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.
Every Worcestershire sauce does not contain
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
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
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
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.