In Yoreh Deah (Hilchos Issur V'Heter) we learn about the laws of relying on a chef ("kefelah") that is a goy to help determine if there is the taste of food that might be prohibited inside of a certain dish. The poskim also discuss relying on a Jewish chef in regards to knowing if a certain food might be found in a particular dish (for example someone who made a neder not to have haneh from a certain food, or in the case of Trumah and giving to a cohen to taste, etc.)

Are there poskim that discuss if we are accustomed to rely on this in practice (to give to a Jewish chef to taste at a time when one might assume there is a prohibited food in the mixture?) Now a days I understand that the poskim (at least Ashkanazim, Sephardim might be different in this -- perhaps someone could source this) don't rely on the non-Jewish chef, that's why I am asking about relying on a Jewish one.

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    My understanding is that it's done; I've heard multiple yoreh deah shiurim from multiple sources that discuss a story in which the Sephardi chef asked the non-Jewish chef to taste it; then the Sephardi chef tasted it and told the result to the Ashkenazi chef.
    – Shalom
    May 12 '13 at 21:27
  • @Shalom There is a difference perhaps between sephardim and ashkanazim...I'll note that. But the sources are the most important thing here.
    – Yehoshua
    May 12 '13 at 21:35
  • @Shalom that is amazing!
    – Seth J
    May 12 '13 at 21:51
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    @SethJ yes; keep in mind that in a big Israeli caterer/hotel it's not unheard-of that you'd have non-Jewish Arabs, sephardim, and ashkenazim all on the kitchen crew.
    – Shalom
    May 12 '13 at 22:13
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    @msh210 over time you'll get use out of both of them. don't worry too much about it.
    – Yehoshua
    May 13 '13 at 5:19

First Sephardim also do not rely on a non-Jewish taste tester(See Kaf HaChaim 98:2, Ben Ish Hai Year 2 Korach 61). Though this does not answer the actual question, but I thought I would start with the extra-credit first.

Yes there are poskim that deal with this.

This is providing the Jew is allowed to taste the food, as in the case of radish cut with a meat knife or trumah that fell into chullin that can be tasted by a Kohain(Kaf HaChaim 98:12, Shach 98:5) However, the Gilyon Maharsha brings that the Shach in Siman 96:5 says that only if it was already cooked do we rely on a Jew if he said that there was no taste but l’chatchila (situation in which the validity of an action is being considered before the actionoccurs) we do not ask a Jew to see if there is taste.

The first Drisha in Y"D 98 says that it is assur to taste meat in order to check if it is salted even if only using the tongue because this is like eating the meat. The Taz(98:2) argues and brings a proof from the din of gall bladder that in the case of a safek issur it is mutar to test by only using the tongue. However, in our case tasting with the tongue does not help us solve the safek (doubt) because in order to properly ascertain the taste the food it must be eaten. The Mishb'tzos Zahav(98:2) explains that the Taz holds that tongue tasting is only an issur d'rabbanan anad is therefore permitted in safek. However, the Mishb'tzos Zahav and Pischai Tshuva bring that the Shach (42:4) holds that only by a gall bladder is tongue tasting mutar because it has a bitter taste.

The Pischai Tshuva says that the Pri Megadim (Mishb'tzos Zahav 95:15) agrees to the Shach. He then brings the Tzemach Tzedek permits food that is only assur mid’rabbanan may even be tasted in ones mouth and then spat out. The Mishb'tzos Zahav (108:9) argues that it is assur to do so except in the case of borit (a type of soap made with chailev) that has such a bad taste that even a dog would not eat it. He concludes that even by borit the Pri Chadash argues and therefore one who is strict is praiseworthy. The Pischai Tshuva concludes with the Noda B'Yehudah that tongue tasting is only mutar by an issur pagum.


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