Kosher Food Packaging for Deliveries

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General

  1. Meat, and, in general, other food that is out of a Jew's sight for a certain amount of time no longer retains its status as Kosher.[1] This fundamental principle is called Basar SheNitalem Min Haayin, and it can be applied to cases when a Jew sends food to another Jew using a non-Jewish delivery person.
  2. The concern is rooted in our inability to know the motivations for the non-Jews to possibly switch the Kosher food for non-Kosher equivalents. We thus would prefer the food to be watched by a Jew from the time of its production until its consumption.
  3. In order to assuage our need for the food to be as if it is watched constantly, we rely upon either Simanim (clear symbols)[2], a Jew being able to identify this object as being exactly the piece of food that they knew to be Kosher previously[3], or, most significantly, Tzarur v'Chatum - ensuring that the meat or other food is wrapped, packaged or sealed (either once or twice, depending on the situation.
  4. This concern applies to rich delivery persons as well as it does to poor ones.[4]
  5. Leaving a deposit of food with a non-Jew is considered with the same analysis as cases with a non-Jewish delivery person.[5]

Sources

  1. Chullin 95a, in the name of Rav. Rashi ad. loc explains that the time period in question is an hour. The Ritva ad. loc says that the period of time is actually a relatively short amount of time. Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 63:1
  2. Chullin 95a, see Rashi ad. loc
  3. This is known as Teviyat Ayin, defined by Rabbi Moshe Heineman from Star-K as, "if a Jew can recognize that this is the original piece of meat or poultry that was previously known to be Kosher, and[it] can be clearly identified without any question."
  4. Shu"t HaRadbaz 4:1
  5. S"A Y.D. 118:1