How to clean:
1) Preliminary Check – Visually check Fresh Herbs for the presence of insects; focusing on heavy infestation of any type of insect or even light infestation of aphids. After a visual check, check 3 bunches of fresh herbs by placing them into a receptacle with water, agitating, pouring the water through a Kosher Screen and checking the Kosher Screen on a light box for the presence of insects.*
- If 3 or more aphids are found then the produce must not be used.
- If 10 or more thrips are found then the produce must not be used.
2) Prepare for Washing – Separate leaves and stems from roots and discard roots. For coriander/cilantro separate leaves from the stems and discard stems and roots. (You must also be careful to remove and discard flowering leaves which are still closed as it is difficult to remove insects from inside of them.)
3) Prepare Checking Station - Add cold water and sufficient amount of food-grade soap or vegetable wash that contains a surfactant in the ingredients (for example FIT, Monster or Nature Clean) to a clean sink or receptacle. The appropriate water to produce ratio is 3:1 (3 parts water to 1 part produce). The proper amount of vegetable wash/soap is when the soap suds are visible in the water.
4) Soaking & Agitating - Place Fresh Herbs in water ensuring that the produce is completely submerged under water. Produce is then thoroughly but gently agitated. Produce should be agitated in the water for a minimum of 1 minute.
5) Rinsing – Fresh Herbs should be removed from water and rinsed well under a strong stream of water; rub your fingers through the leaves gently while they are rinsed.
NOTE: Steps 2-5 can be performed by anyone who is approved by the mashgiach. Steps 6-9 must be performed by the mashgiach himself.
6) Container – Fill up a receptacle with fresh water. Place a small amount of Fresh Herbs into the fresh water such that the appropriate water to produce ratio is 3:1 (3 parts water to 1 part produce). Agitate well and slowly. Remove a small handful in the palm of your hand; or alternatively, use a “spider” to remove Fresh Herbs. Remove from the receptacle while shaking out the water from the produce; then place the leaves in a clean container. Repeat until the process has been done to all the leaves.
7) Kosher Screen – Place a clean Kosher Screen in between 2 colanders and empty the water through the colanders ensuring that all the water goes into the Kosher Screen. Rinse the container with fresh water and empty the fresh water through the colanders. Let the water flow out completely through the Kosher Screen and into the drain. Shake the top strainer onto the Kosher Screen to ensure that any caught insects are now on the Kosher Screen.
8) Kosher Screen Checking – Place the Kosher Screen on the light box. Use a spray bottle to gently spray water on the Kosher Screen. This allows the dirt to spread on the Kosher Screen and allows clearer visibility. Examine the Kosher Screen on the light box for the presence of insects.
- If 1 or 2 thrips or mites are found then repeat steps 6-8 and re-check**.
- If 3 or more thrips or mites are found then it has been demonstrated that washing was not performed properly and steps 1-8 must be repeated.
- If an aphid is found then steps 1-8 must be repeated.
- Produce may not be used if the Kosher Screen Method has been performed twice and insects are still found on the Kosher Screen.
9) Leaf Sample Checking – 60 leaves must be checked for insects; both sides of the leaf must be checked. If any insects are found then the produce may not be used.
*This check should be conducted one day prior to intended use so that an establishment can return the produce to the supplier if it is found to be infested.
**If the washing was not performed in the presence of a Mashgiach then steps 1-8 must be repeated.
May be used when bearing a reliable kosher certification
Soup:Rinse under a strong stream of water, wrap inside a Kosher Screen, tie tightly and place in soup until desired flavour is extracted and remove
Type of insects found:
Aphids, thrips, mosquitoes, mites, leaf miners
Where insects are found:
Insects are very small and are found on the surface of the leaves, stuck between leaf clusters