Jewish Business

Being Kosher On A Trip

Keeping Kosher on a trip offers many challenges. If you reside in a city having a large Jewish population you are likely used to having a wide selection of certified Kosher restaurants to use. This selection of reliable Kosher restaurants can diminish dramatically when one travels out of the house. In these cases questions may arise regarding how you can keep kosher on a trip and how to go with a reliable restaurant overseas. Many individuals mistakenly believe that so-called "vegetarian" or "vegan" restaurants are acceptable options to actual kosher establishments--a dangerous myth indeed.
That Salad Might be Less Kosher Than Pork
Contrary to popular belief eating a straightforward salad at the non-kosher restaurant could possibly be worse than eating a slice of ham! From the Jewish law standpoint (halacha) the prohibition against eating insects is more stringent than eating pork! For that salad to get kosher it needs to happen to be thoroughly checked for insects, a requirement that the basic washing methods of virtually all non-kosher eating establishments won't satisfy. There are certain pre-packaged salad products that are certified being bug free, however prior to deciding to grip that salad on your next cruise be certain ask to determine the packaging to substantiate if that lettuce came from a reliable source. When you have determined that this lettuce is free of bugs, ensure it is served on a cold clean (or disposable) place and that no "sharp" foods for example onions, radishes, lemon, etc. happen to be added since that will present other kashrut conditions might make that bug-free salad treif!
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Dressings also pose problems. As an example, could be the dressing parve or created using milk? Does the dressing offer an acceptable kosher certification (hashgacha)? But too, did the vegetables or fruits come from Israel? Such imported products could present problems regarding tithing, as an example. Will be the restaurant using non-kosher wine or flavoring oils?
The buzz of fast food restaurants poses unique concerns for the kosher traveler. Restaurants like Starbucks give you a combination of both kosher and non-kosher products that usually are not clearly labeled. Generally, unflavored coffee (regular or decaf) is appropriate. When this happens the drink needs to be within a disposable cup and should not encounter silverware (stir the coffee with something disposable). In america one could add milk for their coffee (assuming they cannot hold Chalav Yisroel).
Flavored coffees pose their particular problems. Many coffee places use non-kosher flavoring syrups or powders. Before adding flavor in your coffee make sure to examine the packaging in order that no doubt it is kosher. Understand that because you examined the packaging once, you must do so when you order since several restaurants will alter brands without notifying customers.
The final outcome in terms of ordering coffee being an unsupervised establishment is the fact that one may purchase plain coffee without as hasgacha if they're careful to inspect any added ingredients, and make use of disposable cups and utensils.
Anything of Caution
Despite these leniencies and information it can be critical that you consult your own competent Orthodox Rabbi for specific instructions. Not every person holds by the same leniences or halachic rulings and for that reason you have to inquire with their rav before purchasing from an unsupervised establishment. The above mentioned info is intended as a rough guide and review of the worries of the kosher traveler and cannot be taken as halachic advice.
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