Kof-K Kosher Hechsher
Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

JetBlue Airways Accused of Selling Food With Fake Kosher Hechsher

What the hechsher is going on here?

A Kosher supervision and certification organization sued JetBlue Airways Corporation in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey on Thursday, June 23, 2022 with the allegation that the airline unlawfully used its trademarks to advertise food which it had not certified.

JetBlue Airways Accused of Selling Food With Fake Kosher Hechsher

JetBlue Airways A318-321 airplane
Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

The airline sells a snack in its Mediterranean-inspired snackbox on its menu called Elma Farms Poshi Artichokes Basil & Thyme with an alleged disclaimer that the product is certified by KOF-K Kosher Certification — which is based in Teaneck in New Jersey and is one of five major organizations which certifies Kosher products worldwide — but without its consent.

In the lawsuit, KOF-K Kosher Certification:

  • Claims that the organization has never certified any of the food products which are sold by JetBlue Airways Corporation as Kosher
  • Never has given or granted permission to JetBlue Airways Corporation to use its trademarks
  • Accused JetBlue Airways Corporation of infringing and diluting trademarks in its name and hechsher — which is the logo that is used to officially designate that a product has been certified Kosher — although the hechsher does not appear on a document submitted as an exhibit
  • Alleges that JetBlue Airways Corporation engaged in consumer fraud under New Jersey law

KOF-K Kosher Certification has requested an unspecified amount of money damages and formally asked the court to force the airline to pull the snacks and stop using its trademarks. The disclaimer is no longer in the description of the product on the aforementioned menu at the time this article was written.

The airline is supposedly investigating the claims; while Elma Farms — which is the parent company of Poshi, which manufactures the artichoke snacks in question — was not named in the lawsuit.

Click on the photograph to view the source. Source: Poshi.

A look at the rear of the package which contains those artichoke snacks reveals a hechsher which is a K in an outline that is shaped like the country of Peru and not that of KOF-K Kosher Certification…

Click on the photograph to view the source. Source: Poshi.

…whose official hechsher is shown in the center of the photograph below.

Kof-K Kosher Hechsher
Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

Final Boarding Call

Kosher foods are prepared in accordance with the strict dietary laws of Judaism — a Mashgiach supervises the process of ensuring that an establishment follows and complies with the laws of Kashrut, which determines the dietary laws in Judaism and from where the word Kosher comes — and only when they meet those standards are they approved and certified with permission to sport an official hechsher on the package.

This case loosely reminds me of when Hebrew National — which is a subsidiary of ConAgra Foods, Incorporated that manufactures Kosher meats — was sued by eleven consumers in the state of Minnesota back in 2012 over whether or not the authenticity of its Kosher certification cuts the mustard due to the meat processing services provided to ConAgra allegedly not up to the standards for Kosher certification.

I have never seen the hechsher on the back of the package of the artichoke snacks. I researched official hechshers for Kosher certification organizations in Peru — but although I have found at least two Kosher certification organizations in Peru, I have yet to find one which uses the aforementioned hechsher with the K inside of an outline of the country of Peru…

The logo at the center of the featured photograph at the top of this article is the official hechsher of KOF-K Kosher Certification. All photographs ©2015 and ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

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