Does anyone know if there is going to be a kashrus problem with maple syrup next year?

A rather large amount of maple syrup was stolen last year. The thieves did not keep it in the original casks, but transfered it into their own containers. Now the syrup has been recovered, and presumably the owner will transfer it back to the normal storage area (although I don't actually know that).

Is this going to be a kashrus problem? We have no way to know what the thieves did with the product while they had it. And the Canadian cartel keeps the product in storage for several years.

Can you make a product batel if some containers are treif, other are not, but they are not actually mixed together, just stored together?

More than the halachic question, I'm curious if Kashrus agencies are/will check into this.

  • 6
    I'd expect there'd be health concerns, too.
    – Isaac Moses
    Dec 20, 2012 at 23:17
  • I don't see how you would have much of a problem with cold syrup in clean containers (even if the containers had been used previously for non-kosher substances).
    – LazerA
    Dec 21, 2012 at 0:40
  • 2
    @LazerA We don't know they were clean, we don't know anything it at all. But in any case syrup is not cold, it's heated to concentrate it, then again to pasteurize, and again to package (to make it flow better). They found kettles with the thieves, so obviously they did heat it.
    – Ariel
    Dec 21, 2012 at 1:12
  • 1
    @LazerA I agree the containers probably weren't dirty (but there is no way to know), but I'm betting they were old, so could have had something non-kosher in it first. I also thought the syrup was processed - but they had kettles used for processing it with them. The syrup is heated to boiling, this causes a final pasteurization to prevent it from molding in the bottle. (Maybe they boiled it in the new glass bottles? I don't know.)
    – Ariel
    Dec 21, 2012 at 1:58
  • 1
    Since this is five years old, I do not think that it can be asked now unless one can identify what happened to the syrup. Dec 31, 2017 at 15:36

2 Answers 2


Unsurprisingly, the answer is probably going to depend on the facts. But there's an important point OP and the other responses do not mention, which is that we usually don't assume something is asur just because it was out of sight and "We have no way to know what the thieves did with the product while they had it. This is the concept of שאחזוקי איסורא לא מחזקינן. See טוש"ע אורח חיים תסז ג and עבודה זרה יא ב-ויב א for sources and some examples. See also Yore Deah 118 for foods that are an exception to this general rule. So the most important question is whether there are indicia under the circumstances that raise a safek treif was put into the syrup. For example, OP says they found kettles with the stolen syrup. What was in them, are they the kind that would be used for other things, do the thieves have a financial incentive to adulterate the syrup with something nonkosher? All of these are fact questions and questions for a posek whether they make a difference.

As for the second part of your question, yes, in principle you can have bitul where you have some items that are 100% treif and some are 100% kosher and they get mixed up but not mixed together. For example if someone injected pork into an apple and threw it into a box of apples you apples remain mutar. However there are exceptions to this rule including for things that are "chashuv," like living animals. It's conceivable that a barrel of syrup would be in that category.

I have no idea what in practice was done with the syrup either from a business perspective or a kashrut perspective.


Shalom u'vracha! It is permitted. The thieves intended to re-sell the maple syrup and likely kept it clean throughout transport and storage. If it was dirtied in any way, or mixed with something else, the original owners would dispose of it and not sell it to the public for fear of local law enforcement requiring notification of ingredients or court cases in the event of sickness or contamination.

Regarding kashrut, there is no problem as long as we don't know of any issur mixed into it and taste only maple syrup. If there was a non-kosher ingredient mixed into it during the care of the thieves, it would be batel b'shishim if the non-kosher ingredients is 1/60th of the orginal maple syrup, in which case it would probably be disposed of.

  • 3
    I see that you have posted eight answers here today. We appreciate your efforts to add quality content to this site. One thing I noticed, though, is that none of your answers have provided any sources or evidence to back up what they assert. You don't tell us how you know that your answers are correct. When other users read your answers all they can see are what look like your opinions. If we knew that you were a great rabbi that would be fine; however, since we don't know who you are we don't know if we can trust your opinions/assertions. Continued...
    – Alex
    Aug 22, 2018 at 2:21
  • 4
    Continued... If you could provide the details of how you arrived at your answers, their value would be increased tremendously. In general this site might be somewhat different from what you are used to. You can check out the Help center and Mi Yodeya Meta for some useful information about how things work here. These are the Meta Posts tagged "citing-sources". We hope you stick around and contribute great content.
    – Alex
    Aug 22, 2018 at 2:21
  • @ShmuelBrin It wouldn't make a difference, but it would apply. Aug 22, 2018 at 18:30
  • @Alex There is a general rule regarding factories in regulated countries based on a Talmudic principle called "mirtat". Mirtat is the assumption that an Akum is scared of his boss, in this case the government, and won't risk his position by tainting his boss's food lest he get caught. R' Moshe Feinstein ztz"l makes use of this principle in permitting non-chalav Yisrael in regulated countries due to their fear of a lawsuit and criminal charges. Although it wouldn't apply to the maple syrup during the possession of the thieves(because they steal), the principle of batel b'shishim would apply. Aug 22, 2018 at 18:36
  • 1
    @chachamNisan Thank you for adding more information in the comments. As a general rule on this site, comments are only meant to be temporary. Therefore, anything which adds information to your answer should be edited into the answer post itself.
    – Alex
    Aug 22, 2018 at 22:18

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .