As most people know, the OU does not use a DE designation on the products they certify. They claim it could lead to confusion. Hard to accept that, no? So many other agencies use the DE or ME designation, how confusing could it be?
Here is a paragraph from the OU:
What does DE mean? Parve products made with heat on dairy equipment may be eaten after meat, but not with meat. Some kashrus agencies use a DE symbol, but the OU has chosen not to use a DE designation because it is felt it may be confusing to the kosher consumer. Also, to be a true DE product, the equipment must be properly cleaned of residue after dairy production, and that level of cleanliness is sometimes difficult to maintain and guarantee.
Please note that it is possible that the manufacturer will reformulate this product and add a true dairy ingredient. You will not be able to know this, since the OUD kosher symbol will remain the same. We recommend that you call the OU office every 3 months to reconfirm the DE status of this product.
The bolded statement is a bit disingenuous. Not to mention halachically unfounded. And probably not even true regarding cleaning equipment between runs. But on that last one, we will concede the point and ask, “So what?” Any residue left after cleaning would no longer be considered food due to the cleaning agents used, and if it were, it would be batel ba-shishim (anulled by 60 times its amount).
We have to sigh out loud and wonder, once again, when will the rules of kashruth go back to the standards of the shulchan aruch? More and more, it seems halacha is just left behind in favor of non existent halachic standards.