Recently, Yeh! frozen yogurt and cafe opened a branch in Cavendish Mall, and its popularity has soared, with students from Bialik and residents pouring in to enjoy the frozen yogurt offered on hot summer days.
In social media, the questions started pouring in. Does Yeh! have a Hechsher? If not, can the Kashrus be relied on?
Bill613.com received several emails asking us to look into this, and we spoke to someone from Yeh! as well as Rabbi Saul Emanuel from the MK Hashgacha.
“If you walk into the Yeh! of Cavendish mall, there is a binder with Kosher certificates or cutouts from the box showing the kosher signs of all our ingredients,” says our source, “as well, we have signs posted next to all our machines stating clearly that we are not under Rabbinic supervision, but all ingredients used in this location are kosher.”
As a matter of fact, sources have told bill613.com that Yeh! approached the Vaad Ha’ir to be certified, and the only issue holding Rabbinical supervision from taking place was the fact that the owners are Jewish and the store would be open on Shabbos.
Rabbi Emanuel stresses the importance of an establishment having a Hechsher. “The point” he says “is that when a product or place requires Kosher certification (a Hechsher), the place or product cannot be used unless there is someone supervising on a constant basis, with various Kashrus rules and regulations in place, due to the many facets involved. Consumers must feel comfortable that there is a reliable Kashrus agency monitoring what is coming in to the facility or establishment with drop in, unannounced inspections on an ongoing basis which is a guarantee that an owner cannot guarantee. An establishment telling consumers that they are only using Kosher ingredients gives no protection to consumers as there is no one reliable, monitoring as to what is truly happening in the establishment. There must be ongoing Hashgacha.”
Hashgacha on a place such as Yeh! would entail a Kashrus supervisor who would drop in at any time to inspect the ingredients. With the lack of even a drop in Mashgiach, and the fact that it’s open on Shabbos, the MK does not consider Yeh! to be a kosher establishment.
Yossi H, a professional Mashgiach who has worked for various Kashrus organizations over the years explains further.”If every restaurant just hung signs in their stores displaying the kosher signs from their products, there would be no need for massive Hashgachos like the MK and the COR. The reason we have the MK is for people to know that there is someone taking responsibility for the Kashrus of the establishment.”
We encourage Yeh! to look into whether it would be beneficial to close their Cavendish location on Shabbos in order to receive kosher certification.
By Zvi Hershcovich