In an email just sent out, the Kashrus department writes
“After extensive testing and the application of relevant ha…lachic principles, the Beth Din has revised the checking/cleaning methods for strawberries.
There are three changes from the previous method. First, it is no longer necessary to sponge the strawberries down. Second, they need not be vigorously agitated in the water; just some light “swooshing” will suffice. Third, there is no need to cut them in half to look inside for worms.
The new method is as follows:
1. Cut off (don’t pull off!) the green leaf with about 1mm of the fruit.
2. Cut off any mushy parts as well as deep folds.
3. Soak the strawberries in very soapy water for 3 minutes.
4. After the soaking, the strawberries must be agitated in the water
5. Carefully wash the entire surface of each strawberry under a stream of cold water”
We commend Johannesburg on their open approach to halachic kashrut, and searching for the truth, whether it leads to stringency or leniency, and are sure that further research will reveal that many more of the extreme measures currently becoming “normal” in the world are totally unnecessary and against the Torah spirit of “Lachem Yiheye Leochla”