Kosher 101: What is Kosher Meat?
A kosher meat product must be derived from a permissible animal that has both split hooves and chews its cud. Kosher animals are cows, sheep, goats, venison, chickens, turkeys, duck and geese. In addition, the meat must be slaughtered by a shochet (a ritual slaughterer) and kosherized through a special process (like salting to get rid of any traces of blood and deveining certain parts). Any products containing meat ingredients or meat derivatives are considered “meat” for kosher purposes. In addition, no dairy products or derivatives can be produced on a meat production line.
- Receiving: A facility that handles only kosher meat finished products, can have both pareve and meat ingredients listed on their approved ingredient list and both types of ingredients may be received in the facility.
- Production: A kosher meat product is produced on a production line specially dedicated for kosher meat products, or properly kosherized before production. Meat products can also be produced on a pareve line, but it would change the status of the pareve line and require kosherization before another pareve product is made. Most of the time, a rabbi must be present during the production of meat products.
- Procurement: Since there are such stringent restrictions on kosher meat, most meat, products and meat derivatives on the market are not kosher. If you require meat products, it is imperative to work closely with your rabbi and/or Account Representative at the OK to qualify a suitable source.
- Sales: Meat products are labeled with an “OK-M” symbol and may have the word glatt next to the symbol. Since meat products are complicated to certify, two logos (or seals) must be present on all sealed finished products. Sometimes, special tamper-proof seals, like holograms and tracking information, are used. Speak to your rabbi or Account Representative to discuss this in detail.