Is cholov akum 100% treif (not kosher)?

If so why does it get a hechcher (kosher supervision stamp)?

And if it's not treif, is it assur (forbidden)?

  • 2
    Yes. Chalav Akum is treif. And no, there is no hechsher on Chalav Akum. Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 0:35
  • I've see a hechsher on milk that's not cholov yisroel and I'll seen some on chocolate bars. Ice cream etc.... Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 1:17
  • 1
    Real chalov akum is not kosher,however if one relies on the Pri Chadash,and Rav Moshe,maybe even the Chazon Ish then one would be drinking chalav stam (new term instead of saying chalav yisrael or chalav stam,but if one relies on the heter then in essence he considers it chalav yisrael because chalav akum in its true sense is assur lkol hadeios
    – sam
    Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 2:08
  • 1
    @If it is an Issur this is because a doubt (or exactly a Chashash) if milk of non pure animal is mixed. If there is not Issur it is because the reality do not justify this doubt. If the "doubt" persists, it is because consideration of an other order. the expression '100% treif' does not describe the nature of the problem.
    – kouty
    Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 5:06
  • Dupe? judaism.stackexchange.com/q/38154/5
    – Seth J
    Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 16:37

1 Answer 1


I think the question confuses three different status of milk

  • chalav Israel: milk from kosher animals (e.g., cow, sheep) whose milking was supervised by a Jew -- and is kosher according to all opinions
  • chalav stam ("plain milk"): milk from kosher animals whose milking was not supervised by a Jew. R Moshe Feinstein (YD 1:47-49) held that, in countries with highly-regulated milk production (e.g., by the Food and Drug Administration in the US), our knowledge of this fact is the halachic equivalent of a mashgiach witnessing the milking (based on the halachic axiom of anan sahadei – that firm knowledge of something is equal to witnessing it) and the milk is therefore kosher
  • chalav akum: unsupervised milk with no certainty it is coming from kosher animals. This milk is not kosher (see Avodah Zarah 35b, SA YD 115:1)

The OU and Israeli Rabbanut (for instance) accept R Moshe's ruling and accept chalav stam in their products, but they mark it so (e.g., chalav nochri in Israel, OU-D in the US which is known to not be chalav Israel).

There are various discussions (out of scope here but see elsewhere on MY) regarding R Moshe's tshuva and whether one should go beyond the strict letter of the law and drink chalav Israel. Also not all poskim concur with R. Moshe’s approach. Some poskim rule that the presence of a live, on-site Jew as the mashgiach is indispensable, and that milk which lacks this supervision is non-kosher (chalav akum).

So to go back to the original question: chalav akum is 100% treif (not kosher), is forbidden and doesn't get a hekhsher. However according to R Feinstein the milk in the traditional supply chain of modern countries doesn't have the status of chalav akum.

Sources for further study and some of the text above: OU, Wikipedia, more on R Moshe's tshuva, Star K, R Gordimer, R Neustadt


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