Story-ideas-1011172

Kosher meat crisis looms for Johannesburg consumers

  • Shechita box - HOME
A serious crisis is looming for observant Johannesburg Jews, as the supply of kosher meat dwindles way below the demand, due to factors difficult to control. This will be particularly sorely felt as Rosh Hashanah approaches. “We’re holding in the short term,” says UOS exec director Sevitz about supply, by making more use of the other facilities. The UOS is pulling all the stops to find a new facility, but has had no complaints from consumers regarding supply shortages...yet!
by GEOFF SIFRIN & ANT KATZ | Aug 20, 2014
Yaakov Lazarus, of Moishe’s and Trevor’s Kosher Butchery - one of the main suppliers of Mehadrin kosher meat - told the Jewish Report: “At the end of June we got an e-mail from the Morgan Group - the biggest throughput abattoir from which we get almost 100 per cent of our meat, except for another smaller supplier at Wolwehoek for lamb - that they can’t do kosher slaughter anymore.

“They said this was a result of a new requirement from a certain halaal authority (the National Independent Halaal Trust), saying that on the processing line there needs to be an hour’s interval between when kosher slaughter is done, and then halaal slaughter begins.

“And in addition, kosher and halaal meat can’t be stored in the same fridge. This applies not only to Mehadrin, but other kosher meat too.”

Lazarus says Morgan came to a business decision that continuing with kosher slaughter was not good business because the Jewish market is much smaller than the Muslim market and the Muslim business must not be lost.

“I don’t think it’s a political issue,” he says. But this was an unfortunate new development, because Muslims and Jews had previously worked well together on meat and similar issues where they had a common interest, he said.

Lazarus has approached other abattoirs, but the need is for a place with a large capacity. “It will be very difficult to find another abattoir with the same throughput,” he says. “So, meat prices will increase and other abattoirs are raising prices by 20 per cent because they know we have a supply problem.”

Shechita boxOne of the problems is that for kosher slaughter a specially designed “box” is needed - EXAMPLE ILLUSTRATED RIGHT - which was agreed with animal rights groups - to place the animal in the proper position for the shochet to do his job.

A single clean cut is required for the meat to be kosher. If the animal moves its head, the meat will not be kosher.

“To build a new box, we need drawings, steel fabrication and a pneumatic system to open the entry door, push the animal in and position the head correctly. After the rabbi slaughters with one cut, 20 seconds later the cow is stunned, by arrangement with the SPCA. Then another bar lifts the door, and the 500 kilos of weight is moved out. It would cost about R750 000 to build a new box, by a large engineering firm.” 

Lazarus feels the Beth Din and the UOS need to get involved. “There needs to be a campaign of awareness; the consumer needs to know why there is a shortage of kosher meat. And they need to ascertain the reason for the new one-hour requirement. Ultimately this needs to be addressed on a political level. Muslims and Jews used to work well together,” he stressed.

UOS says stocks holding out

Darren Sevitz, CEO of the UOS which is the umbrella organisation that includes the Beth Din, told Jewish Report that they were aware of the problem arising from the loss of use of the Morgan facility.

The UOS is working very actively to secure another facility, says Sevitz, and had “purchased a list of every abettor in the country.” They’ve been investigating and he and one of their Shochtim had visited a possible site but with no success.

“We’re holding in the short term,” he says about supply, by making more use of the other facilities. The UOS has spoken to the retail butchers, he says, but they have had no complaints from consumers regarding supply shortages.

The numbers of heads of beef slaughtered for kosher consumption had risen dramatically from about 8 000 in 2010 to around 12 000 in 2013. The UOS had budgeted for a levelling out this year and, says Darren, the numbers to date for 2014 are “what we had expected”.

10 Comments

  1. 10 Raoul Coscia 21 Aug
    looking at this illustration makes me want to not eat meat ever again
  2. 9 denis Solomons 26 Aug
    It appears as if the kosher meat crisis applies more to beef and mutton than to chicken.
    Perhaps the time has come to eat more chicken than red meat .
    Poultry also has problems as one can get salmonella ( diarrhoea ) contamination but it is rare .
    Beef or cows get a form of tape worm known as taenia saginatta ;similair to taenia solium or the pork tapeworm .
    So beef is not a totally benign or innocuous meat.
    Also from a cholesterol point of view poultry is better for you than red meat.
    This also applies to uric acid disorders  or gout.
    So the take home message is eat more poultry and less red meat.
    My wife makes a delicious chicken dish done in coca-cola !
  3. 8 Samuel Shalom 26 Aug
    This article should be correctly be headed as:

    "Muslim Anti-Semitism Hits South African Jewish Ritual Slaugghtering"!

    What else could it be if for the last 100 years South African Muslims did not complain and in fact relied in Kosher slaughtering themselves when Halaal was not available. When Muslims are stuck in places where there is no Halaal food but there is Kosher food, they ask for the Kosher food because it's as good as if not better that Halaal. All of a sudden the so-called "the National Independent Halaal Trust" makes up new rules and its obvious what they are up to, just reading the report makes it very obvious they want to BOYCOTT and DAMAGE Jewish religious interests as part of the general trend of Islamic radicalization and anger at Jews and Israel and anything to do with Judaism. The same way they complain about the "Judaization" of Jerusalem as if that was some sort of "crime" same her with Kosher meat and Halaal meat that now must be "kept apart" in this new version Muslim "mehadrin"!

