Wednesday, June 5, 2013

KSA Kosher Discusses the Particulars of Kosher Fish

KSA Kosher
Rules about which fish are kosher and which are not are all derived from the Torah, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, states Kosher Supervision of America (KSA Kosher). The signs that indicate a kosher fish are clear: fins and scales. For a fish to be declared kosher it must have both, according to Kosher Supervision of America (KSA Kosher), the largest recognized and accepted kosher certification agency based in the Western U.S.

Kosher Supervision of America (KSA Kosher) points out that the Torah states that any fish that has scales also has fins, whether they are obvious or not. Thus, if a certain fish is known to have scales, it is kosher, according to Kosher Supervision of America (KSA Kosher).

The Torah does not explain why these are the determining factors, as is the case with many other kosher laws.

More about scales

Kosher Supervision of America (KSA Kosher) explains that some fish lose their scales when removed from the water. For a fish to be rendered kosher, the scales have to be easily seen and easily removed in cleaning. According to Kosher Supervision of America (KSA Kosher), even if a fish only has a few scales it is still deemed to be kosher.

Kosher Supervision of America (KSA Kosher) states that if an immature fish is of a species that only develops scales when fully grown, it is still considered kosher. On the other hand, if a fish species has scales as a young fish but not when fully mature, its kosher status is unclear, according to Kosher Supervision of America (KSA Kosher).

A list of common kosher fish

Albacore Bass Carp Cod Flounder Grouper Herring Mackerel Pike Perch Salmon Most species of sardines Snapper Tilapia Trout Many (but not all) tuna Whitefish

A list of common non-kosher fish

Catfish Freshwater cod Eels Shark Shellfish (shrimp, lobster, clams, mussels, octopus, etc.) Sturgeon Swordfish

Purchasing kosher fish

Kosher Supervision of America (KSA Kosher) notes, as is always the case with kosher laws, food and equipment used to process kosher foods should not be shared with non-kosher foods. Thus, according to Kosher Supervision of America (KSA Kosher), when purchasing fish from a fishmonger, one must ask him or her to carefully wash the knife and board before filleting a kosher fish or the customer should bring his or her own knife and board, advises Kosher Supervision of America (KSA Kosher). When buying fish from a non-kosher store, the customer must personally view the fish scales or at least note the marks where they were before cleaning, encourages Kosher Supervision of America (KSA Kosher). A sign declaring kosher certification is not sufficient, according to Kosher Supervision of America (KSA Kosher).

Sea creatures

Any sea creature without fins or scales is not kosher, regardless of its scientific classification or appearance, says Kosher Supervision of America (KSA Kosher). In addition to shellfish, whales, porpoise and dolphin are not kosher because they are mammals and lack scales, according to Kosher Supervision of America (KSA Kosher).

Caviar and roe

Only the eggs of a kosher fish are kosher; all others are not. Thus, caviar should be avoided unless it has a credible kosher certification, such as the seal offered by Kosher Supervision of America (KSA Kosher).

Monday, June 3, 2013

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon of KSA Kosher on the Advantages of Kosher Certification

KSA KosherMany people know the term “kosher” but do not understand the idea of kosher certification. In this Q&A, the founder and head of one of America’s premier kosher certifying agencies, Kosher Supervision of America (KSA Kosher), discusses the benefits of this special process.

Q. Rabbi Lisbon, why should people care about kosher certification?

Rabbi Lisbon, KSA Kosher: Hundreds of thousands of Jews observe the dietary rules known as “Kashrus” derived from the Bible and depend on authoritative determination as to which foods are acceptable and which are not. However, most people around the world eat some kosher food every day and they’re not even aware of it.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Kosher Supervision of America’s Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon Discusses what Makes KSA Kosher Exceptional


KSA Kosher
Kosher certification is a complex and exacting process. In this interview Rabbi Lisbon, a recognized kosher authority and the administrator of KSA kosher certification efforts explains how his nonprofit agency stands out in this competitive field.

Q. Rabbi Lisbon, what sets Kosher Supervision of America (KSA Kosher) apart from other agencies?

Rabbi Lisbon, KSA Kosher: There are a host of kosher certification agencies worldwide, Orthodox Union (OU) prominent among them, at least in the Eastern U.S. Kosher Supervision of America is the largest recognized and accepted kosher certification agency based in the Western U.S. There are also smaller groups and even individual Rabbis who place their stamp of approval on products, but in our view that adds to the confusion.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

KSA Kosher – From the Beginning Until Today


KSA KosherKosher Supervision of America (KSA Kosher) was founded in 1996 in order to respond to the genuine need for bona fide kosher certification for a number of food producers in the Western United States. From its modest beginnings certifying a handful of food manufacturers, it soon enjoyed astounding growth and today can boast almost 500 companies among its clients. KSA Kosher prides itself on providing outstanding customer service. KSA counts among its staff renowned authorities in the Kashrus field that together possess more than 30 years of experience.

Rabbi Yossy Bodenstein, Rabbi Yechezkal Auerbach, and Rabbi Binyomin Kreitman are at the helm of daily operations at KSA Kosher making sure that each and every product bearing the KSA symbol meets the highest standards of Kashrus. Rabbi Chaim Goldzweig, known as the “grandfather” of kosher certification, is the consultant at KSA.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Kosher Gelatin May Be Derived from Bovine Skin, Says KSA Kosher


KSA KosherDue to its chemical breakdown, the skins of ritually slaughtered animals may not be considered food. According to KSA Kosher, kosher gelatin may be made out of a number of different substances. Traditionally, it is derived from the bones and skin of kosher fish. Kosher gelatin may also come in vegetarian form when produced from agar-agar, also known as China grass.

However, gelatin made from animals is generally not produced from kosher or kosher-slaughtered animals. A kosher individual should avoid consuming gelatin derived from a non-kosher animal.

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