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The Kosher Status of Meat, Dairy and Fish
The Kosher Status of Meat, Dairy and Fish


1. I have seen packages of buffalo meat with kosher symbols. Is buffalo meat really kosher?

2. Are Guinea Fowl and Quail kosher? We would like to eat the eggs.

3. Can Worcestershire Sauce be used to flavor meat and chicken?

4. I run a kosher kitchen at a senior center. We have no problem with the separation of milk and meat, that for us is obvious, but it starts getting fuzzy around the "Pareve" issue. Because we have no utensils that are designated pareve, all our pareve recipes are prepared on either meat equipment or dairy equipment. My question is this: Is something that is prepared on meat equipment, permitted with a dairy meal, since the ingredients are strictly pareve?

5. If animals and birds need to be slaughtered, why don’t fish?

6. When something is marked with a "DE", does that mean it can only be used with a dairy meal, on dairy dishes? Can something marked "DE" be used with meat flatware?

7. What does the Star-K hechsher on tuna mean?

8. Why is eating fish and meat together prohibited?

9. Your website indicates that the use of "pareve" regarding a food product means that the product contains no meat or dairy ingredients. Does this mean vegans and vegetarians can eat pareve foods without any concern?

10. What are the cheeses that are considered "hard cheeses" for which one has to wait six hours before eating meat? Are cottage and cream cheese considered hard cheeses? What if the hard cheese is cooked?

11. Someone told me that gelatin can come from horses hooves. Is that true?

12. Do canned tuna and canned salmon need to be bishul Yisroel? Are these products, when certified by Star-K, bishul Yisroel?

13. What is the status of herring that does not have any kosher certification?

14. Why is swordfish not kosher?

15. Why is eel not kosher?

16. Is catfish or sturgeon considered kosher by some Jewish authorities?

17. What exactly is the difference between Star-K and Star-D?

18. I understand that fat is prohibited to eat (Leviticus 7:23). Does this apply to all fat of all animals?

19. Can one use the same knife sharpener for meat and dairy knives?

20. Can one use a non-stick Teflon indoor grill for preparation of both milk and meat dishes?

21. Why is kosher food prepared in two kitchens?

22. What is the blessing that is said before slaughtering an animal? Is it said over each animal is slaughtered?

23. What does the designation of DE after the kosher symbol mean? Can the item be eaten as dessert for a meat meal? If not, does one need to wait six hours after a meat meal to eat the item?



1. I have seen packages of buffalo meat with kosher symbols. Is buffalo meat really kosher?


Yes, Star-K accepts properly slaughtered buffalo or bison meat as kosher.

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2. Are Guinea Fowl and Quail kosher? We would like to eat the eggs.

The Torah lists 24 species of non-kosher fowl. All others are permitted. However, over the years uncertainty has arisen over the identification of these birds. Therefore, Jews consider a fowl kosher only if there is a tradition that this species has always been considered kosher (as with chicken). There is no such tradition regarding Guinea Fowl and Quail, and therefore, they are not considered kosher. Click here for a further discussion on kosher birds.

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3. Can Worcestershire Sauce be used to flavor meat and chicken?

Whether or not worcestershire sauce can be used as a flavoring for meat or poultry depends upon the percentage of anchovies used in the ingredients. Anchovies are small fish. The halacha does not permit the mixing of meat and fish because of sakana, halachic health concerns. However, if the amount of anchovies are less than 1/60, i.e., less than 1.66% of the worcestershire ingredients, the fish would be batul b'shishim, nullified in the sauce, and would not be considered a health concern. (For example, a sauce marked "STAR-K Fish" contains more than 1.66% fish, whereas a sauce with anchovies marked with only an "STAR-K" uses less.)

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4. I run a kosher kitchen at a senior center. We have no problem with the separation of milk and meat, that for us is obvious, but it starts getting fuzzy around the "Pareve" issue. Because we have no utensils that are designated pareve, all our pareve recipes are prepared on either meat equipment or dairy equipment. My question is this: Is something that is prepared on meat equipment, permitted with a dairy meal, since the ingredients are strictly pareve?

Initially one may not cook parve food in a dairy pot in order to eat with meat (or vice versa). However, if not done intentionally to eat with meat, and the pot had not been used for 24 hours, the food may then be eaten with meat. (The parve food should be served with disposable utensils.) One may cook parve food in a dairy pot (even if the pot had been used used within 24 hours) in order to eat the parve food after meat.

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5. If animals and birds need to be slaughtered, why don’t fish?

In Numbers 11:22 it states, “If sheep and cattle be slaughtered for them, will there be enough? If all the fish of the sea will be gathered for them, will there be enough?” From this quote we can understand that sheep and cattle require slaughtering, however, fish require only “gathering” and do not need to be slaughtered. They may be killed in any fashion.

The reason for this is given in the Talmud (Chulin 27b).Animals and birds are considered a higher level of creation than fish.

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6. When something is marked with a "DE", does that mean it can only be used with a dairy meal, on dairy dishes? Can something marked "DE" be used with meat flatware?

A reliably certified product marked DE can be eaten after, but not with meat. If served at a meat meal, it should be eaten with disposable utensils.

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7. What does the Star-K hechsher on tuna mean?

