Feeding Your Pet: Barking Up the Right Tree

Reviewed February 2024

Click HERE for the Pesach 2024 Pet Food List.

To some people, the concept that there are restrictions regarding what can be fed to animals may seem amusing. They wonder, “Really now, must dogs also eat kosher?” Of course, animals don’t need to eat kosher food. However, Halacha clearly instructs people regarding what, how and when to feed them.

The Talmud Yerushalmi1 states that before acquiring an animal, one must be sure he will be able to properly provide for it. Certainly, the owner must also know the applicable halachos. The following is a discussion of some of these halachos, including the subjects of meat and milk mixtures, Pesach, buying and selling non-kosher pet food, feeding animals on Shabbos and Yom Tov, and feeding animals before you eat.

STAR-K is not necessarily recommending ownership of pets; rather, we are providing information for those owners who require it. We […]

Kashrus Konnections For the Kashrus Professional

Periodically, Star-K distributes “Kashrus Konnections”, a compilation of policies meant for the kashrus professional. Some items may be of interest to consumers as well. Below are some of the topics addressed in past issues. To sign up to receive the publication via e-mail, send a blank e-mail to [email protected].

I am going to a Star-K restaurant over Chol Hamoed Sukkos. Will I have to take the food out or will there be a sukkah on the premises?

Star-K policy is that eateries must have a sukkah available for customers on Sukkos. (It is important to note that due to the kedusha of a sukkah, a garbage can may not be put inside.)

If an electric coil on a range-top does not get red-hot, may it still be kashered?

Yes, it may be kashered as long as it gets to libun kal (550°F). Any residue […]

Mitzvos on the Fringe

Just as the Torah carefully directs us in the arena of kosher diet, what we can and cannot eat, how food may and may not be prepared, and what foods are considered required eating, similarly, the Torah provides us with a kosher dress code regarding the clothing we wear, what fabrics or combination thereof may or may not be used, how clothing should or should not be worn, and what styles of clothing are recommended. One of the Torah‘s great “how to” mitzvos is the mitzvah of tzitzis. The Torah instructs us to insert specially wound fringes onto the corners of any four cornered garments where the corners surround the wearer.

Pas Habah B’Kisnin: Pas or Pas Nisht

Spring 2005 | Updated August 2013

…Sora spent the whole morning shopping and was ready to stop for lunch. She was in luck. The kosher pizza shop was down the block from the mall. Since she was watching her weight she did not want to indulge, so she ordered one slice, salad and a diet soda. As she carried her order to her seat, she was faced with a dilemma: which brocha (blessing) should she make – mezonos or hamotzi?

…It was a beautiful wedding with a magnificent stand up smorgasbord. Naturally, the guests lined the carving tables to indulge in delicious corned beef. The glatt[...] Read More

The Kashrus of Tea – With No Strings Attached!

Published Summer 2013
Americans, generally, do not drink as much tea as the rest of world. This may have something to do with a certain party they had in Boston a while back. That being the case, you might be surprised to learn that tea is second only to water in worldwide beverage consumption. In fact, some estimates place tea consumption in the billions of cups daily. That’s a lot of tea. However, with recent health benefits being ascribed to tea, its popularity in this country is definitely on the rise. In this article we will explore the world of tea and what questions there are vis-à-vis kashrus and halacha. First, a little background is in order.

Kashrus in High Spirits

Winter 2005

Jewish life-cycle events, be it a bris, a bar mitzvah, or a wedding, are special occasions that we anticipate eagerly and celebrate with joy. At any simcha, we fill our cups with wine, raise our glasses of schnapps, and with great fervor pronounce a resounding “L’chaim!” in honor of the blessed event. This custom of melding alcohol with simcha has been a Jewish practice from time immemorial. The cup that is raised today, however, bears very little resemblance to that of yesteryear.

