I just read the website of a Kashrut inspection agency with which I'm familiar, but only insofar as I have seen it many times and tried, but failed, to find any information about the agency's reliability for the Kosher consumer.

Without venturing into the reliability of the organization (and for that reason I'm leaving out the name and the link to the website), I'm curious about a statement that I found on the site.

Again, without quoting it directly, in order to avoid its appearing in a search, it indicates that dried insects found in spices are not problematic from the standpoint of Kashruth, due to the fact that, according to this site, they are considered merely dust and empty shells, which are (I assume, not considered food and are, therefore) permissible.

Is that correct? Are dried out insect shells considered permissible to be eaten (I assume as part of a larger mixture, even though they are distinct)?

Sources, please.

2 Answers 2


Per Rabbi Zusha Blech this is accurate.

Per Montreal Kosher MK this is accurate.

To the best of my knowledge these are reliable Hashgachos.

  • 1
    Do they need to be Batel?
    – Seth J
    Oct 10, 2012 at 18:24
  • 1
    The MK's newsletter article is written by Rabbi Blech, so it is really the same source.
    – Yishai
    Oct 11, 2012 at 21:10

SA YD 104:3 says that insects are batel berov. Of course, batel isn't a לכתחילה way of doing things. I couldn't find the sources who deal with this, but I seem to remember they should be not whole, otherwise we would have a problem of briya (Rma YD 102:1).

  • 2
    But here it is Nikkar HaIssur (you can see the pieces, even if it is hard-to-impossible to physically remove all of them) so maybe Bitul doesn't apply?
    – Double AA
    Oct 10, 2012 at 21:15
  • @DoubleAA's comment is at the heart of my question. The website seems to indicate that we aren't concerned even if they are whole. Otherwise, I think, it would have said that ground up pieces mixed in with the dried spices that are nearly impossible to discern are fine, but that we still need to be concerned with whole bugs.
    – Seth J
    Oct 10, 2012 at 21:28
  • This seems to be more of a comment
    – Yehoshua
    Oct 10, 2012 at 21:46

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