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An Issue That Has Been Bugging Me

Looking for An Easy Salad? No problem. Rip open a bag of
lettuce, add dressing, and voilà – you’ve got your salad. Want
something more exotic? Try the freezer section – broccoli, cauliflower,
asparagus, frozen strawberries – all strictly kosher and ready to use. No
big deal, you think. Couldn’t be easier.

See the following article on the ou website. If one is going away for Pesach one should ask the Mashgiach in the hotel how carefully the vegetables are checked for bugs. Remember, bugs are a great source of protein. But they are gross!! And five biblical prohibitions per bug! And our vegetables are INFESTED. So beware.


I was actually wondering how it is that certain caterers have a very reliable hechsher but the salads are not checked properly. For example I know at a particualr Wedding that I attended that the caterer had one of the better hechshers in the tri state area and yet the spinach wasnt checked rather plain frozen spinach ( they defrosted for the wedding). I can only assume that the mashgichim are relying on certain Kulahs. I am happy however that Rabbi Eisen from the 5 Towns, has helped write a pamphlet to educate people how to check for Bugs in vegetables. He has also been to various shuls and yeshivos having seminars with women educating them on the issue. ( He actually takes raspberry on crushes them and a few bugs usually come crawling out)!!!
Enjoy your 'Pareve' romain lettuce!!!

To what extent can one trust the mashgiach when asking about how well the caterer at a hotel cleans its vegetables? If I ask the mashgiach and he tells me that they are careful, is that enough? It's possible that even if they weren’t careful or didn’t use bodek, that he wouldn’t tell me since this might jeopardize the hotel’s profits. Can we assume that the masgiach has a chazaka if he represents a respected caterer?

R'Aharon - You read my mind! I had the exact same question. I am going to look into it.

One thing is for sure. If he doesn't seem like a trustworthy fellow [he curses, doesn't daven, he is not around when he should be etc.] one cannot rely on him. But that you knew.

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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