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Triangle K, Hebrew National Answer to Kashrut Critics

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Continuing its comprehensive response to the charges of deficient kashrut, Triangle K outlined how it utilizes the services of multiple examiners to thoroughly scrutinize all of the cattle both before and after slaughtering to ensure that they are free of physical defects.In response to the class action lawsuit being filed by a group of people against the popular food manufacturer Hebrew National, claiming that the company does not always adhere to proper kosher standards, both Hebrew National’s parent corporation – AER Services, Inc. – and Triangle K kosher supervision, which oversees Hebrew National’s kashrut, have issued vehement denials of the charges.

Moreover, AER Services is threatening to sue the newspaper and journalist that printed details of the accusations against the producer of packaged frankfurters and delicatessen meats.

In a letter disseminated to the press by the law firm representing AER, the attorneys claimed that neither the American Jewish World nor its reporter, Mordecai Specktor, reached out to AER Services to obtain its side of the story.

“As a result of the regrettable and defamatory misconduct of Mr. Specktor and The American Jewish World,” the letter stated, “AER Services, Inc. intends to file (a) complaint to obtain relief from Mr. Specktor’s improper and unlawful conduct based on the contents of his defamatory article.”

Triangle K and its chief kashrut supervisor, Rabbi Aryeh Ralbag, issued a lengthy response to the class action lawsuit, in which they went into great detail about the integrity and propriety of their kosher supervision of Hebrew National foods.

“The fact is that, contrary to the defamatory allegations,” the kashrut agency said, “Triangle K has substantially increased and improved the kashrut supervision on Hebrew National products.”

Among the hashgacha’s detailed defense of its actions, it explained that the company’s slaughtering of animals to produce meat is now done with a team of two or three ritual slaughterers (shochtim). By having the team slaughter in rotation, Triangle K wrote, it ensures that no shochet becomes weary and careless, and that the slaughtering knives are always free of nicks (which could potentially lead to a violation of the kosher standards).

Continuing its comprehensive response to the charges of deficient kashrut, Triangle K outlined how it utilizes the services of multiple examiners to thoroughly scrutinize all of the cattle both before and after slaughtering to ensure that they are free of physical defects.

“It is totally false to say, as the court complaint declares anonymously,” the kashrut agency insisted, “that the organs of animals used in Hebrew National products are ‘not consistently inspected after the slaughter.’”

Triangle K further asserted that it “drains all slaughtered cattle’s blood and washes it in accordance with the strictest standards of Jewish law,” disputing the accusers’ allegations that Hebrew National’s soaking, salting and washing are inadequate.

In the final portion of its statement, Triangle K says that – while it has dismissed ritual slaughterers and examiners who did not comply with its “high standards” – the agency has never engaged in any type of retaliation against an employee who claimed to have witnessed non-kosher actions during production of Hebrew National foods.

“We strongly reaffirm that the Triangle K Kashrus symbol on Hebrew National products,” the kosher supervisory agency concluded, “guarantees that the product is 100% strictly Kosher.”

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