What is Kosher
Kosher originates in the Hebrew word “Kasher” or “Kosher” which means pure and suitable for human consumption. Kosher foods must comply with kashrut rules as laid down in the Torah. Kosher foods fall into various categories such as pareve, dairy and animal products.
Animal products or meat
The only meat that is derived from animals that have split hooves and chew the cud is permissible under Kosher and this includes cows, sheep, and goats. Birds may be consumed but only chicken, ducks, geese, and turkey.
All such animals must be slaughtered in a prescribed way under the supervision of a Schochet who is trained in Kosher rituals. Thereafter the veins and blood must be removed by soaking in water and rubbing with salt only after which it is declared fit for consumption. Even utensils that are used in slaughter, cleaning, and preparation must be Kosher and specifically designated for the purpose. Kosher does not permit the mixing of animal and dairy products and utensils for both must be kept separate.
All foods that contain milk or are milk products must be derived from a Kosher animal and should not contain rennet or gelatin and should be processed in Kosher certified equipment.
All other foods such as eggs, fish, fruit, grains, juices, soft drink, coffee, tea, snacks, and vegetables are classified as Pareve under Kosher. All such foods must be processed in equipment designated to handle only pareve foods and equipment used to process meat or dairy must never be used for such products. Eggs should not contain blood spots and fish should have fins and scales. Even wine has a specific Kosher classification and ingredients used need to be Kosher in origin.