AN EFFORT is underway to standardize the kosher certification process for tank truck cleaning facilities, according to information from the Orthodox Union (OU), the parent association of the OU Kosher Division.

The Association of Kashrus Organizations, an umbrella organization of OU, hosted a conference in November 2006 in which a session was devoted to liquid bulk transportation, including wash facilities.

“This session essentially raised awareness of different issues that we have been encountering in our certification of wash facilities,” says Rabbi Gavriel Price, Rabbinic coordinator, OU Kashruth. “In the next few weeks, representatives of various rabbinical councils will discuss the matter further with the aim of drafting standards for kosher certification of wash facilities.”

The organization also would like to communicate some basic ideas about the kosher certification. “For example, kosher certification does not involve a blessing of the facilities,” says Price. “Many people unfamiliar with kosher certification have this misconception. Kosher rules are analogous to quality assurance rules, and follow objective criteria. It's important for people in the industry to know this, because many are conscientious and would like to be responsible to their certification, but have to know what the rules are in order to make sure they are followed.”

More information can be found on the OU (ou.org) and OU Kosher (oukosher.org) Web sites.