The Kashrut or Jewish laws provide instructions about the specific foods that are acceptable to be part of a Jewish diet. These laws also dictate how to prepare thefoods based on the Kashrut. Any food cannot be just made kosher even if a rabbi has blessed the food. Instead, fruits, vegetables, and meat have to be prepared or grown in a certain way and stay clean of tainting elements, such as blood and insects.
The following are some of the general instructions taken from the Kashrut as to which foods are and are not considered kosher:
- Based on the passages in Leviticus and Deuteronomy, unclean animals that are not considered kosher include rabbit, pig, hyrax, and camel because they either lack cloven hooves or areeven-toedor hoofed without cloven hooves. Aside from this, the milk, eggs, or internal organs of any of these animals cannot be consumed.
- Animals providing poultry and beef should be slaughtered based on Jewish law before they can be consumed.
- Any form of grape products that non-Jewish individuals prepared is not considered kosher.
- Cooking pans and pots as well as utensils that have already touched meat canno longer be used with dairy foods. But this law is only applicableif the cookware has contacted non-kosher hot food. Sterilization is necessary when utensils are already contaminated.
- Dairy products including milk and cheese are not allowed to be eaten with meat. But vegetables, fruits, eggs, and grainscan be eaten with meat or dairy.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables are acceptable but should be carefully examined for insects since these are not kosher.
- Beef and poultry must have all their blood drained out of the meat or broiled before being consumed.
Slaughtering cattle and sheep iscompleted by the “shochet,” or a butcher who has been trained to be familiar with all aspects of the Jewish dietary laws. The butcher should first drain all of the blood from the animal before he removes the veins and arteries.
The meat should then be placed in cold water and allowed to soak before being salted. Any meat is not regarded as kosher until gets washed every three days after the butchering process. Meat that hasn’t been made kosher after 13 days is irreversibly and technically non-kosher.
How to Certify Food as Kosher
Companies that produce kosher food should receive certification from a certain organization such as the Orthodox Union before food can be considered viably kosher. There is also a Rabbinic Field Representative assigned to investigate the processes of the companyforauthenticating its procedural standards.
In addition, all ingredients that are used in the foods should be part of the list of 200,000 pre-approved ingredients before the “OU” symbol can be stamped on the packages of the company.
The symbol indicates that the food has already been certified “pareve” and doesn’t contain any meat or dairy products. An “OU-D” symbol means that the food has dairy content while an “OU-P” indicates that the food stays kosher all year round as well as Passover.
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