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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

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There’s a (kosher) app for that

Tags: Canada
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Rabbi Saul Emmanuel

MONTREAL — Not sure if that ketchup is kosher? Wondering where the nearest kosher hot dogs can be found?

Well, there’s an app for that now.

The Montreal Vaad Ha’ir has just launched a mobile application for its MK kosher guide that can be downloaded free of charge to a portable electronic device. It’s available through the Apple App Store and the Android Market.

The Vaad is working on getting it for BlackBerry, too.

This is a first in Canada, said Vaad executive director Rabbi Saul Emanuel, and an advancement on similar apps created by some kashrut supervisory organizations in the United States.

The MK app has four main functions.

All of the 30,000 products from around the world bearing the MK hechsher are accessible by category (baked goods, for example), specific type of food, or brand.

If you come across a product that you’re not sure is certified by MK, you can take a photo of it, e-mail it to the Vaad and it promises to get back to you immediately with an answer.

Looking for a restaurant under MK supervision? The app will not only give you a list, but will show you where each restaurant is located and how to get to them.

The fourth feature supplies all the information that can be found on the Vaad’s website, www.mk.ca, which is currently being upgraded. Besides information on kosher food, the site offers a variety of news and information related to the Vaad and the Beth Din of Montreal.

“Now wherever you go, you can have answers quickly,” said Rabbi Emanuel, including the latest alerts on products whose kosher status has changed.

MK-certified products can be found across Canada and increasingly in the United States, he said.

Within the first two hours of the launch, more than 100 users downloaded the app, and that was before the first advertisement appeared in The CJN this week, he said.

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