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How to Keep Kosher with Dairy Products

To keep kosher, you must follow Jewish dietary laws, which are a basic precept of Judaism. The rules of keeping kosher break foods into three main categories — dairy, meat, and pareve. Keeping kosher means never consuming meat and dairy products in the same meal. You must make sure that your dairy foods don’t contain any meat products.

Most dairy foods are kosher, unless they contain meat. Watch out for these non-kosher dairy items:

  • Hard cheese: A frequent step in the process of making hard cheeses, such as Parmesan, involves using a product called rennet to help coagulate the milk. Traditionally, rennet is an animal product and is considered meat, and therefore its presence makes cheese not kosher.

  • Gelatin: Gelatin is made from the bones of animals. Dairy products made with other forms of gelatin list kosher gelatin in their ingredient list, like in this figure.

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