Tale Of Three Cities
Mrs. Hugo Apt picks out chuck steak at Superior .. .
. . . while Schlomie Luss prepares other cuts.
twice as long to slaughter and proc-
ess kosher beef.
After a prayer by the schochet,
each restrained animal is
slaughtered with one cut from a
razor-sharp knife. The knife must be
inspected for flaws before and after
each incision and the incision itself
must be checked before the animal's
head and tongue are removed and
marked and the carcass inspected.
Abnormalities disqualify the animal
for kosher approval, even though
they may meet government
Approved animals are stamped
in places corresponding to their
eventual retail cuts, refrigerated and
usually shipped the following day,
since kashering (soaking and salt-
ing) should ideally be completed no
more than 72 hours after slaughter.
About 25 percent of ritually
slaughtered cattle are acceptable as
kosher, reports Gottlieb. Imperfec-
tions of the lung are the most com-
mon cause of rejection. The remain-
ing 75 percent must be sold as non-
kosher. Additionally, the hindquar-
Detroit has a reputation for
being among the "best in the
country" for shechita (kosher
slaughtering), according to a
man who should be in a position
to know. He is Rabbi Sholem
Rubin, director of the Depart-
ment of Kosher Law Enforce-
ment for the State of New York.
Rabbi Rubin's "kosher cops"
have the power to take samples
and run laboratory analysis on
all kosher products. "We can
quickly tell if the meat has. not
been properly de-veined, or if it
has not been soaked or salted,"
he told The Jewish News.
Although Michigan law does
not mandate such enforcement
here, a law suit supported by the
Council of Orthodox Rabbis of
Greater Detroit contends that
the Michigan Department of Ag-
riculture has the duty to enforce
Michigan's kosher food law. In
the meantime, New York's Rabbi
Rubin contends that Detroit's
Orthodox rabbis have a national
reputation for being dedicated
and knowledgeable. "Their vol-
unteerism," he said, "is com-
mendable. Your Torah scholars
and talmudic scholars don't just
keep their noses in their books.
They are involved in kashruth."
Detroit, Baltimore and Buf-
falo were cited by Rabbi Rubin
as having the best reputations
nationally for kosher meat. A
comparison of the three, how-
ever, shows marked differences
in the way things are done.
In Baltimore, the Vaad
HaKashrus provides full-time
supervision through its Star K
board. Unlike Detroit, all kosher
meat outlets are subject to min-
imal Maryland and Baltimore
inspection to ensure that only
kosher sources are used. Star K
President Dr. Arom Pollak said
Time in store
the group has 20 employees, in-
cluding at locations in Pennsyl-
vania, New York and other
Buffalo, with only a few
kosher stores, has a unique sys-
tem. Its Vaad HaKashrus super-
visors are present when ship-
ments of meat come from the
out-of-town supplier and handle
the kashering process.
The mashgichim stamp the
meat with a seal that can only
be seen under ultra-violet light,
and they are • also starting to use
a special sticker-and-stamping
system to lable kosher meat,
said Rabbi Naphtali Burnstein.
Any orders shipped to Buffalo's
retail stores are sealed by the
Detroit's mashgichim are
supposed to be present for the
kashering process in the retail
stores. There are five local
mashgichim, and one supervises
four of the nine stores.
Baltimore claims to actively
encourage competition among
wholesale slaughterhouses. We
don't want to force people to use
these sources and influence the
price," Dr. Pollack said. Star K
will inspect alternative suppliers
and add them to their list if they
meet Star K's standards of prod-
uction and supervision.
Detroit and Buffalo are more
limited. Buffalo's major supplier
for kosher beef is in Canton,
Ohio, with several alternative
slaughterhouses. Detroit uses
Monarch Packing near Eastern
Market, with Weiss Packing in
Pittsburgh and a New York
slaughterhouse as alternatives.
Local butchers have complained
about the lack of alternatives,
but also admit that the quality
of. the beef is higher from
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