couponing in the holy land

Frugal food shopping for the Anglo Israeli

Archive for the month “March, 2015”

Low lactose milk is back- get a free sample (expires 30 April 2015)

Tnuva’s low-lactose milk came out in 2011 and though it can be found online, I rarely see it in the supermarkets.  Now Yotvata has decided to market low-lactose milk as well.  It is slightly higher in price than Tnuva’s (approx. 7.80 shekels), but you can get a free sample now by clicking on the picture to print a coupon or type in your email address here and the coupon will be emailed to you.  You must present a printed coupon to get a free sample.

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Increased meat/egg smuggling and illegal production during the holiday season

The holiday season is usually characterized by an increase in the number of attempts to smuggle meat originating from the Palestinian Authority, an increase in the rate of illegal slaughter, and an increase in attempts to illegally produce eggs and forge their markings. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development attributes the increase in these illegal activities to the high potential for profit these products offer as the demand for them increases. The inspectors of the Central Investigation and Enforcement Unit  (Pitzuach) at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development invest a huge amount of time and effort during this period in an attempt to stop smuggling attempts, illegal slaughter, and the forging of animal products, in light of the real threat to public health posed by the possibility that these products, which were produced and slaughtered without veterinary supervision, will be consumed by the public. The inspectors operate based on intelligence information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in the areas located between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, in warehouses and in points of sale. 488,790 eggs, 182,233 tons of chicken meat and beef and 676 tons of cheese were seized and destroyed following an order issued by a veterinary doctor this past week alone.

During the weekend, a house in which beef was illegally slaughtered without veterinary supervision was found in Lod. The quantity of beef found in the apartment was especially large – 1 ton. The meat was destroyed following an order issued by a veterinary doctor, and criminal charges were presses against the suspects involved.

In addition, the inspectors of the Ministry of Agriculture seized during the weekend a truck attempting to smuggle 4 tons of meat, originating from the Judea and Samaria area in the Palestinian Authority, and intended to be sold in Israel. The truck was caught at the Hotze Shomron checkpoint. The driver, a resident of the central region of Israel in his late 30s, was detained, and criminal charges were pressed against him.

An illegal egg production facility was also found during the weekend. The inspectors of the Central Investigation and Enforcement Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, together with officers of the Israeli Border Police and IDF soldiers, raided an egg sorting facility located in the Hevron area, in which eggs were marked in order to make them seem “kosher for sale”. Eggs in the facility were marked with forged stamps of a well-known and certified sorting facility in Israel, and with “kosher for Passover” marks, to make them seem authentic. Forging measures for marking the eggs and 27,000 eggs were seized on location and in a nearby warehouse.

Source: Misrad HaChaklaut web site

For tips on how and where to purchase meat and eggs, check out Aliyah tip #9: buying meat, fish and eggs.

illegal slaughter

Aliyah tip #9: buying meat, fish and eggs

Misrad HaBriut, in honor of Food Safety Week, published this great picture summarizing the important points in buying meat, fish and eggs.  A summary in English follows below:

Meat:

  1. When buying packaged chicken and turkey, make sure that there is the symbol that the food was under veterinary inspection and says “נבדק והותר”.
  2. Only buy meat that was ground in front of you or is packaged with a label and date.
  3. When purchasing raw meat, ask to see the original label and make sure that the use-by date has not passed.
  4. Purchase meat from places that are clean and have air conditioning and that the workers are dressed neatly with clean clothes.
  5. Butchers are not permitted to freeze meat.  Before purchasing frozen meat in a butcher, make sure that there is a label with the name and address of the factory that manufactured the product.
  6. If you see ice crystals inside a frozen product, it is a sign that the product thawed and was refrozen.  It is recommended not to purchase this product.

Fish:

  1. Smell the fish.  If it smells rotten, don’t buy it.
  2. Fish that isn’t packaged must be refrigerated and rest on ice.
  3. It is recommended not to purchase fish directly from fish farms or stands but from a refrigerated display case in an approved store.
  4. The gills should be red and not grey or white.
  5. The eyes should be black, clear (not cloudy), and standing up (not sunken in).
  6. People with chronic illnesses, depressed immune systems, or open wounds are recommended not to come in direct contact with fresh fish.

Eggs:

  1. It is recommended to purchase eggs only from refrigerated places.
  2. The eggs should be sold in packages.
  3. Eggs that are cracked, broken, or dirty shouldn’t be purchased.
  4. Look for the label which has a valid sell by date, the name and address of the sorting station, and the size of the egg.
  5. Eggs should be stored at home in the refrigerator; preferably in a closed plastic container and not the original carton.
  6. Don’t wash eggs because bacteria can enter the egg through pores on the shell.