Star-K tuna is always Bishul Yisroel, and the mashgiach checks that every fish is kosher by checking for scales. ;All additives and utensils used are kosher.

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8.Why is eating fish and meat together prohibited?

The Talmud states that one who consumes fish and meat together is at risk for the disease "tzara'as", and therefore this combination is prohibited..

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9. Your website indicates that the use of "pareve" regarding a food product means that the product contains no meat or dairy ingredients. Does this mean vegans and vegetarians can eat pareve foods without any concern?"

Fish and eggs are pareve, since they are neither meat nor dairy, although they are not considered vegan. As far as vegetarians are concerned, there are different levels of adherence and varied opinions as to what vegetarians will accept. We are aware of many vegetarians who seek out pareve foods and feel that pareve satisfies their needs. However, we cannot say definitively that all pareve foods are suitable for all vegetarians. If you have a question about a specific product, feel free to contact us.

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10. What are the cheeses that are considered "hard cheeses" for which one has to wait six hours before eating meat? Are cottage and cream cheese considered hard cheeses? What if the hard cheese is cooked?

Hard cheese is cheese that has been aged so that it no longer can be sliced. Parmesian cheese is considered hard if it has been aged for six months. Romano may also be a hard cheese (but is not readily available as kosher). Swiss, Cheddar, Muenster, and Mozzarella are not hard cheeses. Cottage and cream cheese are certainly not hard cheeses either. If a hard cheese is cooked, it does not lose its status as a hard cheese.

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11. Someone told me that gelatin can come from horses hooves. Is that true? Yes, it is possible that gelatin may come from horses hooves. Gelatin is a natural product that can be extracted from bones, hides, or hooves. The more common source would be animal hides. A reliable kosher certification ensures that the gelatin comes only from kosher animals.

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12. Do canned tuna and canned salmon need to be bishul Yisroel? Are these products, when certified by Star-K, bishul Yisroel?

We recommend mashgiach temidi/bishul Yisroel for tuna and salmon. When certified by Star-K, they are always mashgiach temidi/bishul Yisroel.


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13. What is the status of herring that does not have any kosher certification?

Since the herring has no visible scales after processing, it requires kosher certification. Also, the processing of the herring may render it non-kosher as well.

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14. Why is swordfish not kosher?

The adult swordfish has no scales. Even the scales of a young swordfish are not true scales. A fish is only kosher if it has scales that can be removed from the skin. The scales of swordfish cannot be removed without destroying the skin. Therefore swordfish is not kosher.

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15. Why is eel not kosher? I know it has small scales and elongated fins.

The scales on eels are not like fish scales which are removable. They are part of the eel's skin and therefore eels are not kosher.

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16. Is catfish or sturgeon considered kosher by some Jewish authorities?

In Leviticus 11:12 the Torah states that a kosher fish has fins and scales. The fish you mention have no scales and are not kosher.

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17. What exactly is the difference between Star-K and Star-D?

The Star-K symbol on dairy products is cholov yisroel. These products are certified by Star-K Certification, Inc. whose Rabbinic Administrator is Rabbi Moshe Heinemann. Star-D is the registered trademark of the National Council of Young Israel. All Star-D establishments and products are administered by Star-K personnel. All standards of Star-K are employed in Star-D certifications except for the fact that Star-D products are cholov stam - not cholov yisroel.

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18. I understand that fat is prohibited to eat (Leviticus 7:23). Does this apply to all fat of all animals?

No, it only applies to certain parts of the fat of farm animals (e.g. sheep, cow, goat), but not to non-farm animals (e.g. deer). This fat is removed by kosher butchers in the process of preparing meat for sale. The remaining fat on meat that has been properly prepared is permitted.

The forbidden fat is called "chelev". When animal sacrifices were brought to the Temple, the Torah required that the "chelev" of the sacrifices be brought to the altar.

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19. Can one use the same knife sharpener for meat and dairy knives?

If the sharpener gets hot (more than 120F) during sharpening, one should use separate sharpeners. If the sharpener does not get hot, then one can use the same one for meat and dairy. The knife should be washed in coo lwater before and after sharpening and the sharpener should be rinsed in cool water after use.

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20. Can one use a non-stick Teflon indoor grill for preparation of both milk and meat dishes?

No. Even though the grill is "non-stick Teflon", one may not use the same one for milk and meat.

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21. Why is kosher food prepared in two kitchens?

Kosher requirements specify that dairy and meat foods may not be mixed. Therefore, a kosher kitchen must have separate facilities for meat and dairy. When dealing with large quantities of foods (such as in a hotel), separate kitchens are required.

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22. What is the blessing that is said before slaughtering an animal? Is it said over each animal is slaughtered?

The text of the blessing is, "Blessed are you....who has sanctified us through Your commandments and has commanded us in regards to kosher ritual slaughter." It is said once prior to the starting of the kosher slaughtering process and it covers the entire day's production.

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23. What does the designation of DE after the kosher symbol mean? Can the item be eaten as dessert for a meat meal? If not, does one need to wait six hours after a meat meal to eat the item?

The Star-K does not use the DE designation, but those agencies that do are putting the designation on foods that have no dairy but have been produced on dairy equipment. DE products can be eaten as a dessert after meat, but not together with meat.You do not need to wait six hours.

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