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Kosher Traveler
Kosher Traveler


1. have been asked about halachic issues regarding Kashrut and Shabbat by someone going on a cruise with very few religious Jews. They are ordering pre-prepared Kosher food. Would you please direct me to articles or books which could be helpful in guiding the traveler as what to do.

2. I am a frequent global traveler and a kosher vegetarian. Ordering Kosher food inevitably means that I can eat next to nothing, especially when the non-meat dish is still frozen. I am tempted to order vegetarian airline meals, based on the assumption that caterers work out of facilities large enough that vegetables would be cooked apart from the meat area. Based on your knowledge of the airline catering industry, can you confirm this?


1. have been asked about halachic issues regarding Kashrut and Shabbat by someone going on a cruise with very few religious Jews. They are ordering pre-prepared Kosher food. Would you please direct me to articles or books which could be helpful in guiding the traveler as what to do.

For a full discussion about cruises, see our article on cruises located here.

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2. I am a frequent global traveler and a kosher vegetarian. Ordering Kosher food inevitably means that I can eat next to nothing, especially when the non-meat dish is still frozen. I am tempted to order vegetarian airline meals, based on the assumption that caterers work out of facilities large enough that vegetables would be cooked apart from the meat area. Based on your knowledge of the airline catering industry, can you confirm this?.

As you indicate, the most obvious concern is the equipment that may have produced non-kosher food. Nonetheless, you are raising a good question - let us say if theoretically an airline purchases food from a strictly vegetarian caterer, is there a problem? This question is quite relevant in the following case - May one go out to eat in a vegetarian restaurant?

The main concerns in the above cases are as follows:

  1. Bishul Akum - If an aino-yehudi cooks food that is inedible raw and fit for a banquet, the food is not kosher. Therefore, although the vegetarian meal contains no meat, it may still be non-kosher because of bishul akum - if it is a food fit for a banquet. This would include certain cooked vegetables or other items. Bishul Akum renders the utensils non-kosher. Therefore, even if your meal does not have a concern of Bishul Akum, it is possibly cooked on non-kosher utensils.


  2. Non-kosher vegetarian ingredients - Cheese and wine and their derivatives must be produced under special conditions to be kosher. Vegetarian products may contain these ingredients in non-kosher form. In addition, vegetarian products may contain other ingredients that require certification. Even if one ascertains that the products do not contain these ingredients, it is very likely that these ingredients were used on the same equipment on which the food was prepared. Although we could possibly assume that a vegetarian caterer produces without meat, we cannot assume all the ingredients are kosher. Therefore, if one's meal were produced on this equipment it would become non-kosher.

  3. Tolaim - The leafy vegetables would need to be checked for commonly found insects insects (aphids and thrips). Kosher establishments check while uncertified establishments do not.

  4. Fruits and vegetables from Israel need to be tithed. (Link to our article)

  5. Fish is eaten by some vegetarians, and only certain fish are kosher. Even if you donít eat fish, the utensils used for cooking possibly have been used for non-kosher fish.

In short, as indicated above, one may not eat a vegetarian meal without proper kosher certification.

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