In Japan there are some food products that are identical to American brands but with Japanese packaging. For example, here is the Japanese box for Ritz crackers:

A Ritz cracker box with Japanese writing and no apparent Kosher certification symbol

Ritz are certified kosher in America (OU-D). Does this apply to the Japanese Ritz as well? They might be manufactured in the same plant and simply repackaged, but perhaps Nabisco also manufactures separately in Japan.

  • 3
    Just taking what I know from Hersheys and Girl Scout cookies, you have to check the side of the box and see where they are manufactured. Usually, products are made locally so they would need supervision. You can't assume "same name, same source"
    – rosends
    Jun 21, 2016 at 12:18
  • Not mentioned here kosherjapan.com/… Jun 21, 2016 at 12:18
  • Why not just look for a hechsher on the box?
    – Scimonster
    Jun 21, 2016 at 12:54
  • Because it doesn't have one on the Japanese box.
    – user3318
    Jun 21, 2016 at 13:06
  • @Danno is correct. Case in point - I think only the Israeli Bazooka is kosher. You have a "reverse" situation, here. Note that even if the ingredients are identical, in manufactured products, you still can't assume that it's kosher as, for one thing, you don't know what non-kosher items it may have touched during assembly.
    – DanF
    Jun 21, 2016 at 13:53

1 Answer 1


Outside of Israel and the US, observant Jews don't rely on Hecshers to buy food, because as you've noticed from the Japanese box, there just aren't any hecshers. Rabbis in these communities give out lists of acceptable ingredients (or lists of non acceptable ingredients) and people go and shop at their local markets and buy unsupervised food all the time.

If the ingredients are the same as hecshered products, then it's kasher as well. You can visit the Kashrut.org website ran by the renown poseq Rabbi Yiztchak Abadi where he states what is or isn't kasher based on ingredients. His ingredients only ruling is based on the Gemera, Shulchan Aruch, and a Teshuvah by Rav Moshe Feinstein.

If you search the forums you can find designations for what things that are inherently kasher and what things are problematic so that you can navigate ingredients yourself without having to ask. Here is a search on Kashrut.org regarding crackers.

So in short, if the ingredients of your Japanese Ritz crackers are the same as their American parts then they are Kasher.

  • 1
    I've never seen lists of ingredients, but in the UK and in Australia I've seen lists of which products are and aren't certified and to what extent.
    – magicker72
    Jun 27, 2016 at 21:34
  • I've talked to the Rabbi here in Japan and he doesn't say you can do this. Of course there are products without hechsherim that are kosher, but it depends on the particular food item and whether its manufacture might involve issues that are not apparent just from the list of ingredients. I don't think this is a common opinion.
    – user3318
    Jun 29, 2016 at 9:47
  • @Malper Common opinion doesn't make a different opinion wrong. If you want you can check through Rabbi Abadi's website, or you can ask him a question directly. Either way, when the Rabbis were staying at Inns in the times of the Mishnah and the Gemara, they weren't staying at kosher inns, nor were they eating hecshered food. Somehow they were able to navigate the world and find something to eat. Perhaps Rabbi Abadi is encouraging people to use the same methods that Chazal and other great posqim used?
    – Aaron
    Jun 29, 2016 at 14:24
  • I'm not saying the opinion is wrong. I just am skeptical of your blanket statement from the beginning of the answer that observant Jews and these communities' Rabbis all follow this opinion.
    – user3318
    Jun 30, 2016 at 10:34

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