There are many reasons a company would be interested in gaining Kosher Certification. One of the major ones is the large market for kosher products amongst members of the Jewish faith. A second is there is an increased public perception that slaughter practices under kosher rules are healthier and therefore kosher meat is a better option for consumers in general who are worried about their health.
For these reasons many companies are exploring kosher certification and the process involved with it. For many companies it can involve setting up a separate set of processes either within the same facility or in adjacent premises to ensure that all of the food is prepared in accordance with kosher regulations.
- Slaughter of Animals – In order for meat to be kosher it must meet a certain standard; it must have been slaughtered in a particular way. This involves slaughtering the animal by hand using a very sharp knife cutting both of the jugular veins to a very specific depth allowing the animal to bleed out. If the slaughter is not completed properly then it must be done again. Generally speaking the meat is sold as non-kosher if the cut is not accomplished to the exact required precision.
- Animal Products – Great care is required in the case of prepared foods that need to meet kosher standards. In order for a prepared food product to be kosher all of the ingredients must themselves be kosher. Generally, if the product comes from an animal that is itself kosher, then it is considered to be kosher. If that animal is diseased then it never can be kosher. Similarly if any of the animal products such as milk or eggs are contaminated with blood they would be non-kosher. Finally cheeses are often manufactured using non-kosher ingredients, meaning it is important that any cheese be mechanically separated from the whey.
- Blood – In order for meat to be considered kosher it must come from an animal that is already kosher. In order to remove the blood from the meat tradition dictates washing of the meat to remove the blood followed by a prolonged soaking. This soaking opens pores in the meat allowing the blood to flow out, following this it is salted and allowed to sit after which the meat is washed again to remove the salt.
- Combining Fish and Meat – Fish and meat may each be considered kosher on their own. However, the mixing of fish and meat in a meal or dish is strictly prohibited under Jewish dietary law. Many Jewish people, particularly orthodox Jews, will avoid the combination of the two because of their strict adherence to dietary rules.
So there you have it, a look at kosher food and the requirements that must be met to meet certification standards.
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