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Kosher Food

Kosher Diet

Some people erroneously think that kosher food means food that was blessed by a rabbi. In reality, kosher means “fit”—that is, foods that were prepared in accordance with the many laws in Judaism that cover every food category and every aspect of its preparation, and thus “fit” for consumption. Sometimes, a rabbi is required to supervise the food production to ensure that it was prepared in accordance with these laws.

Here is a brief overview of the laws of kosher:

• Certain animals, birds, fish, and insects (and their derivatives) may not be consumed.

• Animals and birds that may be consumed must be killed and prepared in a very specific manner.

• We do not eat milk and meat together.


It may sound like only a few laws, but within each of these are a host of details.

• Accordingly, many Jewish patients in the hospital will want to avoid pork and shellfish. If such dishes are brought to their bed, they will often refuse to eat it. Some might grow distraught.

• Many hospitals have kosher meal plans available upon request. However, sometimes a patient might neglect to request a kosher plan because he or she is overwhelmed or may not know that a kosher plan is available. On the other hand, since individual levels of practice are diverse, some Jewish patients might not opt for the plan. Our job is to ensure that the choice is made available to them.

The most important thing about our patients’ kosher food is to ask. Ask your patients about their kosher preferences and find out if they have any special requests concerning their food.

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