The Orthodox Union’s Kosher Division is the world’s largest kosher certification agency. As of 2010, it supervised more than 400,000 products in 8,000 plants in 80 different countries. It employs approximately 1,000 supervisors, known as mashgichim in Hebrew, and about 50 rabbinic coordinators.
The supervision process involves sending a mashgiach to the production facility to ensure that the product complies with halakha (Jewish law). The mashgiach supervises both the ingredients and the production process.
Its circled-U symbol, a hechsher mark, is easily identifiable. A hechsher “kosher approval” is a rabbinical product certification, qualifying items conforming to requirements of the collective body of Jewish religious law.
The OU also supports a network of synagogues, youth programs, Jewish and Religious Zionist advocacy, programs for the disabled, localized religious study programs, and some international units with locations in Israel and formerly in Ukraine.