    Communit leaders need to have more guts! The Beth Din and UOS has no problem condeming and fighting Rabbi Berland and the Breslovers but let's the Muslims and the suppliers get away with this Chutzpa!

    These words are such an indictment that it is surprising that a stronger voice is not raised against it. Next they will say Jews cannot live within "one hour" of Muslims or Judaism cannot be discussed anywhere within "one hour" of Islam etc ad nauseam (COMMENTS IN CAPITALS):

    “They said this was a result of a new requirement from a certain halaal authority (the National Independent Halaal Trust),"

    WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE? BY WHAT RIGHT ARE THEY MAKING UP "NEW" RULES AS THEY GO ALONG AIMED AT HURTING JEWS?! WHO IS THIS "National Independent Halaal Trust"? WHO ARE THEY MADE UP OF AND WHO FUNDS AND GUIDES THEM? DO THEY HAVE A SUPREME IMAM WHO CAN BE ASKED NOT JUST DECREES FROM TH FACTORY NOT OWNED BY THEM? IT SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED AND EXPOSED IN THE MEDIA!!

    "saying that on the processing line there needs to be an hour’s interval between when kosher slaughter is done, and then halaal slaughter begins."

    WHO MADE UP THIS "RULE" ALL OF A SUDDEN IF THERE WAS NEVER A PROBLEM TIL NOW?! ONE HOUR? MAYBE IT IS TWO? MAYBE ONE MINUTE? WHAT IS THE BASIS IN ISLAM AND LOGIC IN THIS IF JUDAISM HAS NO PROBLEMS AND ISLAM HAD NO PROBLEMS TIL NOW?

    “And in addition, kosher and halaal meat can’t be stored in the same fridge. This applies not only to Mehadrin, but other kosher meat too.”

    TIL NOW IT WASN'T A PROBLEM, SO WHAT CHANGED?

    "Lazarus says Morgan came to a business decision that continuing with kosher slaughter was not good business because the Jewish market is much smaller than the Muslim market and the Muslim business must not be lost."

    SO IT IS BLACKMAIL THEN AND NOTHING TO DO WITH RELIGION, JUST A WAY TO ATTACK JEWS AND NOT MUCH ELSE! IS IT BUSINESS OR RELIGION? IF IT IS BUSINESS THEN IT CAN BE CONFRONTED WHILE IF IT IS RELIGION IT NEEDS A BETTER EXPLANATION AND IT HAS NONE.

    " “I don’t think it’s a political issue,” he says."

    HOW APOLOGETIC AND OBTUSE CAN ONE GET! IT IS ANTI-SEMITIC AND AIMED AT INSULTING, HURTING, AND BOYCOTTING JEWS. CALL A SPADE A SPADE AND DON'T BE A FOOL!

    "But this was an unfortunate new development,"

    IT IS NOT "unfortunate" IT IS A LIBEL AND HATEFUL AND SPITEFUL AND OUTRIGHT EVIL AND SHOULD BE CALLED AS SUCH. COWARDICE WILL NOT IMPROVE THE SITUATION!

    "because Muslims and Jews had previously worked well together on meat and similar issues where they had a common interest, he said."

    PRECISELY! SO WHAT CHANGED NOW ALL OF A SUDDEN? OBVIOUSLY THE ANSWER IS SIMPLE BUT PEOPLE ARE AFRAID TO SPEAK UP! IMAGINE IF ALL OF A SUDDEN A FACTORY WOULD SAY IT CANNOT PRODUCE MAIZE-MEAL "BECAUSE" SOME GROUP SAYS THAT THEY EAT WHEAT AND THE PLANT MUST WAIT AN HOUR BETWEEN PRODUCING THE MAIZE-MEAL AND THE WHEAT AND "BECAUSE" OF THAT ALL MEALIE-PUP EATERS MUST NOW FIND ANOTHER PLACE TO GET THEIR STAPLE FOOD? OR IF SA BREWERIES SAYS IT CAN "NO LONGER" PRODUCE LION LAGER ON THE SAME PRODUCTION LINES AS CASTLE BEER BECAUSE DRINKERS OF LIONS WILL NOT ACCEPT CASTLE BEER ON THE SAME LINES OR IN THE SAME STORAGE ROOMS? IT WOULD BE CONDEMNED AS STUPID AND CRUEL AND POINTLESS! SAME IN THIS CASE, IT SHOULD BE CONDEMNED IN HARSH TERMS AND NOT ACQUIESCED IN OR UNDER-STATED IN ANY WAY. OTHERWISE EVERYTHING WILL BE ON THE LINE WITH NO END IN SIGHT!!!
  4. 7 Joan 28 Aug
    So we will eat more vegetable and other filling foods, we have got more pressing worries and problems than kosher meat. We will need to be more inventive and pass around new recipes. So come on now put on your thinking caps and come up with fabulous new ideas. Include nuts legumes and the likes. Don't let anybody get the better of us.
  5. 6 Harry Friedland 30 Aug
    Samuel, it's not good for you to get so angry. You obviously got crosser and crosser as you went along because the upper-case lettering increased.

