Religion Magazine

Mehadrin Goose Liver Foi Gras on Its Way to Israel

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
Israel used to be one of the leading countries in the farming of geese and foi gras. In 2003 the Supreme Court banned it due to the cruelty involved in the process, and in 2006 instructed the Agriculture Ministry to enforce the law after a number of failed appeals.
Until recently, mehadrin goose livers and foi gras could be found in some places - some countries certified it as mehadrin kosher, while other countries would only certify it as kosher but not mehadrin. It commonly has not been found in Israel with a mehadrin hechsher for a long time, if ever, but searching online one can find old reviews of mehadrin restaurants with mention of foi gras on the menu. It definitely has been available in Israel with a Rabbanut, not mehadrin, hechsher, at least years ago.
Kikar is reporting that The Chief Rabbinate has now approved the import of foi gras with a mehadrin hechsher. Kikar calls it an historic decision, as goose liver in Israel has never been certified as mehadrin, but only regular kosher.
According to the article, one of the members of the Chief Rabbinate rabbinic council went to Hungary with a team of experts to inspect the process of the stuffing of the geese. They then returned to put together a plan for importing the mehadrin goose liver, and the Rabbanut has now approved the plan.
Mehadrin Goose Liver Foi Gras on its way to Israel
According to the Rabbanut, for this to work the importers will have to adhere to some strict guidelines, such as: all aspects of the farming and stuffing of the geese must take place in one location. The type of feed stuffed into the geese must be a feed that is determined to minimize any risk of ripping the esophagus of the geese (such as by cooking the corn feed to soften and dull any sharp edges and not mixing any complete seed into the feed mix). The stuffing of the geese must be performed using a silicone tube with no sharp edges. And obviously mashgichim must be available to supervise the process.
The Rabbanut's guidelines for the pace of the slaughtering is every shochet can slaughter a maximum of 4-5 geese per minute, no more, and the mashgiach must check the point of slaughter after.
This is a major change in policy.
Bon Apetit
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