I’m confused about why certain products are certified “D” or “DE” when I don’t see any dairy ingredients in the product.
I saw this answer on a website of a major Kosher hechsher.
*Dairy equipment (DE) means that the equipment is also used for dairy with no kosher cleaning protocol between the runs – almost always chalav stam. People who are stringent about Cholov Yisroel keilim should not use DE products. Some DE products bear the dairy symbol, because the manufacturer wants to be able to switch to a dairy ingredient without having to print new labels. *
Sometimes the entire plant is certified as dairy (often because the company does not want to stop production for koshering or extra monitoring required for pareve products) and there are no kosher safeguards in place preventing a change to an actual dairy ingredient.
Sometimes the product may contain actual dairy, even though it isn’t written on the label, because the machinery still discharges some dairy product at the beginning of a new run (like some very famous chocolate chips).
Sometimes an ingredient used in the product came from an all dairy facility and therefore makes the end product certified dairy.
Does the Rav consider these issues or can one rely on an ingredient label which contains no dairy ingredients. Can one eat products produced on DE after a meat meal?