Confused? OU-D? OU-D Cholov Yisroel?
Shailah of the Week by Rabbi Zvi Nussbaum
Rabbinic Coordinator, Kosher Hotline Administrator for the Orthodox Union
Some kosher dairy products under supervision by the OU are labeled OU-D, while others are labeled OU-D Cholov Yisrael. What's the difference? To clarify, here are the nuances between the different certification statuses:
- Milk has Chalav Yisrael status when the milking and bottling is done under the supervision of a reliable Jewish person who ensures that the milk comes only from a kosher animal. The OU follows the opinion of Rav Moshe Feinstein, zt”l, and others, that government inspection of dairies is equivalent to a mashgiach’s supervision, whereby the status of the milk from these dairies is halachically equivalent to that of Chalav Yisrael. (Read more about the kashrut requirement of Chalav Yisrael.)
- Not all poskim accept the position of Rav Moshe, and those who follow the more stringent opinion should only use OU products which are specifically labeled “OU-D Cholov Yisroel,” an indication that the milking and bottling were supervised by a mashgiach.
- People who follow the opinion of the Chatam Sofer or who are of chasidish background tend not to eat from non- Chalav Yisrael equipment. Others follow the more lenient opinion of Rav Henken, zt”l, who allowed food cooked on clean non- Chalav Yisrael (colloquially known as “chalav stam”) equipment. The OU advises consumers to ask their personal rabbis for guidance in this matter.
If uncertain about a particular certification status, feel free to call the OU Kosher office at 212-613-8241 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.