Hebrew National has come under fire as customers accuse the company of not maintaining kosher practices. Consumers have filed a lawsuit against its parent company ConAgra Foods Inc., claiming that products sold under the Hebrew National brand are not kosher because the slaughtering practices do not meet the standard.
Kosher food uses only select portions of meat to adhere to strict dietary laws. The highest quality meat of the animal is prepared with no artificial flavors, colors, fillers and by products.
The lawsuit, filed by 11 people in Minnesota against ConAgra claims that the company misled them by branding hotdogs and other products as kosher after not meeting the standards for kosher labeling, according to Reuters. AER, the Illinois based company that supervised the kosher slaughtering process, is accused of not addressing complaints by workers that practices were non-kosher.
“The Kosher Law Enforcement Division is maintained to aid its large Jewish population and protect consumers from the mislabeling and misrepresentation of food products,” according to Hebrew National’s web site.
But those involved don’t buy it and say they were misled. In the lawsuit, they accuse ConAgra of mislabeling the products in order to charge premium prices for non-kosher meats, according to Reuters.
The plaintiffs are seeking unspecified damages and class-action status for all Hebrew National U.S. consumers over the last four years, according to Reuters.
ConAgra, which also owns Chef Boyardee, Healthy Choice, Peter Pan and Reddi-sip, which are not involved in the lawsuit, dismissed the claims. Both AER and ConAgra stated that their practices and products are in fact, kosher, according to Reuters.
“We stand behind the quality of Hebrew National and its kosher status,” said ConAgra spokeswoman Teresa Paulsen.
Sean Flynn is a Junior Writer for The Daily Meal. Follow him on twitter @BuffaloFlynn