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)?


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 '10 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 '10 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? – Adam Mosheh May 16 '12 at 1:38
  • @AdamMosheh I really hope you ask this as a general question. – SAH Dec 15 '15 at 20:44
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    @AdamMosheh You didn't until I have a link to it! – SAH Dec 16 '15 at 23:45

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