Source: Misrad HaBriut’s Facebook page

Tzomet Sefarim English Book Fair 1-12 April 2015

Well, it doesn’t ACTUALLY say that the books are in English, but the fair is at ZOA house so I have to assume they are…

Sebocalm sunscreen coupon and new web site- expires 30 April 2015

This coupon was sent in by reader Nona Mandy who has started a new web site called Save Our Shekels.  She has discounts up for iHerb and VitaCost if you shop there.  Thanks Nona!

RECALL: Poseidon tuna in oil

Misrad HaBriut tested Poseidon tuna in oil and found high levels of histamine in it- above the maximum permitted level .  The affected batch is being recalled.  The public is asked not to eat this product.  It can be returned for compensation by calling Wiliger customer service at 1-800-50-40-50.

Details about the product:

נתחי טונה קטנה בשמן “פוסידון”:

960 grams, bar code 7290002657408

Manufacturing date: 4 February 2015

Use by date: February 2019

For more information about histamine poisoning, check out this web site.

poseidon

EXPOSED: Misrad HaBriut exposes unsanitary conditions at Rami Levy, Shufersal, and Mega BaIr

Food Safety Week continues with surprise visits to supermarkets Rami Levy in Jerusalem, Mega BaIr and Shufersal in Tel Aviv.  What they found was not so appealing.  Check out the video on Mako- Arutz 2 or on Misrad HaBriut’s Facebook page.

If you can’t understand the Hebrew, here is a quick summary of what they found:

  1. Shufersal (Ben Yehuda Street, Tel Aviv)- expired chicken for sale, selling prepared ground meat (it is only supposed to be ground in front of the customer), unclean refrigerators.
  2. Mega Ba’Ir (LaGuardia Street, Tel Aviv)– hasn’t fixed deficiencies noted on previous unsatisfactory inspections, very unsanitary conditions, food not being stored at the proper temperatures.  They will be called in for a hearing in Misrad HaBriut.
  3. Rami Levy (Beit HaDfus Street, Jerusalem)– cleaner than the other two stores but stored food on the floors and  had mold on the walls in the warehouse.

ארגזי מזון בתנאי תברואה ירודים

During the inspections, samples were taken of the ground meat for microbiological analysis.  The ground chicken from Shufersal and Rami Levy had Salmonella growing and the ground beef from Mega Ba’Ir had a high general bacterial count as well as coliform bacteria– a sign of fecal contamination.

Rami Levy’s response: The deficiencies were apparently due to the pressure of the holidays.  The deficiencies noted in the inspection report were corrected immediately.

Mega BaIr’s response: The report speaks of a specific problem in only one store.  A follow-up inspection by Misrad HaBriut showed that most of the deficiencies were corrected.  Regarding the bacterial testing, that is to be expected in a raw product that must be cooked before eating- it does not affect the quality or safety of the product.

Shufersal’s response: We feel that preserving the quality of our products is of the utmost importance.  We therefore strictly supervise each store to ensure that they comply with Misrad HaBriut’s standards.  We will review the inspection report and correct any deficiency that needs to be corrected.

 

 

Got food safety questions? Specialists answer online tonight

Tonight, March 29, 2015, specialists from Misrad HaBriut will be online from 6-8pm (18:00-20:00) to answer all of your food safety questions in preparation for International Food Safety Day 7 April 2015 .  Post your question as a reply to the Misrad HaBriut Facebook page and it will get answered there.  For more information, go to Misrad HaBriut’s web site.  I know some of my readers don’t use Facebook, so what I would recommend is to send your question to the moked stating that you want it answered by the specialists and it will be included that way.

Since we are already talking food safety, check out this great video by the WHO- Five Keys to Safer Food (English with Hebrew subtitles).  Appropriate for kids as well with minion-like microbes.

Pesach mission #8: Smell the flowers

Pesach mission #8: Smell the flowers

couponing in the holy land

Last Shabbat was Rosh Chodesh Nisan.  It is tradition to say a blessing now on the flowering fruit trees that smell so wonderful.

Take a few minutes from your hectic schedule and go out to an orchard.  Recite the blessing below:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם שֶׁלֹּא חִסֵּר בְּעוֹלָמוֹ כְּלוּם וּבָרָא בוֹ בְּרִיּוֹת טוֹבוֹת וְאִילָנוֹת טוֹבוֹת לֵהָנוֹת בָּהֶם בְּנֵי אָדָם.

Translation: Blessed are You, L‑rd our G‑d, King of the universe, who has made nothing lacking in His world, and created in it goodly creatures and goodly trees to give mankind pleasure.

Source: Chabad.org

It is so important not to forget to stop and breathe during this oh-so-crazy time. Why don’t you make it a picnic while you are there?

image

Ready for the next mission?  Go to Pesach mission #9: The children are not the Passover sacrifice!

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Free children/youth book at Tzomet Sefarim

I haven’t checked this out in the store but it appears that Tzomet Sefarim is selling grape juice and you get a book free when you buy a bottle.  Or maybe you bring a receipt from a supermarket- someone posted that exact question on their Facebook page but didn’t get an answer yet.

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