December 14, 2015

“Kosher Style” Remains a Problem for Rabbis Despite Decline

New York - Students at a recent Hunter College seminar were offered “kosher style” food, which essentially meant that the food would not be certified kosher although the foods would be identifiably Jewish (i.e. pastrami sandwich).  At the same time, Muslim students were simply offered Halal food. Kosher sources say that the “kosher-style” foods have largely disappeared in many areas, although they are still available at formidable eating establishments like Baldacci’s, which also offers a robust Passover menu from the matzoh balls to the brisket. Zabar’s is a good example of the transition that many kosher-style establishments are making although they still do not have on-site certification and some items may be questionable.  Kashrus sources say that kosher-style remains a problem in that it is often confused with kosher certified items. One rabbi said that there are still kosher eating establishments in cities like New York that do not have regular on-site kosher supervision. This often means that a rabbi certifies that he visits periodically, has checked the ingredients, and thus considers the establishment kosher. Not so with kosher-style, which does not even have this minimum standard.