstein (no relation to the Chief Rabbi) and Kosher SA has a staff compliment of over 40 people, including Rabbinic Coordinators (RCs), Rabbinic Field Representatives (RFR’s), admin staff, food technologists, and more. In addition, we manage the ongoing certification of over 120 mashgichim. The halachic standards and oversight of Kosher SA are set by the SA Beth Din, consisting of Dayanim Dovid Baddiel (JHB), Gidon Fox (JHB), Yoel Smith (JHB/CT) and Matthew Liebenberg (CT).

Kosher SA has an advanced data management system called KIMS, which it uses to store information about all the companies and products under its certification. We certify over 1300 companies and tens of thousands of products. There are also 80 food services, such as bakeries, butcheries, restaurants, delis, and caterers, who are under Kosher SA certification (known in Hebrew as a “hechsher”).

The internationally accepted reputation of Kosher SA has led to South Africa becoming a major tourist attraction for kosher visitors who are amazed at the sheer variety of products and food services available relative to the size of our Jewish community. August and December are the major months for kosher tourism to Cape Town as thousands of visitors, mostly from Israel, USA and the UK descend upon the city for delicious (and inexpensive) kosher delights!

The UOS of Johannesburg and the UOS of Cape Town are separate legal entities that operate independently under their own chairmen and boards. Over the last few years, the two organisations have increased collaborative efforts, including Kosher SA and unifying under a national Beth Din. This brings improved efficiencies and ensures the same standard of kashrut nationally under one hechsher. The development of a unified national kosher infrastructure and systems has brought much improvement and efficiency in running our internationally recognised hechsher. This enables us to drive our mission of more people eating kosher more often. 

Please see the following lists of other kosher agencies. For any hechsher not listed here, feel free to contact us.

Dual certification is when two hechsherim work in partnership to certify a specific product. Both hechshers may appear on the label. It is with great pride that Kosher SA can offer dual certification together with OU Kosher (the world’s largest and most respected Kosher agency). Our team works in partnership with the OU on relevant applications, with dual ingredient checking, initial inspections, and implementation of Kosher protocols. This is particularly useful for products manufactured for export, as the OU enjoys the largest global recognition of any hechsher. 

As a country, we are fortunate to have tens of thousands of certified kosher products with our logo available on shelves across the country. The community is our eyes and ears on the ground and may very well spot a labeling error on the packaging before we do at Kosher SA. 

We have a dedicated email for community members to send this kind of information through to our team. If you come across any product that bears our logo and seems unauthorised, please email with a photograph and details of the packaging and we will investigate. 

Where issues of mislabelling do occur, we work with the manufacturers to address the issue to ensure it doesn’t happen again and we notify the community. Unfortunately, errors like these do occur from time to time all around the world. When we become aware of these errors, we typically take the following remedial action: 

  1. We notify the community via our communication channels.
  2. We contact the company in question to remedy the situation by recalling the products from the shelves and in some cases, we require that our logo be covered on the packaging.
  3. In rare cases where there is a deliberate misuse of our hechsher, more serious action may be necessary.

There are a variety of reasons why a product may sometimes appear without our hechsher as follows:

  • Company policy doesn’t allow for additional logos on their packages.
  • An error on the design packaging.
  • The product without the hechsher is manufactured in a non-certified plant.
  • The product without the hechsher is an old batch that was manufactured prior to certification.

The KLBD have a great explanation on their website as follows:

“A company which is kosher certified has regular factory audits by highly trained Rabbinical Inspectors and they are bound by a legal contract to conform to suppliers and processes agreed with the KLBD. Many certified products bear the KLBD logo on the packaging but there are some certified products which don’t have the logo. This is a decision taken by the company and does not undermine the kosher certification in any way.

Products which are approved for listing in the guide have been investigated by our food technologists and approved based on information received from the manufacturers. The investigations are carried out mainly by correspondence and cover ingredients, processing aids and shared use of manufacturing equipment.

It is preferable, whenever possible, to buy products with a hechsher.”

