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Several sources endorse a method of checking produce in which the batch of produce is washed, three random samples from the batch are inspected for bugs, and, if these samples are entirely clear of bugs, the rest of the batch may be used without checking.

However, in all my learning with rebbetzins and my observation of (frum) kosher kitchens, I have never seen a balebuste actually rely on this method for her checking. Instead, she checks every leaf individually for bugs.

Is this simply a chumra/hiddur/neurosis, or are there significant numbers of people who reject the chazaka check as sufficient, either halachically or by minhag? Or is "full" checking a stringency which frum women have agreed to take upon themselves in spite of the halacha?

Which groups do and do not practice/accept the chazaka method of checking?

  • Chazaka is a way of conduct when you don't can know. When you can verify I don not remember if the Chazaka is applicable. The Rov also. Can you. An interesting question. your article refers to this He talk about fruits that was clean all years. and one year was with bugs. He says that if you check a sample you can conclude that it is as the old situation. Not for something witch was with bugs. – kouty Apr 4 '16 at 9:13
  • According to their mobile app, the cRc allows this for certain vegetables. – Daniel Apr 4 '16 at 11:35
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    Very good question, the Star k prospect is very interesting. It seem's that The stringency is for "existing minority" following the Rama in S.A. Y.D. 84, 8. They cited a machloket to define this. may be the problem is over there. – kouty Apr 4 '16 at 15:51
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The rebbetzins/kosher kitchens you have observed are probably doing full checks rather than "sample" checks because full checks are often required for leafy vegetables.

Vegetables which are buggy a majority of the time, or even a significant minority of the time, must be thoroughly checked. Even checking a majority of the vegetable in question is insufficient, let alone "sample" checking (Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 84:8 - the Rema explains that when the Shulchan Aruch says "Vegetables which are normally buggy must be checked" it means "even if it's only a significant minority of the time").

The question is, how often is "a significant minority"? R'Elyashiv apparently told authorities outside of Israel that they could be lenient until about 15% (heard from Rav Yitchok Berkovits). Rav Moshe Vaye (in Bedikat Mazon K'Halacha) wants closer to 6%. Rav Wosner says anything that would be unsurprising to find - even if it's a tiny statistical likelyhood, 1% or less - requires checking. A common compromise approach is the Shut Mishkenos Yaakov which says 10%.

Kashrut agencies each decide which approach for "significant minority" they will use (which is technically a "minhag" of psak halacha/halachik decision), then must observe how buggy each given type of produce is in their area. There can be major variation even in the same fruit or vegetable based on source, shipment and storage methods, climate, etc., so what is frequently buggy in one place may not be problematic in another. Therefore it is best to follow recommendations of a reliable authority as geographically close to you as possible.

Checking a few random samples as an approach is harder to place a source on (it appears to be related to YD 84:9, but that's not direct), and is suggested by Kashrut agencies in cases when the vegetable in question does not strictly require checking, or it is questionable whether the vegetable requires checking.

  • Your first two paragraphs don't seem to address the question at all. – Double AA Apr 4 '16 at 20:20
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    "significant minority" check out judaism.stackexchange.com/a/34101/759 – Double AA Apr 4 '16 at 20:22
  • @AriHeitner Nice answer, but the CRC (a fairly strict authority) recommends the chazaka check even for romaine lettuce.... – SAH Apr 22 '16 at 2:26
  • @SAH: To know for sure we would have to ask them, but it's possible the CRC holds romaine lettuce is not so buggy and sample checking is sufficient. Leafy vegetables are often problematic, but there may be exceptions. – Ari Heitner Apr 24 '16 at 7:43

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