What’s the Big Deal About Slurpees?
The OK often receives questions from consumers about the kosher status of Slurpees. For example, “During the summer (and even the winter) whenever we pass by a 7-Eleven store, my kids always want to buy Slurpees, but I always say no because I am unsure if they are kosher. I looked at the boxes with the ﬂavors and noticed that many of them are produced by Dr Pepper Snapple Group and bear the OK symbol, so I am reaching out to you to ﬁnd out the kosher status of these Slurpees. Thanks for your help!”
Thank you for reaching out. You are correct; many of the Slurpee ﬂavors produced by Dr Pepper Snapple Group are OK certiﬁed. You can ﬁnd several products under the following brands that bear theOK symbol: Canada Dry, Crush, Dr Pepper, Hawaiian Punch, IBC, Squirt, Sunkist, and Vernor’s. Keep in mind that every ﬂavor dispenser is connected to a box with the syrup, which is usually located underneath or behind the machine. It’s important to always check the actual label on the box to conﬁ rm that the ﬂavor bears the OK symbol.
Now, you may ask, what about the status of the Slurpee machine itself?
While the majority of the Slurpees in the USA are certiﬁed kosher pareve, there are a few dairy and non-kosher ﬂavors out there. However, these ﬂavors don’t cause the machines to become non-kosher because they are cold and usually not left in the machine for 24 hours (which makes the machine kavush). We know this because the compartment in the machine is so small that the Slurpee ﬂavor is replaced after ﬁlling a few cups. Additionally, the percentage of dairy and non-kosher in these products is typically low.
While stores often keep the same ﬂavor choices, they occasionally change the ﬂavors and the machines are not typically cleaned when the ﬂavor is changed. Since the amount remaining in the machine is very small, one can be lenient and consume the kosher pareve ﬂavor even if the previous ﬂavor was dairy or non-kosher.
Also, keep in mind that Slurpee is a registered trademark sold only at 7-Eleven stores. Other gas stations or convenience stores sell similar products but more caution is needed when purchasing from them. While 7-Eleven stores mostly use the main brands which are more likely to be kosher certiﬁed, other stores may use generic-brands that are not necessarily kosher certiﬁed. If the dispenser is shared among more than one ﬂavor, and you cannot conﬁ rm that they are all kosher, it is recommended to run the machine until there is no residue of the previous ﬂavor before ﬁlling your cup.
The OK recommends using a kosher certiﬁed location as the best option to puchase the icy treat, but there is room to be lenient even in uncertiﬁ ed location as as long as the consumer makes sure that the particular ﬂavor is certiﬁed.
The views and opinions expressed in this program are those of the presenters & authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of other halachic opinions or the entities they represent. The mission of the Kashrus Awareness Project is to inform and educate the kosher consumer to know what to look out for and what to inquire about. The Kashrus Awareness Campaign receives guidance from AKO, an umbrella association of kashrus organizations. For all questions you have regarding halacha, please consult with your own morei derech. We recommend to always double check and seek out the latest information available.