The Kosher Australia help desk fields thousands of calls each year from consumers. The most frequently requested information concerns where to purchase products listed in the Kosher Australia Food Guide. Kosher Australia's main role is in the certification of Kosher products, but not their manufacturer nor where they are stocked. However, to assist the consumer, the Food Guide gives contact details for less well-known brands.
In general, kosher products may be found at a number of venues:
- Kosher specialty retailers (please refer to the Travellers' Guide). Please note that not every product sold at these retailers is acceptable. See the shopping tips below about selecting Kosher products.
- Selected supermarkets that maintain specialty Kosher sections, although they make genuine mistakes on occasion.
- Many of the products listed in the Food Guide are mainstream products that are also Kosher certified and may be found in the main aisles of supermarkets.
- Health food sections of supermarkets, eg. Vege Chips.
- Select products are sold through greengrocers exclusively, eg. Berry King.
- If you you cannot find a product listed in the Food Guide, contact the manufacturer. You will not only find out where the product is available but you will also indicate to the manufacturer that there is demand for kosher.
Some Kosher Shopping Tips
- A 'K' on packaging does not mean that the product is reliably kosher unless this symbol is clearly specifically defined as representing a reliable authority e.g. Vegemite.
- Hebrew writing on a product does not mean that the product is kosher.
- Not all Israeli products are kosher.
- Not all Kosher authorities are recommended. Please check the list of recommended Kosher authorities.
- Where a specific symbol, for example the Kosher Australia logo, is noted in the Food Guide comments, the symbol must be present on the packaging signifying that the product is part of a Kosher batch.
- Do not judge the Kosher status of a product based on ingredient listing on packaging unless this is instructed in the guide e.g. raw nuts. Not every ingredient is listed and the packaging gives no indication of other products made on the same equipment.
- Just because you see a product at someone's home does not mean that it is acceptable. People make genuine mistakes.
- Do not take the word of shop employees that the product is Kosher. Ask to see a copy of the Kosher certificate for that product sold in Australia.
- Carefully check products on shelves marked 'Kosher' as non-Kosher products may be inadvertently placed there. Remember that customers might move products around.
- Check the Food Guide's comments column for specific restrictions e.g. "must be product of..."