The Rabbinical Council of Massachusetts, which provides certification of kosher foods under the name KVH Kosher, today filed a trademark lawsuit against Sabra Foods of Norwood, which the council says continues to stamp its hummus with the council's "kashruth" symbol even after being told to knock it off.
The company is not the same as Sabra Dipping Co., of South Chesterfield, VA., which also sells hummus called Sabra.
In its lawsuit, filed in US District Court in Boston, the council says it stopped certifying Sabra Foods hummus as kosher in 2016 "because of Sabra's persistent inability to comply with the terms and conditions of their license, for non-payment of fees, for adding new ingredients without informing KVH, and for failing to take corrective actions in a timely manner as required by KVH."
And yet, the group says, Sabra continues to use the council's mark on its packaging for at least one of its hummus offerings, which might fool unsuspecting consumers into thinking the chickpea-based food has been certified kosher - in a process in which a trained inspector has to ensure that not only are all the things that go into the hummus kosher but that the equipment used to make and package it is free from any non-kosher contamination.
The group adds it's not just observant Jews being fooled:
Many Seventh-day Adventists, vegetarians, vegans, those who are lactose-intolerant, and health conscious consumers consumer kosher foods due to the higher standard of quality and stringent ingredient control under which they are produced and manufactured.
The council asks a judge to order Sabra to knock it off, destroy any packaging with its kosher symbol on it and pay enough damages to make it think twice about trying to pass their stuff off as kosher again.