Should you need clarity on a specific product sold in South Africa, please contact KLBD directly at or on their Facebook page, klbdkosherdirect

Unfortunately the reality is that it is a lot more costly for companies to slaughter and process kosher chickens and meat vs non-kosher chickens and meat, both locally and internationally. This is due to a number of reasons; the small scale production (i.e. in SA, 500,000 kosher chickens are slaughtered per YEAR vs. 3 million non-kosher chicken per DAY), the extra cost to shecht by a qualified Shochet, supervise salting and kashering and the extra labour required in plucking without a hot water plucking machine (as required by Halacha).

As Kosher SA, our role is to provide certification and oversee that the highest kosher standards are being met. We charge a minimal fee for the inspections in the facilities and we do our utmost to ensure our costs are kept very low, but at the end of the day we do not control the price of kosher chickens or meat on the shelves. This is entirely up to the manufacturers and retailers.

Product Questions

Cadbury’s Chocolate must be listed on the website AND be made in SA / Swaziland. Cadbury UK is not a kosher-certified facility.

The following Cadbury Chocolates are kosher certified *Dairy* when *produced in South Africa:*

Search Results

CADBURY ASTROS (not the bar)
CADBURY CHOCOLATE ECLAIRS (produced in Eswatini)

Special Edition bars are not currently kosher certified.

Airwaves, Orbit, Hubba Bubba, and Extra are all certified as Kosher by KF under one (or more) of these conditions:

1) The KF logo is clearly displayed on the original packaging.


2) The product label indicates it was produced in Poznan (Poland), Beishem (France), or Plymouth (UK).


3) The product carries a code that either starts with 01 or 50, or includes “1FK”.

The following Lindt Chocolate slabs manufactured in France, Germany, Switzerland and Italy are kosher Dairy.

These are the ONLY Dairy slabs approved by us.

  • Swiss White Chocolate
  • Swiss Classic Milk Chocolate
  • Swiss Dark Chocolate
  • Excellence Extra Creamy Milk
  • Excellence Mild 70% Cocoa
  • Excellence 78% Cocoa

The following slabs manufactured in France, are the ONLY slabs which are Parev:

  • Excellence Dark Chocolate 70%
  • Excellence Dark Chocolate 85%
  • Excellence Dark Chocolate 90%
  • Excellence Dark Chocolate 99%

We unfortunately have no information on any other Lindt products.

The original Kikkoman Naturally/Traditionally Brewed Soy Sauce is certified by Kosher Australia without a stamp if it’s made in Singapore.

Other Kikkoman products from Singapore are NOT kosher certified. (eg: less salt soya sauce, low salt soya sauce, less sodium soya sauce, low sodium soya sauce, sushi and sashimi soy sauce and the teriyaki sauce)

(New to SA)
The Original Naturally/Traditionally Brewed Soy Sauce, Less Salt Soy Sauce, Ponzu Lemon, Tamari Gluten Free are certified by KLBD without a stamp if it’s made in Netherlands

All other Kikkoman products require a reliable hechsher.

All pasta produced in Italy with the ingredients being only durum wheat semolina (including whole wheat or spelt) and water, is approved as kosher by all Kashrus Authorities even if it does not have kosher certification on the packaging. [Excluding cous cous]

All other pastas can be queried on a case-by-case basis.

Technically raw unprocessed honey doesn’t require certification. However, honey is often adulterated with other syrups (despite the labelling) and therefore it is not recommended unless you know the source of the honey or it has a hechsher.

Sweeteners require kosher certification, excluding pure Xylitol, which is okay without a hechsher.

Any plain brown or white sugar produced in South Africa is fine to use as all are certified. Coconut Sugar does not require a hechsher.

Only when bearing a reliable hechsher on the packaging.

Fruits & Vegetables etc.

Our policy is that there is no issue of bishul Akum as the food is not עולה על שלחן מלכים, that is, the type of food you would serve to nobility, such as a nice piece of meat, fish etc. These canned foods are simple vegetables, some of which can be eaten raw and even those that cannot, are not the type of food one would serve nobility. The fact that they could be an ingredient in a main dish is irrelevant as they would not be served independently.
See סימן קיג

In general, tinned products require a reliable certification. In addition, even if they come with a hechsher, sometimes further checking is required for infestation. (See Fruit & Veg checking guide)

This excludes plain tinned whole and diced tomatoes produced in Italy, which are now okay without a hechsher.

After researching locally and consulting with other global kashrut agencies, we are glad to advise that all plain tinned whole and diced tomatoes produced in Italy are now okay without a hechsher.

