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I know that where I live, some foods don't need kosher certification. But most do.

Say I go to a reliable bulk food store, ask to see the original bucket that a certain food came in, see a reliable hechsher, and buy the food.

Now, weeks or years later, I want to buy more of the same food. Does Halacha require me to ask to see the current label again every time I buy more?

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unforgettableid, welcome to Judaism.SE, and thanks very much for this interesting question! I look forward to seeing you around. –  Isaac Moses Jan 31 '12 at 22:17
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As always, for practical halacha, consult your rabbi; answers here can help you discuss the issue with him intelligently. –  msh210 Jan 31 '12 at 22:19
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I'm going to guess that if it's a product they could easily buy a different brand of, then you have to check about once per how long you estimate it will take them to finish the current supply. Also, I guess you can trust them to tell you they bought the same brand as long as they don't know why you are asking. –  Double AA Jan 31 '12 at 22:25
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How about when you go to a pizza store - Do you have to check the letter of certification each time? –  Gershon Gold Feb 1 '12 at 1:29
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@GershonGold recommended to be asked as another question. –  Hacham Gabriel Feb 1 '12 at 2:23
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1 Answer 1

Based on the types of food mentioned, I would suspect that the Halakhah differs for each one. Regarding bulk candy specifically, the Star K says:

Bulk & Repacked Candies: Today, a more economical way of purchasing favorite sweet treats is at the bulk food section of your supermarket, or in convenient repackaged cellophane bags. Often when purchasing candies in bulk, the individual candies remain wrapped in their foil or cellophane units and can be identified as a Kosher candy. Some candies are loose and unwrapped. Unless the store has Kosher supervision, once the individual units leave the original packaging, the original Hechsher is no longer effective.

So regarding candy, they are taking a strict position, saying: once the individual units leave the original packaging, the original Hechsher is no longer effective.

I am guessing that you are wondering if there is any halakhah similar to the application of "rov" regarding a piece of meat. In today's food manufacturing and commercial environment, I don't think you can make any assumptions about what the contents of the bulk containers are from day to day. So, for any item requiring, I would say that you always have to check the original packaging of what's in the bin, and possibly, if following the Star K's advice, maybe even that is not good enough.

Of course, this is only a lay opinion, and you need to speak to your Rav to get psak halakhah.

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You might be reading too much into the Star K's position. They will always cover themselves and say that their hechsher is only in force when everything is completely sealed. That doesn't mean the owner can't be meisiach lefi tumo that it's the same stuff, especially if it looks exactly the same. –  Double AA Apr 24 '12 at 16:53
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@DoubleAA: Agreed. All reliance on hechsher for manufactured foods entails accepting some level of uncertainty. So it's really a question for the Rav and the person to determine what is acceptable. From what I understand of the "rov" rule for case of found meat - it makes the meat vadai kosher. But I don't know if that concept could be applied here (where there is reasonable certainty that the bulk container has the same as what's in the package). –  Sam Goldberg Apr 24 '12 at 17:16
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