It’s a Siman that it’s Kosher: Avoiding Bosor Shenisalaim Min Hoayin

An Interview With Rabbi Moshe Heinemann
STAR-K Rabbinic Administrator


The world of kashrus has played, and continues to play, a dominant role in the life of a Jew and the life blood of Judaism. This centrality is evidenced by the significant halachic treatment of kashrus in the Shulchan Aruch, by our Poskim, and in contemporary Torah journals, as well as the particular attention paid to the kosher consumer stretching from the aisles of the supermarket to the media portfolios of the marketplace.

All Washed Up

In the health conscious world of the new millennium, healthful fine dining and garden fresh vegetables have taken an honorable position of prominence. Salad bars are in vogue. A colorful salad helps dress up the bland dinner plate. Fresh vegetables are healthy and wholesome. Unfortunately, it also causes havoc with the G-d fearing housewife, or the caterer’s mashgiach, who want to make sure that the vegetables served are not only clean and fresh, but insect-free, as well. Oftentimes, this task is tedious, time consuming, and frustrating. This is particularly true when dealing with large quantities of exotic, leafy vegetables that have to be inspected in a relatively short amount of time. What is the answer?

On the Road to a Kosher Vacation

Published Summer 1996, Reviewed Summer 2005

Summertime is a season synonymous with travel, vacation, and experiencing the great outdoors. For many, the great excursion meant traveling to Bubbi’s bungalow colony in the country. Today, we vacation the length and breadth of America. As we venture further and further away from the Catskill corridor, and experience the heartbeat of America, a universal question crosses the mind of every frum vacationer: “Is there anything Kosher to eat out there?” The answer is yes, more than you think; but it is still wise to plan before your journey.

Oven Kashrus: For Shabbos Use

To download and print a handy summary of these halachos, click here.

Cookin’ just ain’t what it used to be. Technological advances have taken the old stovetop and oven and upgraded them to be safer, more efficient, and smart for today’s lifestyle. They are also far more complicated. With these transformations, the observant Jew is faced with challenges that did not confront him in the past.

To understand how these changes affect the halachic use of the stovetop on Shabbos and Yom Tov, it is worthwhile to review some laws and concepts as they relate to cooking on Shabbos and Yom Tov.


Cooking on Shabbos is a Torah prohibition derived from the constructive acts performed in erecting the mishkan. This forbidden act is known as a melacha. There are 39 categories of prohibited acts.


The prohibition of cooking on Shabbos is defined as the act of using heat to […]

A Kashrus Guide to Medications, Vitamins, and Nutritional Supplements

Click here to view the STAR-K Medicine List

Global sales of pharmaceutical products are expected to reach 500 billion dollars annually.1 It is therefore no wonder that the interest in kosher certification and approval for these products has also skyrocketed. Ideally, one should purchase these products with kosher certification. However, this is not always practical. It is for this reason that one of the most frequently asked questions on the Star-K hotline relates to the kosher status of these remedies. In an effort to clarify the numerous issues regarding these popular products, the Star-K has prepared the following halachic guidelines based on the psak of Rabbi Moshe Heinemann, shlita, Rabbinic Administrator of Star-K Kosher Certification.2


“All of us grew up believing that if we ate a reasonable diet, that would take care of our vitamin needs,” says Harvard University’s Dr. Robert Fletcher. That may be good enough to ward off such vitamin-deficiency disorders as scurvy, beriberi and pellagra, but the latest evidence, he notes, is that supplementing our diets with multi-vitamins may be able to prevent the usual diseases we deal with every day – heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis and birth defects.


Please Note : Effective March 2011 this program has been discontinued.

Long before the news of the first official “Star-K engagement” circulated, Baltimore’s Star-K headquarters tasted success. The actual distribution of the $2,500 cash “gift” incentive, on top of the customary shadchanus for the successful matches made for Baltimore’s Orthodox women, was not the sole measure of accomplishment.
Star-K’s novel attempt at remedying the universal singles problem locally was made with the twin hope of inspiring the launching of similar programs by organizations and individuals in other “out-of-town” communities. As soon as the news hit the press, Star-K was flooded with telephone calls, letters and e-mails from around the world.