Two Israeli residents – the Chief Rabbinate and local Rabbinate in a northern town – have sued Strauss-Elite in a NIS12.3bn (US$2.8bn) class action filed at the Tel Aviv District Court.

The court has been asked to approve the lawsuit as a class action on behalf of 1.4m kosher-keeping consumers of Strauss-Elite’s Milky product, during the period between 1999 and 2004, and 500,000 consumers of Daniela, Sky dairy products. The plaintiffs are demanding NIS3,000 per person in compensation.

The plaintiffs claim that the products including imported gelatin “cannot be kosher, unless the raw material has a kashrut certificate from the Chief Rabbinate.” They claim that even though no such certificate was issued, “Strauss continued to sell products that contained the gelatin, thus misleading and defrauding the kosher-keeping consumers, resulting in them buying and consuming food products they would otherwise not have chosen.”