Tag Archives: Hebrew National

Trouble He-Brewing? Doubts Dog Hebrew National

“Here we are the brand new enemy, created by you as a scapegoat. ”  Brand New Enemy by Kosher.

There are few things left in this material world that consumers can count on–somebody did “Beat The Wiz”–that boastful electronics retailer closed years ago. Kodak no longer makes film. And CDs may soon go the way of the eight-track tape.  But never in my shopaholic career did I doubt the kosher bona fides of the Hebrew National hot dog.  Until now.

Last week, a group of whistle blowing employees charged the frankfurter factory that insists on “answering to a higher authority” with systematically shirking the rigorous rules required for its tube steaks to merit the “kosher” label.

In a suit filed last week in  Minnesota (known more for Garrison Keillor than kosher fare) , the plaintiff’s allege that a third-party purveyor of supposedly kosher meats used non-kosher procedures at its processing plants.  To be certified as kosher, beef not only must come from select cuts of the cow (sorry, sirloin).  It must also be butchered and handled using precise techniques and practices that have been honed and honored for centuries.  The Washington Post reported that  “in order for meat to be considered kosher, the animal the meat came from must be healthy and clean, meaning it can’t have dirty hides covered in mud, sand or stones, the suit notes.”  According to the Post, “the lawsuit says the animals used to make Hebrew National products do not meet those standards; unclean and unhealthy animals are often selected to be slaughtered for kosher meats.”

ConAgra, which owns Hebrew National, insists that its dogs always heel to the scriptural strictures.  A statement on Hebrew National’s website reads: “Hebrew National products are kosher, and this lawsuit is without merit. Hebrew National’s kosher status is certified by a well-recognized and authorized third-party. There is close rabbinical supervision of the food preparation process and packaging equipment.”

Unfortunately, when it comes to testing the kosher bona fides of a wiener, it’s not simply a matter of taste or appearance.  If the lawsuit moves ahead, it will likely become a fight between Talmudic scholars and a duel between competing mashgiachs–experts at drawing the line between “glatt” (strictly) kosher and “treif” (anything that falls short of the kosher grade).  It could be enough to make the judge and jury meshugenah!

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “It is thus necessary to examine all things according to their essence, to infer from every species such true and well established propositions as may assist us in the solution of metaphysical problems.” Maimonides

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