Ready-cut fruits and vegetables may be bought from any reputable supplier without kosher certification.

The above excludes leafy vegetables, herbs, and fruit which require additional checking for infestation.

When bought from Pick ’n Pay, Woolworths, Shoprite Checkers or Food Lovers Market, ready-cut “sharp” items such as onion and radish may also be purchased. When bought from suppliers other than those listed above, one should avoid “sharp” items. Additionally, crushed garlic (even without any additives) requires kosher certification.

<li>Baby Cauliflower / Caulilini: Can be checked using the Micro-Cloth method.</li>
<li>Baby Broccoli / Tenderstem Broccoli: Can be checked using the Micro-Cloth method.</li>
<li>Broccoli florets: May not be used.</li>
<li>Frozen Cauliflower: May not be used.</li>

Fresh / Frozen blueberries do not require a hechsher.
However, frozen mulberries, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries require a hechsher.

If they are raw, dry, with NO additives, they would be okay without a hechsher. However, certain legumes still require further checking. (See Fruit & Veg checking guide)

If they are raw, dry, with NO additives, they would be okay without a hechsher. However, certain grains still require further checking. (See Fruit & Veg checking guide)



  • Kosher consumers may purchase kosher frozen or fresh fish species (even without a hechsher) from one of the large companies e.g. I&J, Sea Harvest, Atlantic, Woolworths, PNP etc. even without skin on.
  • Fish without skin would not be considered mehadrin (except for salmon, which is considered mehadrin even without skin due to its unique colouring).
  • All processed fish e.g. fried fish, chopped herring, snoek salad, smoked fish etc. may only be consumed as kosher when bearing a reputable hechsher.


    When buying fish from a fishmonger without kosher certification, ensure it is kosher by following these rules:

  • It is often not sufficient to go by the name of the fish alone (as names are often interchangeable with various kosher and non-kosher species).
  • See that there is the skin on at least one side and check for kosher scales.
  • Not all scales are kosher; they must come off easily without damaging the skin when the fish is brushed or when you run your fingernail along the side of the fish in the opposite direction to the way the scales are pointing.
    Scales that require a tool for removal or damage the skin are not kosher.
  • The fish doesn’t need to be entirely covered in scales, but some must be present.
  • Once you confirm the fish is kosher, the fishmonger can clean and cut it using their own utensils.
    • It is recommended to rinse the fish well before use.

Kosher fish is halachically defined as having fins and scales. When purchasing from a non-kosher certified fishmonger, please remember the following.
It is not sufficient to go by the name of the fish alone and ideally you should check as follows:

  • You should see skin on at least one side of the fish and check for kosher scales.
  • Not all scales are kosher. Kosher scales come off the fish easily and without breaking the skin when the fish is brushed or when you run your fingernail along the side of the fish in the opposite direction to the way the scales are pointing.
  • If the scales need an implement to remove them or if they cannot be removed without damaging the skin of the fish they are not kosher.
  • The fish does not have to be covered with scales, but you have to find some scales on the fish.

There are thousands of varieties of fish and it would be almost impossible to list them all. To assist the kosher consumer, we have listed the most popular species which are commonly found in South Africa.
Fresh and Frozen Fish

  • Albacore
  • Anchovies
  • Angelfish
  • Bream
  • Butterfish
  • Carp
  • Euthynnus Tuna
  • Haddock
  • Hake
  • Herring
  • Kabeljou
  • Kingklip (see more detail below)
  • MaasBanker
  • Mackerel
  • Pilchards
  • Red Roman
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Seventy Four
  • Skipjack Tuna
  • Snoek (South African)
  • Sole
  • Steenbras
  • Stock Fish
  • Stump Nose
  • Tongol Tuna
  • Trout
  • Tuna
  • Yellowfin Tuna

Smoked Fish – (Only with a reputable hechsher)

  • Angelfish
  • Butterfish
  • Haddock
  • Moonfish
  • Salmon
  • Snoek
  • Trout

Even though fish is considered Parev, Jewish law forbids the cooking, serving and eating of fish and meat together.

