Chief Ashkenazic Rabbi Yonah Metzger returned to Israel this week from a kashrut (kosherness) inspection tour of meat factories in Argentina – the source of 80% of the beef sold in Israel. The rabbi said at the end of the tour that the meat which carries the kashrut stamp of the Chief Rabbinate is no less kosher than Israel-produced meat bearing the most highly revered “badatz” stamps.
The chief rabbi was accompanied in Argentina by the Head of Overseas Shechitah (kosher slaughter) in the Rabbinate, Rabbi Ezra Harari Raful. He inspected several meat production facilities and was pleased with what he saw, but requested that improvements be made in the process of marking the meat. Whereas until now, treif (unkosher) meat was cast aside without being marked, Rabbi Metzger requested that the treif meat be stamped with a distinct warning mark, so as to avoid its mistaken inclusion with kosher meat.
Israel's Kosher Meat law specifies that the Chief Rabbinate is exclusively responsible for meat imports. The Chief Rabbi said after the South American tour that the Kosher Meat law needs to be amended so that it clearly includes internal organs like livers and lungs, and not just external ones. The current wording, he explained, could enables some importers to bring into Israel internal organs from animals that are forbidden for eating by the Bible.