ConAgra Foods has rejected allegations that its Hebrew National-brand products are not kosher.
According to a lawsuit filed by 11 consumers last month in a US district court in Minnesota, plaintiffs claimed that beef used to make the company’s hot dogs and other meats was not 100% kosher, and that it also failed to meet other kosher requirements. The suit claims that employees at a third-party kosher certification authority were fired or offered job transfers when they complained of non-kosher practices at the firm.
“Hebrew National products are kosher, and this lawsuit is without merit,” Hebrew National parent company ConAgra Foods said in a statement. “Hebrew National’s kosher status is certified by a well-recognized and authorized third-party. There is close rabbinical supervision of the food preparation process and packaging equipment. For more than 100 years, Hebrew National has followed strict dietary law, using only specific cuts of beef that meet the highest standards for quality, cleanliness, and safety with no by-products, artificial flavors, or artificial colors.”
Rabbi Ayeh Ralbag, rabbinical coordinator of the Triangle-K kosher certification authority, which oversees Hebrew National products, also issued a statement rejecting the allegations, calling them “outrageously false and defamatory”, and that they were made by “anonymous disgruntled individuals”.
Rabbi Ralbag said that Triangle K “has never reprimanded or subjected to retaliatory measures any employee who objected to the “slaughter of dirty cows.” Nor has the Triangle-K asked any employee “to look the other way” if he saw a violation of kosher laws.”
The plaintiffs are pushing for class action status for the complaint, to which ConAgra has until July 13 to respond.