According to Halacha, are foods which are otherwise subject to bishul/pat akum laws (particularly if one is normally stringent with them) that are partially but not fully cooked by a gentile considered bishul/Pat akum?

Or since they are not fully cooked, if a Jew finishes cooking them, are they not bishul/Pat akum after the fact?


1 Answer 1


OU Kosher answers your question (here) and states it is a dispute between Ashkenazi and Sefaradi poskim

Rav Yosef Caro (Shulchan Aruch YD 113:9) writes that if a nochri [non-Jew] cooks food to the point of maachal ben Drusai (the minimum level of edibility), it is subject to bishul Akum. Food that is cooked less than this amount is permitted, since it is not yet edible. Once cooked till maachal ben Drusai, the food is bishul Akum and remains forbidden even if a Jew completes the cooking. However, the Beis Efraim quotes the Avkas Rochel (a collection of teshuvos from the Beis Yosef) who writes that if the nochri cooked the food past maachal ben Drusai and subsequently it dried out and could not be eaten without further cooking, the prohibition of bishul Akum is removed.

The Rema (YD 113:9) disagrees with Rav Yosef Caro. In his opinion, food cooked by an aino Yehudi may be eaten if a Yisroel completes the cooking process. In this respect, bishul Akum is different than most other prohibitions which cannot be reversed. Apparently, the Rema’s position is that when the Yisroel completes the cooking process the initial prohibition of bishul Akum is lifted because the food is no longer the same as before. Food cooked by a Jew cannot be considered bishul Akum.

The Issur V’heter (43:11) adds that this leniency (of the Rama) only applies if there is further cooking which improves the food, but reheating does not change the status.

OU Kosher notes elsewhere that

Many kosher agencies who follow the Ashkenazic tradition of the Rama allow non-Jewish companies to prepare specific types of food that cannot be used out of the container without further processing. Since these items will require additional cooking in any event, it is assumed that the final stages will be done by a Jew and the product will then be considered bishul yisrael

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