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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Clearing Up the Budweiser Kashrus Issue

I was going to write an introduction to this e-mail from the CRC (Chicago Rabbinical Council), explaining why anyone would have even thought of this, but it looks like the e-mail says it all. (I will add that Ezzie asked me to post this :-P)

Chicago Rabbinical Council
2701 West Howard Street
Chicago, IL 60645

(773) 465-3900 Fax: (773) 465-6632

Rabbi Sholem Y. Fishbane: Kashruth Administrator - fishbane@crcweb.org
Rabbi Dovid Cohen: Administrative Rabbinic Coordinator - dcohen@crcweb.org

Anheuser-Busch Beer Products

Mott's, a division of Dr Pepper/Snapple Group, sells a beverage called Clamato which contains clam powder, and Anheuser-Busch recently introduced a beverage called Chelada which is a mixture of Budweiser beer and Clamato. In recent months, Kashrus Magazine wrote that since Chelada is tunnel pasteurized on the same equipment as other beer products, the public should avoid all Budweiser products until the process is "inspected by a competent kashrus expert". [While investigating the issue of Chelada, we also became aware of a related issue stemming from another Anheuser-Busch product called "Bud Light Lime"].

The cRc, which certifies many items produced in the same plant as the Clamato, investigated this concern via visiting the plants where Clamato and Chelada are produced, reviewing formulas, extensive discussions with the companies, and independent research. The following are our conclusions:
  • Anheuser-Busch beers sold in bottles are free and clear of any concerns.
  • Dr Pepper has already made changes to the production of the Clamato used in Chelada, without changing its basic recipe, so that Anheuser-Busch beers sold in cans will also be acceptable.
  • The kosher status of Anheuser-Busch beers are not affected by the Bud Light Lime beverage bottled on shared equipment.
The rationale for these conclusions are beyond the scope of this statement, and will be presented to kashrus professionals at their AKO Conference to be held on November 13, 2008. A more detailed version of this statement, is posted on the cRc website, www.crcweb.org.

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