How Jewish people prepare and eat kosher meat is an interesting look into ancient traditional reasons behind these preparations and why only certain meat is eaten. Kashrut (meaning "fit, proper, or correct") is the Jewish law about what can and cannot be eaten and comes from the same root word as "kosher." Long ago many of the regulations were put into use for health reasons, but there are other parts of the law that have no answer except that the Torah says to do things a certain way. Kosher dietary laws are in effect all year round.
- The meats that are considered kosher are cattle, chickens, sheep, lamb, deer, goats, and bison. Certain animals such as pigs and rabbits cannot be eaten.
- The animals must be slaughtered in accordance with the law, and all the blood must be broiled out of the meat or poultry, which is soaked and salted, or drained before it is eaten.
- The most humane method of slaughter is used, which is a deep, quick stroke across the throat with a very sharp blade with no nicks or unevenness. This method is painless and unconsciousness occurs within two seconds.
- Since the sciatic nerve and surrounding blood vessels are not to be eaten, most American kosher slaughterers sell the hind quarters to butchers who are non-kosher.
- The best way to make sure that the meat is kosher is to buy it from a kosher butcher.
- In a kosher home, meat cannot be eaten with dairy. The dishes, silverware, pots, towels, pot holders, and utensils have to be separated into those that are used for one or the other. You also have to run the dishwasher in between meat and dairy loads.
- Fish cannot be eaten with meat. Fish that are allowed in a kosher diet are salmon, tuna, carp and herring. Shellfish such as shrimp, lobsters, clams, oysters, and crabs are forbidden.
- Eggs, vegetables, fruits and grains can be eaten with either meat or dairy.
- A person can just rinse his or her mouth and eat a piece of bread after eating dairy to move on to eating meat, but if one eats meat first, there is a wait of three to six hours to eat dairy.
- There are different symbols on products to designate that a food is kosher. These certification marks are trademarked and cannot be used without permission. For instance, there is a "K" or the word Pareve or a P (which means kosher for Passover), the word Meat, a D or the word Dairy, and others.
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