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I'm not sure if this is a recent localized problem or not.

A few people in my neighborhood (New York City area) have told me that local Rabbinical councils have forbidden buying broccoli, as there is no way to eliminate the bugs that are in it.

I don't buy fresh broccoli that often to know if this problem applies to fresh broccoli or it is for frozen products as well. It seems to be a recent problem that affects just the New York area, but I'm not sure. Can anyone comment on the extent of this problem and what the problem is?

I haven't really checked every part of the produce section to see if the kosher stores are selling broccoli or not. Does this mean that no one is selling broccoli?

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This is a real problem, and is neither particularly recent nor localized. Fresh broccoli has been a problem for years, across America. Due to the many crevices, it's impossible to check and find the hiding bugs.

I haven't been able to find reliable information on frozen broccoli (without kosher certification.)

As an aside, few Kosher supermarkets take responsibility for the Kashrus of the products they sell, so I wouldn't assume something is Kosher on the basis of it being sold in a Kosher supermarket.

  • It certainly sounds recent, as people ate broccoli in days past. – Double AA Dec 29 '15 at 17:43
  • @DoubleAA see my edit - relatively recent. I mean it's more than several years old (not a one-time or brand new problem), though it is likely several decades young... – LN6595 Dec 29 '15 at 18:09
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There are various fruits and vegetables that kashrut organizations generally do not recommend. You can see the Chicago Rabbinical Council's positions on various fruits and vegetables here. Some fruites and vegetables that the cRc does not recommend without reliable kashrut certification include artichoke hearts, fresh blackberries, and fresh raspberries. The linked page doesn't go quite so far as to say that uncertified broccoli is no good, but it comes pretty close. Their reasoning is as follows:

It is very impractical and close to impossible for the average consumer to properly check fresh or frozen broccoli. It is therefore highly recommended that only product with a reliable hashgacha be used.

This tweet from the cRc does say that frozen broccoli requires certification and their mobile app says that both frozen and fresh broccoli are not recommended without reliable certification.

As far as I know, this has always been the position of the cRc and given the reasoning, I don't see how this could be localized to a particular time or place.

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