Published with permission from the SA Jewish Report

ON SCALE OF PROBABILITIES, KINGKLIP SHOULD BE kosher The perplexed question as to whether South African kingklip (Genypterus capensis) is kosher or not, was aired and dissected in detail by the head of the Cape Beth Din’s kashrut department, Rabbi Desmond Maizels at a meeting in Johannesburg recently. For fish to be declared kosher, it had to have scales…

CAJE (the Johannesburg College of Adult Jewish Education) hosted Rabbi Maizels, rabbi of Camps Bay Shul in Cape Town, dayan of the Cape Beth Din and head of its kashrut department, a mohel and shochet, to speak on the vexed issue.

Rabbi Maizels said he had been surprised at being invited to speak on this subject, as when he prepared for the talk, he made several overseas enquiries and had invariably been referred back to either Rabbi Yossi Salzer or Rabbi Yitchak Levenstein, who are both based in Johannesburg.

Said Rabbi Maizels on “the kingklip issue”: “According to the Torah, the requirement for a fish to be kosher is that ‘everything that has a fin and scale in the water is kosher’.” The rabbis realised that if fish have scales, then they have fins, and so scales become the main determinate.

The word “scale” is in the singular, which implies that in fact only one scale is necessary in order to make a fish kosher. Therefore, it is not a requirement for the fish to be covered with scales.

One major problem with kingklip, is that the scales are very difficult to find. There are three reasons for this: the scales are small and very thin; a very thin skin covers the scales; and the kingklip skin is covered with a thick slime; the latter prevents the fish’s skin from being ripped as it swims between rocks.

Scales can also always be found on the kingklip’s cheek, if not on their bodies, which holds true for many other fish as well. But some antagonists claim that the scales are too thin to be considered scales as such. However, the Torah does not specify the necessary size of the scale, so even if the scale is really thin, as long as it is present and can be seen with the naked eye, the fish is still considered to be kosher.

Scientifically, fish scales are divided into four types, namely the cycloid and ctenoid scales, which are generally kosher, the ganoid scales, of which some are kosher and some treif, and lastly the placoid scale, which is definitely treif.

After a sample of the scale was sent to an expert, the scales of a kingklip were found to be cycloid scales, which are known to come off easily.

Another kosher requirement is that one has to be able to remove the scales without damaging the fish’s skin. Some people viewed this as a problem, as they believed the kingklip’s scales to be an outgrowth of its skin. However, this is not true, and the scales come off without any damage to the fish.

There are four claims that have been made against kingklip. Firstly, there is the worry of “sichsuch”, that the fish is not kosher because if you run your finger nail one way over the kingklip it is smooth, and if you run your finger nail the other way, your nail still does not get caught on the scales.

“Sichsuch” is not required by all rabbis and is not a requirement in Shulchan Aruch. Secondly, some are concerned that the kingklip’s scales do not fulfil the same function as a klipah (shell or skin), as on a fruit or nuts, which brings up the question of whether scales have therefore to protect fish or not. The Ramban says that scales help to rid the fish of impurities in the body, just as kidneys do with humans. Humans can survive with a small percentage of one kidney functioning, and so fish can also survive with few scales.

This means that scales – according to the Rambam – protect fish health-wise. Thirdly, people believe them to be non-kosher because their scales are soft and do not resemble fingernails – a description used by some commentators. However, the Torah does not say that scales have to be thick. Finally, there is the concern that there is a large resemblance between eels and Kingklip, and because all eels are non-kosher, by inference, the kingklip must also be treif. However, the two do not really look alike. (Eels look like snakes, while kingklips look more like traditional fish).

A similar problem – mentioned in the Talmud – was once brought to Rav Ashi, but he only looked at the scales, not the similarities, and pronounced that fish kosher.

Rabbi Bakshi Doron, former Israeli Sephardi chief rabbi, summarised the kashrut problem with eels saying that since many more species are non-kosher than kosher, it could lead to confusion, hence all should be regarded as treif.

Within the animal kingdom, there are categories and sub-categories into which everything is divided, namely by: kingdom; phylum; class; order; family; genus; and species.

The eels and kingklips are in two completely different orders. The eel is in the anguilliformes order, while the kingklip is in the perciformes order. So they are not “related” at all.

According to the South African Beth Din, the kingklip is kosher. However, since there are some who still view kingklip as being “problematic”, it has been classified as “not Mehadrin”. For those who are mehadrin, the question of whether utensils that have been used for kingklip are kosher or not, depends on their personal rabbi’s opinion.

