Sunday, October 25, 2015

BMG's KCL-CATERING STANDARDS QUESTIONED?



The following article appeared in the past in KASHRUS Magazine  (reprinted with some clarification.)
Catering Standards Questioned? Invited to an affair under the supervision of a Lakewood's yeshiva [BMG's KCL] established  “Hashgocha” , but which was being held in a non-kosher facility, we went into the kitchen to look around and to compare notes with the Mashgiach. we were not prepared for what we found.

More disappointing was it to learn that the “Rabbonim” who certified the  [BMG's KCL]  never visited any of their certified establishments. The affair under their certification which was being held in a non-kosher facility.
KASHRUS recently discovered a number of such organizations where the “Rabbonim themselves have never seen the operation which they certify, but instead rely totally on the head “Mashgiach or on their Kashrus Administrator to make all “halachic” decisions.

This letter, basically unchanged, was mailed to all of the “Rabbonim” in the Lakewood BMG's KCL kashrus organization. As of our printing we have not received any reply. Y W 

Dear Rabbi ........ BS”D


We would be remiss if we do not report to you directly just what we observed of the procedures used at an affair supervised by your Hashgocha organization which was held in a non-kosher establishment. At a recent affair where we were guests, We went into the kitchen with another Rabbi. Having been shown around by the Mashgiach on duty, we had the following concerns which we hope you will address.

1. The non-kosher facility was allowed to leave their non-kosher utensils out in open view of the waiters and kitchen staff. By utensils, we mean ladles used to serve soup, etc. and eating utensils. Needless to say, with a little preparation these could be kept out of sight of the non-Jewish staff so as not to tempt them to use them.

The Mashgiach said to us, “I’ll give you $100 if you find a non-kosher utensil on the floor (in the ballroom).” The Mashgiach himself goes onto the ballroom floor from time to time to check if utensils are mistakenly used. This means that the possibility does exist. It also means that he is not constantly in the kitchen. Then why leave the utensils out at all?!

We understand from your head Mashgiach that he had advised the Mashgiach on duty to allow the eating utensils to remain in hands reach, but covered. Instead, the Mashgiach put them 8 feet away, completely uncovered. Why should this be allowed? It is inviting trouble.

We also observed some 6-8 (non-kosher) ladles hanging in full view. It takes a worker seconds to grab one & put it into the soup. (See also #5 that no ladles were marked in any way.) This is one of the reasons why accidentally non-kosher utensils sometimes (too often) get taken back in error from an affair held at a non-kosher facility. (All too common.)

2. Since a) the affair was fairly large (500 plus guests), b) the Mashgiach does leave the kitchen to check the floor (ballroom) as well as for personal needs, and c) non-kosher equipment is in full hands-reach of the staff, I feel that such an affair requires 2 Mashgichim, not just one. (See # 6.)

3. The Mashgiach allowed the waiters to use the non-kosher (uncovered) trays for serving hot foods. This is not an accepted procedure anywhere, as far as we know. Should a hot piece of chicken fall onto the the tray (the waiter would put it back on to the plate), would that not constitute a serious problem?

4. Only a part of the kitchen was kashered. Quite understandable. However, it seems inappropriate to have different kosher zones spread throughout the kitchen area. Better would be to cover with paper the entire area from the ballroom side until where the kosher food is prepared, not to leave open spaces that are not kosher between where the food is cooked, prepared & served.. It is so easy for a worker to put a hot pot, utensil, etc. on the nearest space available.

5. There were places which the Mashgiach did not kasher which we feel do need kashering. Some counter spaces had raised racks over them. The underside of the raised racks were not kashered nor covered. This presents a “zeah (vapor) problem, one which kashrus agencies do know to address. It could also be a problem of actual food leftovers, because no-one even bothered to examine the underside of the racks. See also next paragraph.

The Mashgiach at the affair told me that indeed this is a problem and he would make an effort to cover the bottoms of the racks in the future.

We also noted a pole in the middle of the production area which we felt should have been kashered, not just washed, and/or should have been draped with some material. The pots and pot covers do touch this pole while they are hot. Although the Mashgiach washed it, he neither kashered nor covered it.

6. None of the caterer’s ladles were marked for meat. This caterer does both meat and dairy at his commissary. We were told by your head Mashgiach that since there are so few dairy ones, only the dairy utensils are marked. Although Shulchan Aruch advises marking one type of utensils, the common procedure today, wherever I observed, is to mark both dairy & meat serving utensils, especially if catering in non-kosher facilities also, & paint does wear off. We must be able to distinguish between the caterer’s kosher utensils & the facilities non-kosher utensils.

