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Empire chicken with OU not kosher (or not kosher enough)?
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STMommy




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Jan 15 2015, 1:37 pm
My charedi relatives from Israel are visiting and requested that I not cook with Empire Chicken for kashrus reasons. I am happy to accommodate them but would like to understand this request. Empire chicken has an OU which I thought was universally accepted. What is the concern with empire chicken?

P.S. My relatives are American, so this request is not because they are not familiar with OU. Could it be that they did not hold by OU at all while they lived in the US? I thought OU is right on par with OK, chof-K, star-K etc and that all of these are reliable hashgachas, even for a charedi person.
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Madam F.




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Jan 15 2015, 1:41 pm
People have different standards for everything. Kashrus is one of the things. Some might not want to eat specific hechsherim, for example OU. But it definitely is kosher.
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nyer1




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Jan 15 2015, 1:42 pm
I guess having moved to israel its possible that their standards have changed.
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malkacooks




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Jan 15 2015, 1:46 pm
lubavich schita?
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STMommy




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Jan 15 2015, 1:49 pm
Hi Malkacooks no it isn't a Lubavich thing.

I am confused about the "standards" comment because I thought OU held to proper standards? Are they relying on all sorts of leniencies that others wouldn't allow?
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sky




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Jan 15 2015, 1:51 pm
We don't eat meat with an OU hechsher or eat out at a meat restuarant with only a OU hechsher.
We do buy Empire chicken with an additional hechsher (don't remember the name offhand). But I have plenty of guests I know not to serve it too.

Every hechsher has different standards. Including how fast the line moves when shechting, how often the knife is checked, what makes an animal unacceptable, what the animal is fed, etc. There is an entire range of standards.


Last edited by sky on Thu, Jan 15 2015, 1:52 pm; edited 2 times in total
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chanee




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Jan 15 2015, 1:51 pm
Some people are stricter in hechshierim when it comes to chicken or meat
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amother






Post  Thu, Jan 15 2015, 1:54 pm
There are strichter kashrut standards in Israel. One of the issues we had when we made aliyah was if we were going to adopt what are considered normative mainstream charedi kashrut standards when we made aliyah because there are chumrahs with the shichta and if you adopt them in Israel then you basically cant eat OU meat in the US anymore because its not the same standard as what ashkenaz charadim would eat in Israel
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amother






Post  Thu, Jan 15 2015, 2:00 pm
STMommy wrote:
Hi Malkacooks no it isn't a Lubavich thing.

I am confused about the "standards" comment because I thought OU held to proper standards? Are they relying on all sorts of leniencies that others wouldn't allow?


This. I don't want to start anything controversial, but in Israel there are many hechsheirim very easily available that are top notch, go out of their way not to rely on leniencies etc. In America, especially OOT, it's not as easy to find or is impossible to find. OU is catering to everyone, including Joe in Idaho who became religious and has no Kosher aisle in his supermarket! Because of this, they rely on more leniencies. It is still KOSHER but not the same extent as a smaller (but very organized) hechsher or a top Israeli hechsher.

Another reason is because some charedim in Israel don't eat OU. The OU in Israel is different than the OU in America. I don't know if it has the same standards, it's very likely that it does or maybe it has even better standards, but there are so many other hechsherim here and a lot of stuff really has to do w/ politics. It could be they got used to this (not eating Israeli OU) and that's why they don't want to eat it in America, especially b/c it's complicated to differentiate.
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amother






Post  Thu, Jan 15 2015, 2:08 pm
amother wrote:
There are strichter kashrut standards in Israel. One of the issues we had when we made aliyah was if we were going to adopt what are considered normative mainstream charedi kashrut standards when we made aliyah because there are chumrahs with the shichta and if you adopt them in Israel then you basically cant eat OU meat in the US anymore because its not the same standard as what ashkenaz charadim would eat in Israel


Personally, I don't eat OU on an Israeli products. I also try not to eat chodosh (from chutz laaretz). But, when I go back to my family, I eat whatever they serve. I'm from OOT and I felt it would be too hard on them to all of a sudden change my standards. I wouldn't eat anything treif or s/t w/ a hechsher that is not well accepted, but OU is still Kosher. I didn't ask a rav about this (maybe I should), but this is what I decided.

Not judging your relatives. If it was a one time thing, I might feel different. I am talking about going for a whole Yom Tov to an area that doesn't have many other options.
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FranticFrummie




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Jan 15 2015, 2:14 pm
Empire chicken is nasty! I find it to be extremely dry, flavorless, and over salted.

Get David Elliot or Wise, you'll be glad you did.
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iluvjerusalem




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Jan 15 2015, 2:15 pm
I don't know about the specifics, only what I've heard in general. There are so many more kashrus options in Israel, from the standard "Rabanut" that is on almost everything, to "Rabanut Mehadrin" which hold higher standards, to the even stricter hechsherim that are available like those of the Eida Chareidis or Reuben. Because it is so easy to hold by the very highest standard in chareidi populated areas, a lot of people take on to do so, all the time. From what I've heard, most hashgachos in the US, including the OU, are the equivalent of the basic Rabanut hechsher, which most frum people will not touch with a 10 foot pole around these parts, even though it is of course technically kosher. I only know of examples in restaurants of actual differences between the hashgachos though, not familiar enough with schitta to know the differences in leniencies/stringencies for meat.
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mille




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Jan 15 2015, 2:23 pm
FranticFrummie wrote:
Empire chicken is nasty! I find it to be extremely dry, flavorless, and over salted.

