August 22, 2016

Tough Standards for Knife Sharpening in New York

New Square  NY - Some of the toughest standards for sharpening knives in kosher foodservice is in New York, according to Rabbi C.M. Wagshall from New Square Kosher Council. Kosher Today had earlier reported that the Association of Kashrus Organizations (AKO) had warned of the possibility that a knife sharpening company might exchange the knives that were properly koshered for non-koshered knives. Rabbi S. H. Adler reported that in Toronto they have installed a deep fryer in one sharpening company, and a COR Mashgiach uses it to kosher all knives before they are sent back to the establishments.  According to Rabbi Wagshall, his agency has certified sharpened knives by a company called E-Z Edge in West New York, NJ. where in addition to the fact that their sharpening stones never get hot they still have a separate line to sharpen only kosher knives. “Every knife has the name of the kosher-customer embossed on its handle and our mashgiach goes there once every week to kosher all knives (after 24 hours of sharpening).” Rabbi Wagshall explained that the knives are examined by the mashgiach for cleanliness prior to kosherizing. Special attention is given that the water should be boiling each time the mashgiach dips in another set of knives. The knives are then dipped in cold water after kosherizing in boiling water. All knives are packed and transported in plastic boxes which are sterilized every week before the kosherized knives are packed. Each box of knives is sealed with kosher-seals that the mashgiach brings along every week. The kosherizing pot and its utensils are sealed by the mashgiach and is used for kosherizing only.

Rabbi Wagshall further noted: “We use “kosher oil” for those grinding parts that need to be oiled before packing. We also provide this service for Passover kitchens where only new knives (with a different color handle) are used and kosherized as needed. All boxes are new with each sealed with a different color kosher-seal for Passover identification. Each box is placed into a new plastic bag to ensure that the inner box remains clean during delivery. We use “kosher for Passover” oil for those grinding parts that need to be oiled and new towels to dry the knives before packing.”