    Yes of course this is partly Muslim's Jew-hatred at work ("anti-semitism" isn't useful because both nations are semitic): in these times, that goes without saying. What is hilarious is that I have been told by a Dayan that the MJC has been known to call the Beth Din to enquire whether a particular product is kosher or not and if it is, then without further ado, they authorise the labelling of the product also as Halaal.

    I don't think it's fair to imply that Ya'akov Lazarus has been cowardly in his response. He has done some incredibly brave things in his lifetime (seriously) and he wouldn't avoid saying so if he thought the supplier was being anti-Jewish. I accept that for the supplier this has been a purely business decision, just as I accept that however impure their motive may be in this case, the National Independent Halaal Trust has a right to take an unprecedented decision and its no business of ours if they do so. Perhaps they are just trying to make themselves less dependent of the Beth Din's judgement.

    I always thought that the stringency of our laws of kashrut for meat had something to do with a general disinclination in our culture to regard the daily consumption of red meat as an ideal thing: perhaps biblical Judaism inclined towards vegetarianism: in the Middle-Eastern climate, large herds of cattle may have been relatively rare.

    Perhaps we should take note, and tailor our diets accordingly

  6. 5 Proud Jew 19 Oct
    As usual the Jewish reaction is "well we'll eat vegetables
    and chicken". I wonder what would have happened if it was the other way around? We all know that the Muslims would be rioting and threatening Jihad against every one involved. . Until they got what the wanted. The Jewish Community in SA is complacent to a ridiculous degree!!This is a politically motivated action as Samuel Shalom stated. I was okay till now, so what happened? What's next the Hallal people will ban The Kosher sign on anything that is marked hallal? If we don't take a massive stand against this Islamic bullying we will end up getting sand kicked in our faces again and again. Everywhere the muslims are they make ridiculous  demands and get "offended" by anything or anyone who dares to stand their way. Enough is enough!!
  7. 4 Abdur Rahim 19 Nov
    First and foremost most, please do not stereo-type us Muslims. We are not all terrorists. 

    Secondly, In South Africa, the Muslim community and Jewish community get along very well with each other. Let's not change that with hate speech. 

    Thirdly, Kosher and Halal concepts are very similar but do have slight differences.
    (ref: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Islamic_and_Jewish_dietary_laws ) 

    It would be better to educate yourselves than to rant off in ignorance. 

    Fourthly, Muslims don't hate Jews, we love them like they're our cousins. We do however, hate zionists and there are many Jews and Christians alike who hate zionists too.

    Fifthly, I would like to learn more about Kosher and Kashrut. I am based in Durban and will be opening a shop that will sell both halal and kosher foods. If anyone can assist please contact me. My details call be obtained from the moderators of this post.

    Peace be upon you all :)


  8. 3 sally 28 Mar
    I found this article looking for info on kosher slaughter out of interest. I had to fight back tears to hear that the animal is stunned 20 seconds after the cut but i understand it needs to hear the prayers of the rabbi. i wonder if the halal butcheries have complied with best practice this way. Since this article is old I'm sure you guys have sorted out your problem.
  9. 2 sally 28 Mar
    And to the guy above, it's strange for many of us who have never cared much about Jews or Muslims or what they do but are now looking into things because there's this terrible strife in the world. Every time we examine an issue we see that the Muslims are sophists. How can you say you like Jews but not if they want to have their tiny sliver of land that's historically  and morally theirs? We see that Muslim people have the entire Middle East and North Africa and now they are taking over Europe and being so manipulative in other places like the USA and Canada, and we can't understand your petty nastiness and stinginess of spirit. We all know they need their scrap of land to fulfil their destiny. No one is trying to take Mecaa away for you? So we also see the spiteful backhandedness in all your communications. Offering a Jew halal while denying him his home is mean. It's also obvious that you delight in this craftiness. The rest of us see this and we can't imagine a parent treating a child this way. Or God treating humanity this way. And through your speech and actions we are learning. 
  10. 1 Choni 28 Mar
    May I suggest that instead of all the money being spent on  things like Sinai Indaba, limmud, and visitors like Peres etc we spend the money on helping build a new abbottoir.

Comment

  1. RadEditor - HTML WYSIWYG Editor. MS Word-like content editing experience thanks to a rich set of formatting tools, dropdowns, dialogs, system modules and built-in spell-check.
    RadEditor's components - toolbar, content area, modes and modules
       
    Toolbar's wrapper 
     
    Content area wrapper
    RadEditor's bottom area: Design, Html and Preview modes, Statistics module and resize handle.
    It contains RadEditor's Modes/views (HTML, Design and Preview), Statistics and Resizer
    Editor Mode buttonsStatistics moduleEditor resizer
      
    RadEditor's Modules - special tools used to provide extra information such as Tag Inspector, Real Time HTML Viewer, Tag Properties and other.
       
 

Follow us on

Newsletter