Get David Elliot or Wise, you'll be glad you did.


David Elliot chicken is my favorite thing, when I can find it. I especially like that it's packaged in those vacuum plastic packages, no bulky styrofoam! So easy to throw in the freezer.

That said, I haven't a clue what could possibly be wrong with empire chicken, because I don't know a single person who doesn't eat it.
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amother






Post  Thu, Jan 15 2015, 2:32 pm
iluvjerusalem wrote:
I don't know about the specifics, only what I've heard in general. There are so many more kashrus options in Israel, from the standard "Rabanut" that is on almost everything, to "Rabanut Mehadrin" which hold higher standards, to the even stricter hechsherim that are available like those of the Eida Chareidis or Reuben. Because it is so easy to hold by the very highest standard in chareidi populated areas, a lot of people take on to do so, all the time. From what I've heard, most hashgachos in the US, including the OU, are the equivalent of the basic Rabanut hechsher, which most frum people will not touch with a 10 foot pole around these parts, even though it is of course technically kosher. I only know of examples in restaurants of actual differences between the hashgachos though, not familiar enough with schitta to know the differences in leniencies/stringencies for meat.


Whoever told you this is either woefully misinformed or has a political agenda. OU and the other main hechsherim in the USA are a lot more reliable than stam rabbanut. In fact, OU is one of the most reliable hechsherim around. Having said that, they do have some leniencies that not everyone holds by, especially when it comes to meat or chicken.
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water_bear88




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Jan 15 2015, 2:34 pm
iluvjerusalem wrote:
I don't know about the specifics, only what I've heard in general. There are so many more kashrus options in Israel, from the standard "Rabanut" that is on almost everything, to "Rabanut Mehadrin" which hold higher standards, to the even stricter hechsherim that are available like those of the Eida Chareidis or Reuben. Because it is so easy to hold by the very highest standard in chareidi populated areas, a lot of people take on to do so, all the time. From what I've heard, most hashgachos in the US, including the OU, are the equivalent of the basic Rabanut hechsher, which most frum people will not touch with a 10 foot pole around these parts, even though it is of course technically kosher. I only know of examples in restaurants of actual differences between the hashgachos though, not familiar enough with schitta to know the differences in leniencies/stringencies for meat.

I wouldn't call OU equivalent to regular Rabbanut. The rabbanut does not allow chadash, period, AFAIK, while the OU does.
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amother






Post  Thu, Jan 15 2015, 2:41 pm
water_bear88 wrote:
I wouldn't call OU equivalent to regular Rabbanut. The rabbanut does not allow chadash, period, AFAIK, while the OU does.


Yes, but you have to understand the pressure the Rabbanut is under. Theoretically, they want the whole country to be Kosher. They need to rely on a lot of kolos to accomplish this. It's also hard for them to be on top of everything. I am happy that they do this. B"H people who wouldn't eat Kosher otherwise are, automatically. But, the standards have to be kept low to accomplish this. I do love the fact that they are makpid on Chodosh, but Chodosh is a MUCH bigger problem in Israel. In Chutz Laaretz, many rely on the Bach's heter. So if the OU has much more room to be meikel on this.
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smss




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Jan 15 2015, 2:46 pm
STMommy wrote:
Empire chicken has an OU which I thought was universally accepted.


pretty sure badatz eidah hachareidis is the only universally accepted hechsher...and who knows, maybe someone will correct me on even that one LOL

I have no idea what the problem is, but for sure not everyone eats OU.
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DrMom




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Jan 15 2015, 3:02 pm
smss wrote:
pretty sure badatz eidah hachareidis is the only universally accepted hechsher...and who knows, maybe someone will correct me on even that one LOL

I have no idea what the problem is, but for sure not everyone eats OU.

I don't think there are any "universally accepted hechshers".
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water_bear88




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Jan 15 2015, 4:05 pm
amother wrote:
Yes, but you have to understand the pressure the Rabbanut is under. Theoretically, they want the whole country to be Kosher. They need to rely on a lot of kolos to accomplish this. It's also hard for them to be on top of everything. I am happy that they do this. B"H people who wouldn't eat Kosher otherwise are, automatically. But, the standards have to be kept low to accomplish this. I do love the fact that they are makpid on Chodosh, but Chodosh is a MUCH bigger problem in Israel. In Chutz Laaretz, many rely on the Bach's heter. So if the OU has much more room to be meikel on this.

Just to clarify, I'll eat what I'm served in others' homes so long as I believe they keep kosher. But there are DL (including Chardal) rabbanim who will eat the regular Rabbanut hechsher themselves, and implying that there are different "levels" of kashrut is in and of itself problematically hashkaifically. Food is either kosher or it isn't. "Not accepted under my minhag avot" is not equal to "not kosher". If my Temani friend cooks locusts, and her rav says that's ok, the fact that my rav doesn't allow me to eat them doesn't mean he's saying they're actually not kosher. I just don't have the minhag to eat them. Seeking out chumrot beyond what you were raised with (assuming you were raised frum) does not make you a better Jew or mean you're eating "more kosher".
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amother






Post  Thu, Jan 15 2015, 4:28 pm
Isn't empire under KAJ also? The most strict Hechsher? Don't know anyone who "won't eat KAJ"...
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