STAR-K Fish Policy

Updated August 19, 2022

STAR-K
receives many questions about purchasing fresh fish from non-kosher stores or
sources. We hope this brief article will help clarify some of the confusion regarding
this topic.

For a fish to be kosher, the Halacha is that it needs to have fins and scales.[1] Furthermore, there is a rabbinic prohibition[2] to consume fish that has had the simanei kashrus (scales)[3] removed (e.g., a skinless fish fillet) without a Yehudi having confirmed that it was a kosher fish.

Stores
with Kosher Supervision

In
stores or companies that are under STAR-K supervision, the fish are filleted
with a mashgiach present, and therefore one may buy any fish fillet without any
further concerns.

Skinless
Fillet from a Non-Kosher Store or Source

Purchasing
skinless fish either from a store that is not kosher supervised, or that was
not sealed in a package bearing a reliable kosher symbol, is not permissible. STAR-K
does not consider the color of a fish alone (e.g., […]

Sheimos Guidelines

Updated May 2024

The Torah forbids discarding objects with innate kedusha (holiness) into the trash or recycling bin. Objects which have innate kedusha must be placed in sheimos, which must be buried.

(Objects that acquire kedusha after being used for a mitzvah do not need to be placed in sheimos but do need to be disposed of with special sensitivity. This is discussed further below.)

SHEIMOS: Disposing of Objects with Kedusha

The following objects are included in this category:

Any of the names of Hashem

Sefer Torah or Sefer Torah cover

Seforim, whether handwritten, printed, photocopied, or downloaded and printed (e.g., Chumashim, Siddurim, Machzorim, Gemara, Shulchan Aruch, etc.)

Bentchers

Pages of a sefer that became detached or fragments of a sefer, even if there is no writing or print on them

A sefer’s cover that has been removed from the sefer

Binding tape that became detached from a sefer

Printed material primarily intended to quote or explain Torah, even when containing […]

Terumos and Ma’asros

INTRODUCTION
Eretz Yisroel has the unique privilege of being the recipient of the Ribono Shel Olam’s brochos throughout the year. Its agricultural industry continues to grow and flourish. Some consumer products imported from Eretz Yisroel, such as Jaffa oranges and grapefruits, are very well known to the American marketplace while other products including clementines, carrots, red peppers, jams, jellies, tomatoes, olives, and pickled products are not as familiar. Finally, there are a host of industrial products like orange oil, lemon oil and parsley that provide a steady supply of raw materials.

Besides all the general consumer kashrus concerns regarding ingredients, processing and certification, there are additional kashrus requirements that apply to foods grown and produced in Eretz Yisroel. For instance, one must be sure that terumos and ma’asros have been properly separated before consumption. Furthermore, one needs to ensure that the fruits do not come from trees that violate the conditions […]

Approved Without A Hechsher

Listed below are products that do not require kosher certification provided (a) they do not have additives, and (b) (if food items) are not a product of Israel. Food items from Israel need reliable certification. Please review this list regularly for any updates as the information may change.

NOTE: This list is NOT for Passover use

Aluminum Foil

Applesauce – Plain Only  (even with high fructose corn syrup and vitamins)

Baking Powder

Baking Soda

Beer
domestic, unflavored

Bran
unprocessed

Buckwheat
raw

Carob Powder

[...] Read More

Tevilas Keilim

Kashrus Kurrents, Summer 2015

For general guidelines regarding the laws of tevilas keilim, ,click here

UTENSIL
TEVILAH

Aluminum pan, disposable
Tevilah without a brocha if intended to be used only once; tevilah with a brocha if intended to be used more than once.[1]

Aluminum pan,non-disposable
Tevilah with a brocha[2]

Apple corer (metal)
Tevilah with a brocha

Baking/Cookie sheet
Tevilah with a brocha

Barbeque grill
Racks require tevilah with a brocha, other components do not require tevilah.

Blech
No tevilah

Blender /Mixer
Glass or metal bowl, metal blades and other attachments require tevilah with abrocha, other components do not require tevilah.  Handheld immersion blender requires tevilah with a brocha.

Bottle (metal or glass)
Tevilah with a brocha.  If bought filled with food and subsequently emptied by a Jew, does not require tevilah.[3]

Brush (grill, egg yolk, pastry)
No tevilah

Cake plate (metal or glass)
Plate needs tevilah with a brocha, cake plate cover does not require tevilah.

Can (metal or glass)
Tevilah with a brocha.  If bought filled with food and subsequently emptied by a Jew, does not require tevilah.[3]

Can opener
No tevilah

Cast iron pot
Tevilah with a brocha

Ceramic knife
Tevilah without a brocha

Challah board
Metal board, or glass top on wooden board, requires tevilah with a brocha.  Wood board with a plastic top does not require tevilah.

Cheese slicer (metal)
Tevilah with […]

2024 Starbucks Information

Please be advised that Starbucks corporation has decided to end the expanded STAR-K kosher information program.
Consumers are advised that effective immediately STAR-K can only recommend a limited number of drinks and can no longer vouch for the kashrus of many of the flavored items previously listed.

In general, Starbucks stores serve hot treif meat and cheese. Therefore, since 2011, STAR-K Rabbinic Administrator Rav Moshe Heinemann shlit”a suggests that if at all possible one should avoid buying drinks prepared with equipment that may have been washed with treif equipment. There are drinks (see list below) that are prepared without any contact with questionable equipment and are acceptable at any store.

When one is traveling, (traveling means when one is away from home and no other viable kosher certified coffee option is readily available),  this creates a situation of sha’as hadchak – i.e., a difficult situation – and one need not be concerned […]

Pas Haba’ah B’Kisnin

For a detailed pas habaa bkisnin discussion see here.

I. Varieties and circumstances that warrant a Birchas Hamotzi:

Pizza:
Three slices of 18″ pizza pie
Three slices of 16″ pizza pie
1/2 of a 14″ thin crust pie,
1/2 of a 12″ regular pizza pie
1/2 of a 9″ deep dish pizza pie

Other:
Bagel chips made from bagels
Calzone – 1 from a pizza shop; 2 pre-packaged frozen
Croissants (when augmenting a dinner meal)
Croutons (toasted)
Matzos (Sefardim should ask their Rabbi)
Melba toast
Mezonos rolls – that taste like cake and are augmenting a dinner meal, and those that taste like bread
Soft pretzels (when augmenting a dinner meal)
Stromboli – 1 from a pizza shop; 2 pre-packaged frozen

II. Varieties and circumstances that warrant a Birchas Mezonos when eaten as a snack:

Bagel Chips
Breadsticks
Croissants (as a pastry)
Flatbreads (all varieties)
Hard Pretzels
Kichel
Matza Tams
One slice of pizza
[...] Read More

Heter Iska Instructions

1. It is vital that instructions are followed as stated in the correct sequence. Not following the procedure properly may invalidate the hetter iska.