Kosher certification agency sues JetBlue, saying it falsely put its stamp on snack

JTA — One of the United States’ largest kosher certifying agencies alleges that JetBlue airlines sold a snack it falsely claimed was certified as kosher.

In a lawsuit filed last Thursday, Kof-K said JetBlue put the agency’s hechsher, or rabbinical approval symbol, on an artichoke snack that the agency never certified as kosher.

The company that makes the artichoke snack, Elma Farms, was not named in the lawsuit. A JetBlue spokesperson told Reuters on Friday the airline is investigating the claims. An attorney for Kof-K declined to comment to Reuters.

There are approximately 1,400 kosher certifying agencies around the world, but in the United States, the “Big Five” — the Orthodox Union (OU), Organized Kashrut Laboratories (OK), Kof-K, Star-K, and the Chicago Rabbinical Council (CRC) — certify more than 80% of the country’s kosher food products. Kof-K started certifying food as kosher in the early 1970s.

JetBlue’s $9 Mediterranean-inspired vegan snack box also included products certified kosher by the Orthodox Union, the Kashruth Council of Canada and EarthKosher.

This is not the first legal action taken against an airline relating to their provision of kosher food this year. In Brazil, a judge awarded plaintiffs $1,759 after they filed a complaint against American Airlines alleging that they were denied kosher food on board.

Other airlines that have gotten into legal trouble with the Jewish community in recent months also include Lufthansa and Delta, both for refusing to board Orthodox Jewish passengers for different reasons.

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