May one purchase juices without a Hashgacha?
A. Freshly squeezed juice stands:One may purchase juices at fruit stands without a Hashgacha so long as the following conditions are met:
- One is not in Eretz Yisrael, and the fruits used have no reason to be assumed that they come from Eretz Yisrael.
- There are no powders or other additives placed into the juice and it is 100% pure juice as witnessed by the Jewish buyer.
- There are no grapes added to the ingredients of the juice
- Sugar may be added.
- The fruits do not need to be checked for insects.
- The machine used for the squeezing [both its blades and container] has been washed completely clean from any previous uses [which may have included grapes or grape juice and non-Kosher milk].
B. Bottled juices:
All processed juices, which refers to all juices that are factory made and packaged, even if they state 100% juice, must have a reliable Hashgacha in order to verify that non-Kosher ingredients have not penetrated into the juice. The possible Kashrus issues involved with processed juices are:
- Chalav Akum: Perhaps the machine line used for the juice contained remnants of non-Kosher milk. Likewsie perhaps the juice was pasteurized [heated] in a container that is also used to heat non-Kosher milk. [It is common for juicing factories to make various beverages on different days of the week, including milk beverages.]
- Yayin Nesech: Perhaps the machine line used for the juice contained remnants of grape juice, which is Yayin Nesech. Likewise perhaps the juice was pasteurized [heated] in a container that is also used to heat grape juice. [It is common for juicing factories to make various beverages on different days of the week, including milk beverages.]
- Insects: If the fruit requires checking for bugs, then this must be verified prior to squeezing.
- Additives: Perhaps a non-Kosher additive, preservative, food coloring or some other sub-ingredient has been added to the drink. [Such additives do not legally prevent the writing of 100% pure if they are considered a trace ingredient.]