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Theoretical:

Let's say that a company plans a picnic in a "semi-park" area. I.e. - it is a tree-lined public thoroughfare that many people including Jews, walk through. (I added this fact b/c I have seen some discussions regarding "mar'it ayin" that there is leniency if the location is in a non-Jewish area. Someone, feel free to edit and provide link to Mi Yodeya questions on this, if there are any. Have trouble locating these links, now.)

The company serves non-kosher food at the picnic. The employee is required to attend the picnic as the company takes "attendance" and considers it a "work day".

Is there a problem of "mar'it ayin" if a Jewish employee attends the picnic, but doesn't eat any of the food?

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    I have no sources but based on some other questions here on MY I would say that unlike a restaurant where the primary purpose for going is to eat and you can't whip out your own sandwich at a picnic there are other activities going on as well as the opportunity to bring your own food thus anyone seeing you there would have ample reason to assume that you are not participating in eating trief. Since I have no sources I am posting this as a comment. – eramm Aug 20 '14 at 16:41
  • Similar: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/8794 – msh210 Aug 21 '14 at 7:04
  • @DanF regardless of where the picnic is being held, the question would probably be relevant if other jews - even non-observant worked at the company – eramm Aug 21 '14 at 9:07
  • If I must go to one of these, or to any office event, I am very careful not to eat anything unless I brought it myself. Whether or not it is maris ayin, one who is not careful creates problems later for himself and for other observant Jews who work there because someone will say, "I saw you eat such and such before, why won't you eat MY food?" – Bruce James Nov 19 '14 at 18:50
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I really doubt it's a problem. Rabbi Stone of the OU has a "kashrut in the workplace" mp3 where he says that today, if you walk through the business district at 12:30pm on a Tuesday and see a non-kosher restaurant where several people with suits and briefcases are sitting around, and one of them is wearing a yarmulka, we assume he's having his kosher shrink-wrapped meal -- that's the current thinking, at least among OU poskim.

The picnic case is even less worrisome than the restaurant. "What's that group of people over at Shelter 3B?" "Oh some corporate thing."

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