The consumption of Kosher cheeses is also subject to certain laws. The primary consideration involves the prohibition of mixing meat with dairy. Due to this guideline, cheeses mixed with meat or meat products cannot be considered Kosher. Although rennet can be obtained from animal sources, the enzyme does not qualify as meat and can, therefore, be used to make kosher cheeses. Some households follow this practice to a strict degree, often waiting for one to several hours in between eating meat and cheese, and using separate sets of dishes and utensils for meat and dairy foods.
The production of Kosher cheeses is largely affected by the use of rennet *, the enzyme that aids in the separation of milk curds from whey. Rennet is most commonly extracted from animal stomach linings, which makes cheese production open to incorporating non-Kosher sources. Cheeses must be made with rennet from Kosher animals, vegetables, or from microbial sources in order to be considered Kosher. In addition, animal-based rennet can only be considered Kosher if the source animals were slaughtered according to shechita, the traditional Jewish method of ritualistic slaughtering. In this regard, it is a commonly-accepted practice to have orthodox Jews present during cheese production to ensure the standards of kashrut are upheld; some branches of orthodox Judaism, particularly among Haredi Jews, go so far as to require it.
* Rennet is an extract from the fourth stomach of young ruminants, such as cows, goats, and sheep. It contains a number of enzymes that are designed to help these animals digest their mother’s milk, and when added to milk, it will cause the milk to coagulate, forming the curds and whey that are so essential in the cheesemaking process.
We take care of all Kosher cheese production in an establishment run by a non-Jew.
We send our Kosher supervisors who take care of the cleaning and all the procedure for making Kosher cheeses from supervised milk (H’alav Shamur).
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