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Traditional Jewish food is not necessarily kosher: Kosher means to be ‘fit’ or ‘proper’ and must comply with Jewish dietary laws. The basic reason for following kosher is related to obeying religious instruction. Here are 7 basic rules food has to respect to be considered kosher.
- Animals must have split hooves and chew the cud to qualify. Pigs don’t qualify.
- Fish must have both scales and fins. Seafood like lobster, prawns, squid, eel are not kosher.
- Birds with grasping claws (birds of prey) are not kosher but chicken, ducks, geese and turkeys all qualify.
- Animals must be slaughtered by a qualified rabbi and blood drained. Authorized kosher labeling should be prominent.
- Meat and diary should not be consumed together. Sufficient time should pass before one or the other is eaten.
- A kosher kitchen must have separate utensils and crockery for preparation of meat and dairy.
- Produce must not contain insects or bugs - pesticides must be used. In Israel the land on which produce is grown must lay fallow every 7 years.