What is Kosher food?
If you see a K label on any packed food or it is indicated as Kosher certified means that food is Kosher. Kosher is a precise food that does not have any forbidden ingredients like pork or shellfish in meat or mixtures like dairy and meat together. Natural fruits and vegetables are always considered Kosher. On the other side processed foods are considered Kosher if their production method has been supervised to make sure they have no forbidden ingredients or mixtures. According to Kosher law, food is divided into five category and all types of food have different norms from the preparation to the final stage.
- Meat products –according to Jewish law meat is only Kosher if it comes from a specific animal like chicken or beef, but not pork. According to Kosher law, it must come from ruminant animals such as sheep, lambs, goat, cows and deer who has split hooves or cloven. Some birds like turkey, geese, chicken, dove and quail can be also eaten. To be considered Kosher the blood must be completely drained before cooking. Meat has to be butchered following the laws of Jewish slaughter. The utensils used to slaughter or prepare the meat must be Kosher and designated only for use with meat and meat products
- Dairy Food –As per Jewish law, any dairy product which comes from Kosher animals such as milk, cheese, butter, and yogurt is consumable. Another rule for the dairy product is it must come from a Kosher animal. The utensil for meat products and dairy products should always be separate and the dairy product must be prepared by using Kosher utensils and equipment
- Fish and egg (Pareve food) - It is a third food category and according to Jewish law fish and eggs are both considered as pareve and they must meet the Kosher food norms. . Fish such as tuna, mackerel salmon, halibut is Kosher because it has fins and scales. Fish and eggs can be cooked and eaten alongside meat or dairy products. Although eggs must be supervised separately and can be eaten only if they are from Kosher birds.
- Fruits and vegetables - Fresh fruits and vegetables are mostly considered Kosher but there are some guidelines for fruits and vegetables as well. Before eating washing of fruits and vegetables is required to make sure that they do not have any insects. If the Kosher ingredients and equipment are used during the processing of canned or frozen food, they will be considered Kosher.
Other Kosher foods- Grains are Kosher and the Jewish people use grains to bake the bread and other bakery items. Not all bread is Kosher as there are some useful ingredients like oil, enzymes during the baking process. If all ingredients and equipment are Kosher in the baking procedure then only the bread can be certified as Kosher. Seed, oil and nuts are also kosher if these are not processed and being consumed form. But if they’ve been processed, the processing guidelines of Kosher food must be followed.