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Fish

Checking Instructions

Please note the following regarding all Star-K insect checking instructions: When applicable, guidelines apply to produce grown and purchased in the United States. Checking procedures in other countries may be different.

May 18, 2010

Recently there has been much discussion about the fish worms called Anisakis. These worms/parasites have been found in certain species of fish. Some Gedolei Eretz Yisroel have ruled that these worms are halachically prohibited and, therefore, those species of fish must be inspected prior to use. Since we at Star-K strive to have our kosher certified products accepted by all kosher consumers, Rabbi Moshe Heinemann has instructed Star-K establishments and mashgichim that only the non-problematic fish be used. Until we issue policies and procedures for inspections (as we have for vegetables and fruit) the problematic species of fish - fresh, frozen or canned - will not be used, even with kosher certification (unless prior approval is given by Star-K.)

Rabbi Heinemann recommends that consumers follow the same policy. Therefore, only non-problematic fish should be used until guidelines for inspection are issued. As with all halachic issues, people should follow the guidance of their personal Rav.

Updates will be posted on this site.

Update 6/18/2010: Star-K now permits canned wild salmon as long as the consumer mashes it prior to eating. Canned farmed salmon is permitted without mashing.

Policy

The following lists are based on research by Rabbi Gershon Bess. Note: Please READ CAREFULLY since there are some species of fish that appear on both lists. Their acceptability or non-acceptability depends on where they originate. We have no information about fish not included on this list.

Until further notice, only the variety of fish found on the following list may be used without any need for inspection:

  • Carp
  • Flounder - Only Fluke, Georgia Banks, Channel
  • Gefilte Fish
  • Herring fillet
  • Lox - Farm Raised [if wild, would state "wild”]
  • Minced Fish Sticks
  • Pike
  • Pollock - Atlantic
  • Red Snapper - Eastern or Atlantic only
  • Salmon - Farm Raised (e.g. Atlantic, Norwegian, Chilean, New Zealand, British Columbia )
  • Sardines - whole fish from Morocco and Philippines. The skinless, boneless variety from all locations have not been found to contain worms.
  • Sea Bass – Striped Bass, Grouper (Mexican), Blue Nose (New Zealand)
  • Tilapia
  • Trout
  • Tuna
  • Whitefish - Michigan-Lake Superior
  • Whiting

Until we issue policies and procedures for inspections (as we have for vegetables and fruit) the following species of fish (fresh, frozen or canned) should NOT be used (even with kosher certification):

  • Butterfish
  • Cod - Scrod, Hake
  • Flounder - Yellow Tail, Wild Dabs, Black Backs, Turbot, Yellow Fin Sole
  • Halibut
  • Pollack – Alaskan – Fillet fish sticks or patties
  • Red Perch
  • Red Snapper - Pacific
  • Sable a.k.a Black Cod - including Smoked
  • Salmon, Wild - Fresh/Frozen – All types
  • Sardines – Norway, Scotland, Portugal and Poland - whole fish only, even when bearing kosher certification
  • Sole
  • Yellow Fin Sole

Insect Pictures


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Tutorials


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Video Clips

This webconference was delivered April 28, 2010. Rabbi Zvi Goldberg and Rabbi Mordechai Frankel discuss the background to the worldwide discussion of the anisakis worm found in the flesh of fish. This video does not discuss the final policy decision reached by the Star-K. (Length 36:54)