Understand what’s really going on: A Q&A with Rabbi Tzvi Ortner, OU Director of Technology

Q: Did Star-K remove GE certification because of a problem with GE Sabbath mode?
A: No

Q: Are GE appliances kosher certified?
A: Yes. GE is currently certified under the OU and CRC/Hisachdus.

Q: Does this transition mean there are changes to the built-in Sabbath mode?
A: No, for now the built-in Sabbath mode will stay the same, but please check the Star-K website regarding how many times they allow the door to be opened on Shabbos.

Q: Are all GE ovens now OU/CRC certified?
A: No. Ovens with the previous built-in Sabbath mode are not compliant with OU/CRC halacha standards. Only ovens with Enhanced Shabbos mode are approved for use by the OU/CRC and over time will replace the regular Sabbath mode.

Q: Does Enhanced Shabbos mode require the usage of Zman Technologies Shabbos Keeper?
A: Currently, yes. However over time, many ovens with GE’s built-in Sabbath mode will transition to a built-in Enhanced Shabbos mode. Please visit www.zmantechnologies.com for details and updates.

Q: I own/ I am looking to purchase a new GE oven. What should I do now?
A: If you own a GE oven or are looking to purchase one, it may already be compatible with the Shabbos Keeper Enhanced Shabbos mode. Visit www.zmantchnologies.com for current lists or contact customer support with a model number for more information.

Q: The operation and usage of an oven on Shabbos and Yom tov involves many halachic issues, such as flame cycles, sensors, auto shut-off and more. Does the the Enhanced Shabbos mode take care of every one of these issues or only some of them?
A: Yes, Enhanced Shabbos mode was specifically designed by a team of technical and halacha experts to completely solve all of the above mentioned issues. OU/CRC certified models are tested in special labs to ensure full compliance.

Q: I own a GE oven with the Shabbos Keeper Enhanced Shabbos mode. Am I limited to the number of times I’m allowed to open the door on Shabbos?
A: No. Unlike existing Shabbos modes, Shabbos Keepers Enhanced Shabbos mode allows the oven door do be opened and closed without limitations.

Q: When my oven is in Enhanced Shabbos mode, am I allowed to place food into the oven on Shabbos?
A: Although the controls are deactivated, an oven may not be used differently than a blech or hot plate. Cooking or baking on Shabbos is of course not permissible.

Q: What about on holidays?
A: Opening and closing the door, as well as baking and cooking on holidays is permitted. For convenience, Shabbos Keeper is designed to raise the temperature automatically at certain times to enable cooking on Yom Tov..

Q: Who should I call with questions?
A: Contact Zman Technologies or call the OU consumer hotline at 212-613-8241

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  1. I am not understanding – does that mean that our ovens that have been ok until now are not considered ok anymore??!?! Does everyone have to go out and buy new ovens?????

  2. I am not understanding – does that mean that our ovens that have been ok until now are not considered ok anymore??!?! Does everyone have to go out and buy new ovens?????

  3. No. The OU is working with a different technology than the prior Shabbos mode. That is why they say to contact the Star-K for questions regarding the older version. The newer version is designed to work with the Zman Tech Shabbos Keeper, which the older ones were not designed for.

    It’s a transition from one technology to another with the potential to make things easier/less complicating on Shabbos. The newer/updated version will be under the OU. The former version was under the Star-K. Continue to use whichever you have/prefer, and contact the appropriate kashrus agency if you have questions regarding either one.

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