The latest violence in Egypt has finally put an end to kosher food exports from the country. Several Egyptian factories that marketed reliably kosher food to Israel will no longer be able to do so.
Over the past two and a half years, kosher certification companies in Israel have continued to send their workers (mashgihim) to Egypt despite political unrest as first Hosni Mubarak and then Mohamed Morsi was ousted from power.
The workers were quietly sent to certify various Egyptian foods as kosher, on the condition of adherence to strict security guidelines.
However, following violent clashes in Cairo this week in which at least 80 people were killed, kosher certification groups have unanimously decided that they cannot risk their staff by sending them to the country at this time.
“At a time when we cannot guarantee our workers’ safety one hundred percent, the policy is not to put them in danger,” said a statement from Rabbi David Moskowitz, the Admor of the Shatz Hassidic movement in Ashdod and head of the SKS-Lemehadrin kosher label.
As soon as the violence in Egypt subsides, the question of sending workers to supervise kosher food production will be reconsidered, he added.