How Trustworthy is the Fish Monger or Fish Restaurant?

November 24, 2009

EnglishSome news articles that stimulate our consideration of halakhic standards.

Here is the case of …

Mysterious Sushi.

While livestock and fowl, which halakhically require she’hitah, need to be produced under strict kashrut supervision, fish is exempt from the requirement of ritually regulated slaughtering, and may be purchased without supervision. Nonetheless, purchasing fish from an unsupervised merchant is not worry free. Substitution by related species is quite common, even though sometimes a genus consists of both kosher (with scales) and non-kosher species (lacking scales). Thus, fillets should not be purchased from unsupervised stores, unless they are made into fillets in presence of the customer, so that the customer can identify the fish first, usually by seeing the skin with scales still attached (exception: salmon may reliably be identified by its peculiar pink flesh).

Nonetheless, many kosher customers are either not aware of the severity of matter, or consider substitution unlikely. So, the following report may come as a surprise: Read the rest of this entry »