April 22, 2013

The Protocols Can Be Breeched by a Determined Owner, Rabbis Say

NEW YORK — The chatter amongst rabbis and kashrus officials last week seemed to be heavily tilted towards the theory that the breech at Doheny Glatt Kosher Meat in Los Angeles was an aberration and that it could happen anywhere if an owner was determined to bypass strict protocols that are in place. They compared it to a determined airline passenger that occasionally breeches TSA security procedures at a local airport. 

Yet, kashrus officials who already in many cases introduced holograms, video cameras, and other high-tech tools to prevent the reoccurrence of a Doheny or a Shevach (the site of the Monsey scandal where unlike LA treif meat was sold) are planning on additional measures to protect the integrity of the supply of kosher meat and poultry. They said that owners Mike Engelman and  Moshe Finkel may have come from different backgrounds but in the end conspired to defraud the consumer. 

While many called the protocols that are in place a virtual fool-proof system, others said that a “determined criminal” could find a way. Interestingly, some of the rabbis had stories of how they caught violations with the protocols in place. Kashrus agencies are determined to assure that even the occasional breech never occurs.