What this symbol that’s on nearly half of your food actually means

The Hechsher, or the  marking on many common food items, is a signifier that the food is certified kosher. There are various symbols that appear on food packaging. The symbols differ depending on which kosher organization has certified the food and the contents of the food. The small letters next to kosher symbols signify if the food is dairy, meat, pareve (neither dairy nor meat), or kosher for Passover. You can find the Ⓤ on Oreos, Coca-Cola, and many other items people purchase regularly.

#FACTS Some non-food products also have to be certified kosher, like aluminum foil which in the past was manufactured by using rollers coated with lard. Even if this isn’t the case today, manufacturers like Reynolds like to have the OU symbol as some consumers have concerns about items that touch their food. Other non-food examples where kosher applies include dishwasher soap and Brillo pads.

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