Religion Magazine

Eida Chickens Might Have a Problem

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
The Eida Hachareidis has been involved in a kashrus issue for a bit of time now that might finally be coming to an end.
It really hit the public eye when the heads of the Eida and its kashrus division met with Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel. Considering the Eida being an anti-Zionist organization, this meeting raised eyebrows. The Eida people responded that they have always believed in "shtadlanus" and that's what this meeting was about, for a specific purpose.
A while ago an Eida shochet publicized that many of the problems with Eida chickens being treif from problems in the "tzomet hagidin" - the sinews and ligaments found in the lower leg (i.e. the polkie) - were caused by the method and content of vaccinations employed by the Eida. The way they vaccinated did not allow the substance to get absorbed in the flesh of the chicken but trickled down in the body and caused problems in the legs. The Eida uses a different method than other kashrut organizations for the vaccinations, and because of that it seems they are the only ones affected in this way.
Eida chickens might have a problem
That caused a bit of a stir that eventually died down a bit, but the issue in general recently came to the forefront, and it seems the Eida is looking into alternatives to this method, and that was the focus of the meeting with the Israeli minister. They are specifically looking into the possibility of vaccinating using some sort of aerosol spray. Minister Ariel agreed to look into the matter and after consulting with the chief veterinarian has decided to approve of a pilot to test the viability of this method.
The problem might be solved, or at least near a solution.
A new problem has now been raised by a number of shochtim and rabbonim, as a result of this. They suggest that the Eida's investigation into an alternative method is basically a de facto admission into the fact that until now they have been selling [many] treif chickens as kosher (mehadrin at the top level). Otherwise they would reject the idea of change and double down saying this is the mesora and accepted way of doing it. While kudos for looking into makign a change, the change means the previous method was no good. The rabbonim suggest that people who buy Eida chickens, and that includes caterers and restaurants and private people and many more, might very well have to kasher all their pots and dishes.
source: Behadrei
We wait for more information.
Whether you trust them anyway or whether you do not trust them or whatever your position is on the Eida, my point is that mistakes and mess-ups happen with every hechsher, from the "best" to the "worst" (however one might define those categories), and what really interests me in a hechsher is how they learn from their mistakes and work to fix them and prevent them in the future. If you only eat a specific hechsher because they never make mistakes, it just means they are not telling you about their mistakes and you have no idea if they are being worked on and if they are working to improve their methods..
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