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Jewish Recipes --> Jewish Cooking Terms / Dictionary

Mixing fish with meat and dairy

Since there is an anchovy ingredient in Worcestershire Sauces, one would rightly assume that as such it would prohibit eating the sauce together with meat or chicken. Thus one would be entitled to ask why the OU doesn't label such sauces as OU-FISH instead of a plain OU.

Essential Every Worcestershire sauce does not contain anchovies

At the OU, we certify such products as 'OU' and not "OU Fish" only when the recipe of a product indicates that quantity of the fish ingredient in the product is very small and that there are more than 60 times as much of other ingredients as there is of the anchovy fish. This would render the fish ingredient 'Botel'(Halachically dissipated). Thus the product is considered as if there is no fish ingredient.

Should there not be 60 times as much, then the OU labels the sauce product as OU-Fish.

For example the Worcestershire Sauces sold by Wal-Mart, Lee & Perrins, and Shoprite are labeled OU-Fish, because the amount of anchovy in the product is too much - the anchovy does not become Botel and the sauces may NOT be used with meat.

The general policy of the OU is not to rely on Bitul (dissipation). The OU would not certify a product that has a drop of something not-kosher. Such a policy applies to the laws of 'Issur V'heter' (foods not permitted or permitted on a account of Kashrus).

The law of not mixing meat and fish is not based on questions of Kosher but rather on the basis of Sakanah (danger to one's health). The OU's position is that where the Issur is based on Sakahnah and not Issur V'heter, we do rely on Bitul.
However, it is important for us to tell you and for you to be aware that there are disagreements among distinguished Rabbis, past and present, as to whether one may use the argument of 'Bitul' when it comes to issues where the prohibition is not on account of Kosher and Treifa but on account of 'Sakahnah' - hazardous or dangerous.

Some Rabbis say that one may use the concept of 'Bitul' only in cases of Kosher/Treifa where the non-kosher part fell into the Kosher part, there we may measure to see if there is the ratio of at least 60 to 1; but not in cases of danger or hazard - even if there were a thousand to one it would still not dissipate the 'danger'.

However, many Rabbinic Poskim believe that there is no distinction between the two when it comes to Bitul. (The OU's position is not to certify products where there is Bitul of a non-kosher ingredient, while, at the same time, the OU will certify a product where the hazardous ingredient did become dissipated.)

The OU does not require that 'fish' appear on the label when the fish component is less than 1/60th. Nonetheless, "anchovies" appears in the ingredient panel and alerts those who wish to follow the more stringent opinion that the product contains fish.




Sept 2005 - 2014 - Kosher Recipes - Kosher Cooking - Jewish Cooking - Jewish Recipes - Jewish Foods