This was brought to mind by this question:

What are the rules about joining your co-workers (or the like) for a meal in a non-kosher restaurant, but bringing your own food? Is it prohibited as mar'is ayin (because people will think that you're eating non-kosher food along with them, or that the restaurant is in fact kosher), or is there not a problem (because your bag of food, or whatever, makes it plain that you're not eating from what the restaurant is providing)?

1 Answer 1


It's been addressed by the OU lecture series on kashrut in and out of the workplace . They made clear this was only intended for use vis-a-vis business; don't go hanging out at a non-kosher restaurant on weekends for the fun of it, even if you bring your own food.

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein frowned on the practice, though he allowed using a restroom if needed.

Today, the rabbi on the recording (I believe it was Rabbi Stone) indicated that if it's during business hours and otherwise looks like a business lunch, people will generally understand what's going on. (And while it was debated, it sounded like you should keep your kippa on.) If you get a kosher shrink-wrapped meal, Rabbi Herschel Schachter rules that you need to leave some of the packaging out on the table so that it's clear you're eating different food than your colleagues.

  • Thank you! (The relevant lecture was actually the one on that page by Rabbi Dov Schreier.)
    – Alex
    Jan 6, 2010 at 23:39
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    Ah yes, nothing says "Professional Business Meeting" like a 18-inch pile of wet plastic wrap, tin foil, and styrofoam next to your disposable plate of overcooked vegetables.
    – Jeremy
    Jan 12, 2010 at 19:03
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    Why does Rav Schachter worry about marit ayin if we say that there is a principle of dan lechaf zekhut? May 16, 2012 at 1:38
  • @AdamMosheh I really hope you ask this as a general question.
    – SAH
    Dec 15, 2015 at 20:44
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    @AdamMosheh You didn't until I have a link to it!
    – SAH
    Dec 16, 2015 at 23:45

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