Kosher Meat Sales Surge in UK in Wake of Horse Meat Scandal
by Zach Pontz
There are a few big winners in the horse meat scandal that has shocked the United Kingdom–kosher butchers. After it was recently revealed that many frozen food dinners contained horse meat instead of the ground beef that was advertised, many consumers have turned to kosher meat to insure that they are getting what they order.
Jacky Lipowicz, chairman of the Licensed Kosher Meat Traders’ Association, told the Jewish Chronicle that the scandal could be “the best thing” to happen to the kosher meat industry for years.
Elaine Mann, of Louis Mann and Son butchers in Edgware, north west London, told the newspaper that there had been a “surge” in people buying kosher beef. “People always say kosher meat is expensive, but now you know why.”
According to the Jewish Chronicle, the process by which kosher meat reaches the shelves, shechita, ensures a high standard of quality. Animals are first checked by a vet to ensure they are healthy and free of illness or disease. A shomer then makes a note of every animal slaughtered and the exact number being delivered to processing plants or butchers.
Every piece of meat is sealed and any meat found later with a broken seal is thrown away.
Inspectors also check the exact amounts sold to ensure no additional, unsupervised animals have entered the chain.
Manchester Beth Din administrator Rabbi Yehuda Brodie said: “The level of supervision which exists in all kosher establishments — either retail or otherwise — ensures that any ingredient or meat meets our requirements.
In a statement issued to reassure consumers, the kashrut authority said: “All processing of kosher meat is undertaken, exclusively and without exception, using Kedassia kosher meat of UK origin, which is under constant rabbinical supervision from the time of slaughter.”