Basil Pizza and Wine Bar, the popular dairy Crown Heights eatery, had their Kosher certification removed on Monday.
Owner Danny Branover said the certification by the OK was removed “without warning,” due to personal reasons, not related to Kashrus.
Branover issued a statement to COLlive:
“The OK removed their certification from us without warning because of personal issues, and without giving us any time to obtain an alternate Hashgacha. We are working diligently to obtain a new high level certification.
“In the interim, Basil will continue providing our customers with the highest levels of Kashrus, under the self-certification of Mendel Schneerson, with a staff of mashgichim on premises from open to close. As before, all products are strictly kosher, Cholov yisroel, pas yisroel and bishul yisroel.”
Schneerson, who is Branover’s brother in law, is a partner in Basil. Branover said he will update the public as soon as a new certifying Hechsher is obtained.
Rabbi Don Yoel Levy, President and Rabbinic Administrator of the OK Kosher Certification, told COLlive.com: “Basil New York violated the Kashrus standard of their contract with the OK.”
Rabbi Levy said that the removal of the certification was not sudden and that it has been an ongoing issue that Basil’s owners and managers “did not keep to the standards that we require of them and were not willing to adhere to our protocol.”
He added that “our responsibility and loyalty must be with the consumer who relies upon us. Therefore we had no choice but to remove our certification.”