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I am trying to get some more insight into the Kashrus status of Yogurtland, and other similar frozen yogurt franchises. I know that many (if not all) of their flavors are listed on the KSA's website as Kosher, with the caveat that they are only certified when in the original sealed container, which- for obvious reasons- is near impossible to obtain in a retail setting.

I've corresponded with their corporate offices and been told that they are all franchises are required to obtain their product from the corporate factory. What I have been able to glean so far from a prominent Rav in LA is that he is OK with the U-Swirl chain, but not Menchie's, as their franchise models are fundamentally different.

I am not sure how this would apply to Yogurtland. In general, I am curious as to how much of these Psaks on Kashrus matters are founded in Halacha, and how much are based on the specific Rav's opinions and assumptions; for example - can a franchise store that is required by contract to obtain its product from one source be trusted to do so, or must we suspect that they might decide to find another, non-kosher supplier?

Is that a suspicion that is founded in halacha (such as the concept of Chazaka, or lack thereof), or is it purely that Rav's opinion on what liberties a company may or may not take? Would appreciate any insights.

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  • Welcome to MiYodeya Tzvi and thanks for this first question. Great to have you learn with us!
    – mbloch
    Jul 11, 2023 at 3:34

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I believe it is a mixture of both. There is a concept of לא מרע נפשיה which means that in situations where a non-Jew has a reputation for in a specific area, he will not want to ruin it for a minor potential gain.

This idea is used in many places in Halacha;

In regards to purchasing something that may be wine and is being sold as medical juice the S"A YD 114:5 says;

יין רמונים שמוכרים לרפואה מותר ללקחו מהתגר אפי' שלא מהחבית אע"פ שדמיו יקרים מהיין משום דכיון דאית ביה קפידא לא מרע נפשיה (וכן כל דבר שקונים מן האומן דלא מרע נפשיה) (כן משמע מדברי הר"ן פא"מ ומרדכי ר"פ כיצד מברכין):

When it comes to tasting something to determine if there is a taste of issur in it and you are using a non-Jewish expert the Beis Yosef YD 98:2:1 says;

אבל קפילא לא מרע נפשיה וכיון שכן אי קפילא הוא אפילו יודע שלענין איסור והיתר שואלין אותו סומכין עליו

The Gemara in Avodah Zara 27A discusses using a non-Jewish doctor for a bris and Tosfos explains that he would not want to ruin his reputation;

ברופא מומחה - ואפילו אינו מומחה למילה לא מרע נפשיה בכל דבר שיתעסק בו

S"A O"C 20:1 when discussing purchasing tzitzis from a non-Jewish merchant who says it is from a Jewish maker says;

הלוקח טלית מצוייצת מישראל או מתגר עכו"ם [ואומר שלקחן מישראל נאמן] [נ"י הלכות ציצית] כשר דכיון דתגר הוא חזקה שלקחה מישראל דלא מרע נפשיה אבל אם לקח מעכו"ם שאינו תגר פסול

There are many other examples of this rule being applied.

There is also the concept of מירתת which is somewhat applicable when the non-Jew is scared of a penalty if he is caught violating a law or rule. The concept of מסיח לפי תומו although not relevant in this case, is sometimes used in certain situations by Kashrus organizations.

Considering the above Halachos, a Rav or Kashrus expert will determine the factual systems that the companies use to for their operation and determine if, how, and when these rules can apply.

(For example, if one franchise allows outside ingredients to be brought in under certain circumstances like 7-11, or the brand is centered on one item while other ingredients can be bought elsewhere like a sandwich where the bread and meat need to bought from the company but other ingredients can be bought locally etc. Each case is individual and must be evaluated to determine if there is a reputation that will be affected and/or a fear of getting caught and penalized)

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