Although the first example of a hekhsher, or kosher certification seal, is mentioned in the Babylonian Talmud, there are very limited examples for proof of such stamps in ancient and medieval history. For the most part, the movement for kashrus observance was stimulated by the advent of processed foods in America and the problematic issues that ensued in greater New York City with kosher-certified meats.
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This all led to statewide laws on the matter, and eventually an industry was spawned with experts that would earn the respect of their religiously observant customers. By mid-twentieth century, more and more kosher certification agencies emerged, and by the end of this period a modern phenomenon to this ancient religious aspect had become prolific in nature. There is currently is a guide available that boasts 1427 worldwide kosher agencies, many having their own trademarked seal.