Rabbinate: More Pesach Violations This Year

While many Israelis took the week off for Pesach vacation, the supervisors of kashruth in the Chief Rabbinate were working overtime.

Moshe Cohen ,

Kosher (illustration)
Kosher (illustration)
Flash 90

While many Israelis took the week off for Pesach vacation, one group – the supervisors of kashruth in the Chief Rabbinate – were working overtime. Dozens of violations of laws against fraud, the applicable statutes for sales of food that are presented as kosher when they are not, were filed against businesses around the country, and the supervisors issued dozens of fines against violating businesses.

With the Pesach holiday days coming on the weekends, making for a five-day Hol Hamo'ed, many more businesses than usual sought to receive a coveted Kashruth certificate from the Rabbinate that would let them remain open for the week, while advertising themselves as Kosher for Passover.

Requirements for such certificates are stringent, and preparations can take weeks, if not months, with restaurants required to invest in new dishes, special ingredients, etc. Some businesses that failed to comply with the rules issued their own certificates, and the inspectors spent much of the week tracking down rogue businesses that claimed to be Kosher for Passover, but did not do the required work.

In some cases, businesses that were kosher all year long presented themselves as Kosher for Passover, but relied on their regular year-round kashruth certificates during the holiday week as well. Businesses that were caught doing so were given fines, and had their certificates cancelled as well.

In addition, there were numerous cases in which a business that had a legitimate certificate was fined because of inconsistencies or violations, especially in the kitchen. In some cases, Arab workers brought food from home with them; according to Rabbinate requirements, workers at Kosher for Passover establishments are not allowed to bring in any outside food.

The Rabbinate said that it was incumbent on all consumers to be on the lookout for fraud and to report violations when they see them. “Just because someone says they are kosher it doesn't mean they really are,” a Rabbinate official said. “Even if they are selling Kosher for Passover food, it doesn't mean there aren't other problems,” and consumers should not be afraid to ask questions or to call the supervisor listed on the certificate.



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