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In my community it's somewhat common for families kashrut observance to be "dairy out", where (as I understand it) they'll eat vegan/vegetarian/dairy food at restaurants without rabbinic supervision. Is there a halachic basis for this practice?

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  • I'm sure this has been asked before?
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented May 1 at 12:20

1 Answer 1

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Unfortunately very little. There are many issues involved in eating out in non-kosher restaurants. To name some of them

  • eating hot "kosher" food in plates that might have been used in the last 24 hours creates issues of absorbing the taste of previously non-kosher food (e.g., fried eggs eaten in a plate that contained bacon a few hours ago)
  • bishul akum, the prohibition to eat certain foods when prepared by non-Jews
  • marit ayin, the appearance one gives when eating in a restaurant, which might lead others to believe it is kosher
  • dishes that appear to be perfectly "safe" might actually contain forbidden ingredients, e.g., chicken broth is used in many dishes to give them taste, many fish dishes are prepared with seafood broth for the same reason, animal fats (from non-kosher animals) might be used
  • vinegar and cheese can be used in vegetarian dishes, while requiring kosher supervision
  • vegetables will not be checked for bugs

One can discuss each issue individually, and there might be individual workarounds, but unfortunately taken together they make it impossible to eat out at non-kosher restaurants while being halachically compliant. Whether or not this should be brought up in front of these people, or whether alternatives might be worse, is a topic for a rabbi who is fully aware of the specifics of the community and its level of observance.

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  • Grapes and raisins usw. Commented May 1 at 12:10

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