December 20, 2010

Tightening Standards of Kashrus

I noted with glee that the most recent meeting of the kashrus committees in Dallas dealt with a Bill of Rights for Mashgichim. Sponsored by the Association of Kashrus Organizations, the new policy would seek to safeguard the working conditions and compensation of thousands of kosher supervisors. I also noticed that some of these issues are being openly discussed by kashrus organizations, despite the fact that the largest kashrus organizations have been leap years ahead in protecting their mashgichim from unsafe and unpleasant work environments. I have no doubt that this is a very important development in preserving the high standards of kashrus.

Similarly, there appears to be a new awareness that mashgichim and shochtim in processing plants must have a degree of autonomy and not be subject to the same restraints placed on ordinary workers. Charged with safeguarding the kashrus, it is important for the mashgichim and rabbonim to enjoy a measure of independence, as one would expect from a strictly kosher plant. This too, when observed properly, will have an enormous positive impact on kashrus, which must constantly strive to upgrade standards. Sure, there is no perfect world and the consumer recognizes that, but at the same time the average customer expects constant efforts to assure that kosher is as near perfect as possible. In fact, in kashrus the customer has come to expect a perfect world, and as far as I am concerned, that’s perfect!