October 28, 2013

Kosher Law Enforcement Still Has no Inspectors and no Head

ALBANY, NY — The departure of Rabbi Luzer Weiss, the head of the Kosher Law Enforcement Division of the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, for the moment leaves the agency without any designated personnel to kosher. KosherToday has learned that the Department is looking for a replacement but that it has no plans to rehire the inspectors that were ousted in an ostensible budget move several years ago. In fact, the sources say that while the Department is committed to staff the kosher division with an official, it hopes that some of the routine kosher law enforcement will be carried out by New York State health inspectors.

Observers note that the absence of the inspectors has brought charges by many consumers of many incidents of misrepresentations of kosher, particularly the co-mingling of kosher and non kosher items in aisles that are labeled as kosher. Some Orthodox Jewish organizations have been urging the administration of Governor Andrew Cuomo “to put teeth back into kosher law enforcement.” For the moment the state is searching for a new head of that division.