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January 28, 2015 / 8 Shevat, 5775
 
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Kosher Food Vendor Suing the Mets

The Kosher Sports stand at the Mets' Citi Field

The Kosher Sports stand at the Mets' Citi Field
Photo Credit: Kosher Sports Inc.

The New York Daily News reports that Kosher Sports Inc., which “introduces the quality of Glatt Kosher food to professional sports and entertainment venues throughout the country” (as stated on their website), has hired the high-powered law firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP (of Gore v. Bush, Florida, circa 2000) in its upcoming court battle with the NY Mets over selling hot dogs at Citi Field on the Jewish Sabbath.

Kosher Sports filed a breach-of-contract suit against the Mets nearly two years ago after the team banned it from selling kosher food during Friday night and Saturday home games — a move the vendor says caused it to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in profits.

The kosher food vendor had signed a 10-year, $725,000 contract to sell glatt kosher Abeles and Heymann hot dogs, sausages, knishes, pretzels, and peanuts at Mets home games, according to the suit filed in Brooklyn Federal Court. The case is set for trial this month. (Obviously, the pretzels and the peanuts do not qualify as “glatt,” which is a term used exclusively in the processing of meat – YY)

Top team officials in the Mets organization were apparently concerned about “undermined credibility with Sabbath-observing” fans, the court papers filed by the vendor charge. Simply put, no matter how kosher the meat was when you bought it, once you cooked it on Shabbat – observant Jews won’t touch it.

Two years ago, according to the New York Post, Rabbi Shmuel Heinemann, who monitors Kosher Sports’ compliance with Kashrut laws, denied giving the company the OK to operate on the Sabbath.

“There’s no way they can be kosher if they operate on Friday nights and Saturdays,” said Rabbi Shmuel Heinemann.

It does bring to mind a different question: If you go out to the ballgame on a Friday night instead of hitting the nearest shul for Kabbalat Shabbat, why would you need your hot dogs to be kosher?

The company states that its products are under the strict kosher supervision of the Star-K. But the kosher certification service website does not list a current hechsher for the Citi Field outlet. It does list a certification good only through October 31, 2011.

Kosher Sports, Inc. served “an all-star menu” at the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl. CEO Jonathan Katz proudly stated that it was the first time “a glatt kosher food offering” was present at the Pro Bowl or the Super Bowl.

KSI is no stranger at big events, having served glatt kosher food at professional sports and entertainment venues since 2003. Those included until recently the Mets’ Citi Field, as well as the US Open Tennis Championships, M&T Bank Stadium, Lincoln Financial Field, Land Shark Stadium, Prudential Center, and Oriole Park.

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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2 Responses to “Kosher Food Vendor Suing the Mets”

  1. Wazup says:

    Abeles and Heymann makes THE best Hot Dogs.

  2. Baruch from Da Bronx says:

    The media reports have gotten this case all wrong. Kosher SPorts (KS) claims it can sub-let its space on shabbos. The vendor to which it would sublet would sell non-kosher food.
    KS would NOT be selling any food on shabbos. The sub-tenant would. The Mets are claiming that this is not allowed under the contract and only kosher food can be sold in the space it leases to KS. The agreement between the Mets and KS is that the Mets will make sure that Aramark, the vendor of all other food at CitiField, does not sell kosher food. The Mets claim that the contract between them and KS does not allow non-kosher food from being sold in the space allocated to KS, which would be competition with Aramark, the vendor in the rest of the Stadium.

    Lesson to learned – root for the YANKEES!!!!!

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