Oreos with OU DE designation?
FWIW, I heard a shiur by a leading kashrut expert who has worked for the OU. He stated that if there is no dairy allergy warning and no dairy ingredient (beware of ingredients you don't know exactly what they are and how they are manufactured), then the item can be eaten after meat. If it has a D it probably should not be cooked in meat pans or with meat.
Here's what I got from the OU two years ago, when I contacted them re: this issue. I'll include my question first, then their answer.
MY QUESTION, sent 5/31/09:
At a kosher bake sale in Queens, a cake decorated with Oreos (the name
clearly readable on the cookies) was labeled as "parve, dairy equipment
only." I was concerned and pointed it out to the women running the event,
and was told that Oreos contain no dairy, they are just made on dairy
equipment. Indeed, a check of the ingredients seems to bear that out. Is
this the case?
9th Day of Chodesh Sivan, 5769
Monday, June 1st, 2009
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Thank you for checking with the OU regarding your Kashruth question.
Some Oreo cookies do not contain any dairy ingredients as of now.
However, they can change at any time to contain actual dairy. We advise checking the ingredient panel. Additionally, they are made on dairy equipment.
While it shares many qualities and laws with Pareve products, a dairy-free product that was heated on equipment also used for dairy may not be eaten together with a meat product. It may be eaten immediately after a meat product, but not together.
You will not find the DE designation on a product certified by the OU. The OU designates dairy-free products made on dairy equipment with the 'OU-D' symbol and not 'DE' (Dairy Equipment).
Although the OU doesn't use the DE designation, I, after a discussion with my kosher advisor, have come to the conclusion that Oreos are at most DE and more likely actually pareve. We've had them after meat meals, but not off the meat plates. I don't know if you want to hold by me, but that's my take on Oreos.
If it contained any traces of dairy, it would be noted on the package for food allergy reasons. This is similar to sorbet, which if made in an ice cream plant has an OU-D even though it is parve enough to be eaten after meat, if not cooked in meat utensils. (Kof K uses "DE" on such products). As always, ask a knowledgeable kashrut authority.