Friday, December 1, 2006

The Latest Meat Saga

I received some inquiries regarding the most recent meat scandal, but I resisted posting anything until the facts emerged.

Someone bought a piece of Meal-Mart meat, which apparently had Cheilev (forbidden fats) on it. He showed the meat to a number of Rabbonim, who initially believed it may have been Cheilev. The ramifications of such a Psak were enormous. It would mean that countless people ate Treife r"l, and would necessitate Kashering of kitchens and utensils on a massive scale. Hence, the tremendous consternation and outcry.

However, after further research it was clarified that the questionable fat found was not Cheilev, rather fat which the accepted custom (Minhag) is to remove.

There are three levels to forbidden fats.
1 - Forbidden by the Torah.
2 - Forbidden by Rabbinic law.
3 - Accepted custom to remove, so as not to come close or confuse with the above two levels, which are inherently forbidden.

The fat in question was initially thought to be from level 1 or 2, but in reality was from level 3. Although it wasn't inherently forbidden, and therefore no Kashering is necessary, it still showed a laxity in the Nikkur (removal of forbidden fats) process, by not removing something which the custom is to refrain from eating.

Apparently, a Menaker was fired, and the issue is considered closed.

I do have one interesting observation. R’ Teitelbaum writes in his letter that the Nikkur process being used is the one specified by the Eidah HaChareidis in Yerushalaim.

People should be aware that there are different customs as to how much fat must be cut away so as not to confuse with levels 1 and 2.

For many decades, the custom in Chutz La’aretz was generally more stringent than the custom in Eretz Yisroel.

Accordingly, one should ideally ask his Rov if the standards of the Eidah HaChareidis’s Nikkur meet the accepted age-old Chutz La’aretz standards.


chaverah said...

what is with all these butchers lately???? can you trust any store anymore???? How crazy! the bottom line is we try to do the best we can. I am happy to hear that the fat was not an assur from the torah thank god.

Yehuda Shain said...

It was liver not meat, the difference being is that one is broiling liver that piece of "shuman" would have been removed regardless.

Yehuda Shain said...

Re: the Aida standards:
Some clarification is in order.
The Aida was "goivah Aidus" from Hungarial etc minakrim as "what the did in der heim, not what is the Aida standard in Eretz Yisroel which was set up by Reb Yehosha Leib Diskin OB"M.

Independant Frum Thinker said...


Unfortunately, as the food & Kashrus industries become increasingly commercialized, it becomes easier and easier for problems to creep in and affect thousands of people.

Independant Frum Thinker said...

Reb Yudel,

Thank you for the clarifications!

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

Ask me, I think we don't hear a lot about the meat because there is more trouble there, but because one specific situation caused us to put all eyes on meat. There is corruption everywhere. Why do we have to wait 10 years to learn that something needs improvement and then take that subject out of proportion?
I can't wait. I'm sure in the next six months I'll hear a chashash on every shchita.

Can't we get our heads out of the sand an see the big picture? Stop looking at the meat so much because there are other places that need to be fixed too.

Y.Y. said...

its all good
kusher l'mehadrin

yingerman said...

That's the final straw.....I'm goin vegee

Anonymous said...

Yudel, did you listen to the new belsky tape???? and what have you got to say to that?

B. you write that even it was chelev, it would have gotten cut away anyhow, what does that got to do with the fact that chelev was there in the store