7. While we were waiting, we saw some of the staff go to another room, eat non-kosher pizza, bring the boxes into the kitchen & then resume serving, with no washing of hands between eating the non-kosher pizza & serving a glatt kosher meat dinner. The Mashgiach did not (realize) respond until the problem was pointed out to him. Then he asked only one or two workers to wash. This is an additional reason why we feel that the affair needs another Mashgiach.

We hope that these issues have already been raised to the Rabbonim of your organization & that the Rabbonim consider the present methods acceptable. I would like to understand where my reasoning is faulty. It is for this reason that I am sending this letter to the Rabbonim certifying your kashrus organization.

I would appreciate either a written or oral response. Update: We never received any response or acknowledgement from the Rabonim or the Organization.
Yours truly,
Y W

(This Lakewood based kashrus Organization was set-up as a politically correct Organization, to have control & power over the food establishments in Lakewood, not as a kashrus Organization for the Tzibur to rely upon, & it remains so to this day. ys)

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yudel, you know yourself how naming figures in kashrus scandals brings retaliation not just against the rov that is mefarsem but against the rov's whole mishpocho.

Rav Yosef Wikler is not mechuyev to call out all the names if the Kosher Nostra Mafia is going to attack him and try to destroy him, and they certainly will.

Do you know how many severe threats he gets even for publishing stories that don't identify anyone?

Israel said...

http://www.bhol.co.il/article.aspx?id=53359&cat=1&scat=1

Pe’er Meats and Poultry in the Beer Tuvia Industrial Zone in Kiryat Malachi is alleged to have distributed for Passover regular kosher meat products deceptively labeled mehadrin kosher, the Israeli designation for glatt kosher, Bechadrei Chadarim reports. The meat had apparently fraudulent or misapplied stickers from Charedi rabbis (Chug Chasam Sofer - Petach Tikva) designating it mehadrin.

A customer saw something awry with the packaging and contacted the local state religious council, which realized that the switch had been made.

The local state controlled religious council forced the meat purveyor to replace his kosher supervisor but allowed him to remain in business.

Pe’er Meat and Poultry said in response that “the meat was glatt and that's what [the rabbinate’s] hearing found, as well. It was a mistake with the fat of the cattle, which was supervised as regular kosher not glatt.” The meat was shipped back to Pe’er, the spokesperson said, relabed as regular kosher and resold.

Pe’er was reportedly caught last year importing unsupervised cod that arrived cleaned and headless, making it difficult to determine its kosher status.

Anonymous said...

rabbai shain
der gantze maise is
your son was almost engaged to weisners daughter
they said no
so since then you started hacking on him
i know because i was the shaddchan

Anonymous said...

shaddchan

The velt darshans roshei tayvos sheker dover, kesef notel.

Anonymous said...

R' Dovid Soloveitchik zogt di roshei teivos zeinen noch erger: shoifech domim, kessef noteil.

Anonymous said...

Since we are allowed to learn the sugya of charamos on 9 Av I will mention that Beis Din Tzedek Umishpot has put out a siruv against AER which is the contractor that hires shochtim for Hebrew National. It seems that some individuals have been trying to sue Ralbag in goyish court for kashrus fraud and the court refused to hear the case because they said they cannot decide what a kashrus standard is so the plaintiffs turned to beis din to decide the standard. AER then refused to go anywhere except a beis din which Ralbag can manipulate which the BDTU of course poskened is unacceptable.

Anonymous said...

Once these Jokers went to 'goyish' court and lost, You don't have to EVER go to B'D. By going to 'Goiysh' court thet relinquished their rights to a Bais din.
If Ralbag agrees to go to B'D, any B'D hes a Tzadik.

ps find out why Ralbag got rid of them - it'll blow your mind that they ever held a 'chalef'.

coming to town very soon said...

Yudel.

Can you create a list of eateries that one can eat in if some out of towner needs a place to buy 'ready made' food or a place to dine in Lakewwod?
You seem to have lists for all other things but have not seen a Lakewood approved establishments list.

Thank you

yussis said...

Chaim & gavriels stake house is for sure not a problem.

Anonymous said...

Magnifying glass spoon, perfect for checking for bugs on the go.

http://www.objectsolutions.net/objects/contaminants-outside-home/magnifying-spoon/