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December 8, 2016 / 8 Kislev, 5777
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Rabbis Find Bugs in Most American Fruits and Vegetables

Vegetable are healthy and kosher, Bugs are not.

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Rabbi checks for bugs in vegetables.

Rabbi checks for bugs in vegetables.
Photo Credit: Orthodox Union (OU)



The majority of fruits and vegetables are now suspect for infestation, according to rabbinic authorities.

Rabbis are finding the tiny bugs in previously “clean” fruits and vegetables under the microscope, and the (Chicago Rabbinical Council (cRc website notes that it “is continuing conducting an intense review of its policy regarding insect infestation in fruits and vegetables.”

The rabbis note that the insects can be removed with proper cleaning but add that most people simply do not have the knowledge to do such a proper cleaning. Bug checking has become a major topic for seminars for rabbis and kosher supervisors as well as ordinary consumers.

The cRc wants to keep customers away from that task. “Many times one comes across a fruit or vegetable that is highly infested with insect,” they said. “This is especially true with some organic produce. In such a case, one should not attempt to try and check and remove the insects and the produce should not be used. This is due to the fact that you are highly unlikely to properly check and remove all of the insects.”

A Montreal kosher supervisor Montreal recently issued a “kashrus alert” about strawberries that were found to contain bugs.

However, kosher agencies offer advice on how to cut the suspected fruit or vegetable and how to properly rinse. For those in kosher food service this can create havoc in a business.

“Imagine ordering a large quantity of a fruit or vegetable only to be told by the rabbi that I cannot use it because my agency just sent out an alert about it,” one caterer said.

A major kosher supermarket said it had to discontinue some salads when such notices were received by their rabbi. Some vegetables have become no-nos as rabbis say they cannot be checked.

A good example is artichokes, which the rabbis say cannot be properly checked for insects and are not recommended. Fresh artichoke bottoms may be used after a general inspection to rule out obvious infestation. Canned artichoke bottoms are acceptable only with a reliable approval from a kosher agency.

Frozen artichoke bottoms may be used if there are no added kosher sensitive ingredients. When asked for their reaction, some rabbis simply said that when pesticides are no longer used, it is no mystery why the bugs thrive.

Consuming bugs is against Jewish law.

Kosher Today

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Imported and Older Comments:

  1. That’s why we wash them. Duh.

  2. That’s why we wash them. Duh.

  3. That’s why we wash them. Duh.

  4. But where would the flavor be without them? Lol.

  5. Orah Peer says:

    so where is the list of the most infested ones,so we can avoid or wash ’em more carefully?

  6. Orah Peer says:

    so where is the list of the most infested ones,so we can avoid or wash ’em more carefully?

  7. Stu Katz says:

    Free protein….That is why you wash them duh! or is the opening round of produce producers having to put heckshers on produce and paying for Rabinic inspections?

  8. Stu Katz says:

    Free protein….That is why you wash them duh! or is the opening round of produce producers having to put heckshers on produce and paying for Rabinic inspections?

  9. Stu Katz says:

    Free protein….That is why you wash them duh! or is the opening round of produce producers having to put heckshers on produce and paying for Rabinic inspections?

  10. I think God has more important things to worry about at the moment! Instead of worrying about a slug in the lettuce etc!

  11. I think God has more important things to worry about at the moment! Instead of worrying about a slug in the lettuce etc!

  12. I think God has more important things to worry about at the moment! Instead of worrying about a slug in the lettuce etc!

  13. I’ll stop eating produce that might have microscopic bugs in them when Rabbinical authorities demand people to stop eating meat from animals that have microscopic blemishes causing them to be treif.

  14. David Cohen says:

    Certain species of locusts are the only insects that are Kosher.

  15. David Cohen says:

    Certain species of locusts are the only insects that are Kosher.

  16. David Cohen says:

    Certain species of locusts are the only insects that are Kosher.

  17. This is complete idiocy, no one Can avoid eating small amounts of bugs. They are In the water, in the food, and even enter our mouths inadvertently, and becomes eaten, without us noticing it. They are In the air, and In youre sheets. Lack of vegetables In the western diet, is the number one cause of disease in the World, bigger than malaria and tb. If you cant se the bugs, the amount is to small to count!

  18. Bugs are a sign that the fruits and veggies are not totally laced with pesticides. Besides, bugs provide added protein. Bon appetit!

  19. Bugs are a sign that the fruits and veggies are not totally laced with pesticides. Besides, bugs provide added protein. Bon appetit!

  20. Andy Brown says:

    Electronic bugs?

  21. Andy Brown says:

    Electronic bugs?

  22. Oric Eliver says:

    Are pesticides kosher as well?

  23. Oric Eliver says:

    Did you slurp down any amoebae in your bottled water?

  24. Neeta Green says:

    As an American I apologize. I am sorry .

  25. keeping kosher is about doing the BESHT that you can. this should not be used as an excuse to attack halacha or appropriate rabbinical authority.

  26. keeping kosher is about doing the BESHT that you can. this should not be used as an excuse to attack halacha or appropriate rabbinical authority.

  27. JonathanWeber says:

    What I don’t understand – if it not visible to the naked eye, we have been told there is no problem. So if it requires a microscope to see the bug, isn’t this taking it a step to far? Maybe we shouldn’t eat anything because every food has tiny micro-organisms on it that are also visible under a microscope.

  28. Jason Morgan says:

    Just use Raid Salad Dressing and its all good

  29. Alors ces chers religieux vont interdire les fruits et légumes ! Trop drôle!

  30. How about spraying them with vinegar and rinsing thoroughly?

  31. That’s why we have to check them.

  32. Rachel Cohen says:

    Buy bodek. It insect free

  33. I’m not wanting to eat any bugs, kosher or not. No. No. No.

  34. Kalman Shor says:

    Bodek is not guaranteed insect free. Ask them.

  35. TiborFuchs says:

    This article reads like it was written by a child. How does this newspaper expect any respect for itself or the subject matter if it publishes such vague dreck?

  36. ItzhakKremer says:

    I doubt that they actually use microscopes to spot the insects, but sometimes a magnifying glass can be helpful – not because the insects can’t be seen with the naked eye but because they are camouflaged. There are differing halachic opinions on this issue- see this link for details and some photos: http://kosherpoint.com/what-can-be-wrong-with-that/waiter-theres-a-bug-in-my-salad/

  37. JonathanWeber says:

    Thank you.

  38. JonathanWeber says:

    Excellent article and it makes a reasonable assumption at the end. My point is that if it requires a microscope to see the bugs, it is still kosher. However, I agree 100% it has to be washed and checked first.

  39. margiel144 says:

    I find the comment of Tibor Fuchs silly as this is obviously an introductory article for those who don’t already know about this or to give a ‘heads-up’ about the fact that more fruits and veges are at risk than we thought. Your Rabbi can lead you to more info on the topic I a m sure.
    What I wonder is why abusive comments like Robert McNamera’s or Frank L Cris’s get past the Jewish Post; they obviously violate your rules.


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