It happens to everyone sometimes. You'll be eating a sandwich (for example), bentch, and then find some food stuck in your mouth.

What should be done with this food?

Is it permissible to swallow it? If so, does it need a bracha? Must it be spat out?

What about if you discover it during bentching?


1 Answer 1


This indeed often happens and is a difficult question that got me thinking since I saw it for the first time. I didn't find it covered in any classical halacha seforim so we need to go back to the basics of brachot.

R Forst's sefer on brachot (pp. 133ff) halachically requires a bracha if the eating

  1. gives benefit or satisfaction to the body -- benefit can be either the taste or the nutritional value (water is included here for the pleasure of quenching one's thirst)

  2. is eaten in a natural manner -- food which is eaten in a manner other than the normal eating process is not considered eaten and does not require a bracha (e.g., intra-gastric feeding)

  3. was eaten for normal eating purposes -- food eaten for tasting in small measure (less than a kazait) does not require a bracha according to a number of important authorities (Mishna Brura 210:13, Rambam cited in Orach Haim 210:2)

In addition, there is an important rule for brachot that safek brachot l'hakel. In case of doubt for brakhot de-rabannan, one abstains.

For all these reasons, it appears to me that eating remainders of food stuck in one's mouth doesn't require a bracha, as it doesn't give meaningful satisfaction (in taste or nutritional value), is not the natural way of eating and is in very small measure.

These reasons combined create a meaningful safek which should allow to swallow the food without bracha.

As always CYLOR

  • I have now come across a similar opinion here in the name of the Shevet HaKehosi
    – mbloch
    Jan 14, 2016 at 13:50

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