A Little Clarity – Halachic Questions via Text Message

photoDue to the space limitations of a text message, please note that it is particularly important to read carefully, pay close attention to the context of the question, and use the answers as a springboard for further study.

If you would like my phone number to submit questions, please leave a comment and I will send it to you.

Q: I have an empty glass milk bottle that I would like to keep and re-use.  Is it dairy?

A: Yes since the milk was in it for more than 24 hours.  However it can be kashered using the technique called milui v’irui.  It should be filled up with (ambient) water and simultaneously submerged in water for 24 hours.  That water should then be emptied and it should repeated for another 24 hours, then emptied and then repeated for another 24 hours.

Q: Do serving trays that were used with non-kosher food need to be kashered before being used with cold kosher food?

A: They do not need to be kashered.  If they were never used with hot non-kosher food, then they are still kosher.

Q: How do you check strawberries for bugs?

A: Technically, strawberries don’t need to be checked at all – but they do need to be washed well.  There are two ways to wash them effectively.  You can gently scrub each one in a strong stream of water, or you can soak them for a minute in bug/vegetable soap/wash then rinse.  Regarding cutting off the tops with the leaves, contrary to what many people think the matter is not clear cut.  Although the cRc and others do require removing the tops, according to Star-K guidelines it is preferable to do so but not necessary if the leafy area is included in the washing procedure.  This is particularly relevant when presentation is important or when the strawberries are being dipped in a chocolate fountain.

Q: Do frozen strawberries need to be checked?

A: This appears to be an unresolved issue between the Star-K that doesn’t allow it due to insect infestation unless they have a hechsher or are being blended, and the cRc that allows them even without kosher supervision or any additional washing.  Since 1. strawberries don’t need checking anyway, just washing and frozen fruit is thoroughly washed and 2. this is only a rabbinic issue, one may use them.

Q: Does peeled garlic from China need a hechsher?

A: Peeled garlic doesn’t need kosher supervision, and I’ve never seen a differentiation between China and anywhere else.  Canned fruit from China is not recommended, even though it does not need a hechsher when canned elsewhere.


Source: Rabbi Isaacs Blog

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