Can someone sell food from their own kitchen without a Kosher certification?

 

Question:

I live in an out of town frum community of around 75 families. One of the members of the community started a small business where he sells and delivers breakfast food, Salads, sandwiches, coffee, etc. out of his private kitchen. Does he need some form of Hashgocho to be allowed to purchase from him?

P.S. We do not have a Rov in our community to ask this question to.

 

Answer:

According to the strict Halacha, one may eat food or drink wine when being hosted, if the individual is not a chashud (suspect in matters of kashrus).

However one may only buy food from someone if he is considered to be muchzak b’kashrus (accepted as trustworthy, i.e., one who is religious in behavior and thus trusted in kashrus matters). Therefore, if we’re dealing with a reliable religious individual, there’s no actual halacha that prevents you from purchasing there.

Nonetheless, there was a takana made hundreds of years ago – it was also one of the enactments of the Vaad Arba Aratzos (The Council of the Four Lands, the central body of Jewish authority in Poland from 1580 to 1764) – not to buy food or wine from someone, even someone who is assumed to be trustworthy, unless he has a certification letter from the head of the local Av Beis Din testifying about the kashrus.

Additionally, some poskim question if in today’s day and age there is indeed a concept of someone being genuinely muchzak b’kashrus.

Now, although it is highly debatable if these rules are binding for all times, and certainly if you know someone very well and you know they are trustworthy you may buy from them, it’s still highly advisable to make sure that the individual has a certification for many reasons.

If there is no rabbi in the community, you might wish to consider a community member or a few of them take on the role of certifying.

 

Sources:

ראה שו״ע ורמ״א יו״ד קיט, א-ב. (וגם בדעת המחבר – ראה תורת יקותיאל יו״ד יח, י. אדה״ז שחיטה א קו״א ב. עקוה״ש קיט, ז. וראה בארוכה קובץ פעמי יעקב חשון תשנ״ב ע׳ כט ואילך). בית הלל יו״ד סוסי׳ סה ״בפנקס המדינה״ (וראה פנקס ועד ארבע ארצות ירושלים תש״ה ע׳ 16. מדינת ליטא – התקנות בישראל ד ע׳ שע. פנקס מדינת מהערין – שם ע׳ שעא). והב״ד בבית לחם יהודה קיט, א ובלחם הפנים שם ב, ובבאה״ט טיקטין שם ג. וראה גם בכור שור ע״ז לט, ב. שו״ת טוטו״ד ג, קטז. חיי״א קכז, ג. ערוה״ש קיט, ד. ט. יא. ערוה״ש יו״ד א, יא. דרכ״ת קיט, ז. כה״ח קיט, ו.

וראה שו״ת משיב דבר ב, ז. דברי יואל יו״ד לד. תשוה״נ ב, שעז. נהרות איתן ב, לח. שם ו בקונטרס משיב דבר ג – ע׳ ריד.

 

 

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