Rabbi Maizels listed several fish fromaround the world which had “traditionally” been accepted as treif, but on re-examination by kashrut organisations like the OU over the past six years have been found to be kosher.

He firmly believes that in time to come the kingklip would too enjoy universal acceptance. The only reason why kingklip should be regarded as treif”, Rabbi Maizels concluded, “is because it is outrageously expensive!”.


We cannot comment on the kosher status of coffee shops that are not under our certification, however, plain coffee or tea in a paper or glass cup would be acceptable. Milk must be kosher certified, and any plain sugar can be used. Sweeteners require kosher certification, excluding pure Xylitol, which is okay without a hechsher.

Plain coffee grounds (including pods) and freeze-dried coffee (including Decaf) with NO flavourants and NO additives do not require a hechsher.

Black and herbal teas are fine to use as long as they have NO flavourants and NO additives. Eg, Chamomile, Green Tea, Mint (leaves) tea, Ceylon etc..

Citrus fruits often have “scale insects” on the peel. Usually measuring about 1.5mm, these black or brown deposits generally come off when pressing a fingernail against their side. Even if you don’t eat the peel, the insects often come off in the process of cutting, peeling or squeezing.

If citrus is not properly cleaned before the juicing process, there is a high chance of the scale insect becoming dislodged from the skin during squeezing and falling into the juice.

Based on this, we recommend that one should not buy freshly squeezed citrus juice without a hechsher.

Industrial citrus juice, which has cleaning procedures to keep a high quality final-product, contains no scale insects and is fine to consume.

All still and sparkling water is okay to drink as long as there are no additives and flavourants. However, soda water differs and requires kosher certification.


All alcohol produced in SA requires a reputable hechsher. The reason being is that alcohol tankers are often shared with grape / wine products or derivatives.

Please see our general policies on imported alcohol below.

Since the majority of alcohol is not produced in South Africa, we rely extensively on information from other kosher agencies worldwide.

For a more extensive list please see the following:

All unflavoured beer that comes from major suppliers are approved (including Alcohol-Free variants). Craft and flavoured beer requires a reputable hechsher.

Requires a reputable hechsher, as these are grape-based.

All unflavoured gin produced and bottled outside of SA is kosher, with the exception of any gins that contain grapes, wine, milk, lactose or whey. All flavoured gins require kosher certification.

All unflavoured rum (including Dark Rum) produced and bottled outside SA is kosher unless they are aged in sherry or wine casks.

All unflavoured tequila produced and bottled in Mexico is acceptable in blanco, anejo and reposado varieties unless they are aged in sherry or wine casks.

All unflavoured vodkas produced and bottled outside SA are kosher, with the exception of any vodkas that contain grapes, wine, milk, lactose or whey. All flavoured vodkas require kosher certification.

Requires a reputable hechsher. Vineyards may produce both kosher and non-kosher varieties, so please check for the hechsher on the bottle.

  • Scotch – Our policy is that all Scotch whisky that is produced and bottled in Scotland is approved. **
  • American – Our policy is that all American whisky that is produced and bottled in America is approved. **
  • Japanese – Our policy is that all non-blended Japanese Single malt whiskeys are approved.
  • Irish – Our policy is that all Irish whiskeys that are produced and bottled in Ireland are approved. **
  • Indian Whiskey – Not approved.

** Sherry / Port / Wine Casks – However, there are some opinions that are stringent and do not accept whiskeys that are aged in port, wine or sherry casks.


Collagen requires a reputable hechsher. We certify a fish-based collagen called Colla-Genie. We are not aware of any suitable kosher bovine collagen currently available in South Africa.

There are 3 flavours (strawberry, vanilla & chocolate) of Ensure that are now kosher certified by the OU.

When manufactured in Denmark, production date from 1 March 2022 and onwards are OU kosher. Older stock produced in Zwolle Netherlands is OU kosher from any date.Whilst the OU do not formally certify Ensure for Passover, they allow its use on Passover for those who require it.

Pediasure is now being imported from Abbot Singapore and is not kosher certified. Please consult a medical professional and/or Rabbi for further assistance.
Older stock produced in Zwolle Netherlands is OU kosher from any date, however, one may need to search through many tins to find it.

Still have unanswered questions?