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If I left my kitchen (or set of kosher dishes, etc.) with someone who is a) not Jewish or b) Jewish but not shomer Shabbos--in such a way that they could access it and hypothetically do anything they wanted with it--does my kitchen lose its presumptive kosher status? Would this depend at all on my own confidence (or their affirmations, etc.) that the person had not done anything wrong?

Despite the wording of my question title, it is actually hypothetical, and I am interested in both the l'chatchila and b'dieved cases.

  • That would apply to any one who has non-Jewish domestic staff and even a shul kitchen left in the hands of cleaners or a caretaker.. I was told that non-mevushal opened wine bottles may pose a problem – CashCow Jul 6 '16 at 10:10
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    If I'm not mistaken, the Shulchan Aruch (don't know where exactly, so don't kill me for leaving out references) says that after an hour unattended it loses it's kosher status. However, I have heard of real life cases in which rabonim was asked and were lenient. There are a ton of factors involved, and each case can SEEM to be the same, but are inherently different based on a seemingly tiny factor. So each case has to be dealt with separately. – Mennyg Jul 6 '16 at 14:30
  • My gut feeling on this - Two conflicting areas. The food itself is most likely to be considered "Bishul Akum" - food cooked by non-Jews. How that's treated as being kosher or non-kosher, varies greatly on the type of food that it is, and other circumstances. As for the kitchen, itself, personally, I am suspicious of leaving any non-Jew alone in a kitchen. Regardless of how trustworthy the worker is, even with all their honesty and moral character, they can be careless and make mistakes out of plain ignorance. I sense that many rabbanim would agree with this sentiment. – DanF Jul 6 '16 at 14:57
  • @Mennyg Thanks. Is there a chazaka to believe someone who says he keeps Shabbos? – SAH Jul 6 '16 at 15:18
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    @SAH Well, a Jew by default has a Chezkas Kashrus. Meaning we should believe him. However, he loses that by violating shabbos, so it's sort of a catch-22 there – Mennyg Jul 6 '16 at 16:26
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I got a psak on this in a case where I wanted to share an apartment with a gentile in the process of converting. I was told that if she was fully frum and trustworthy, I could share an apartment with her, and she could use the kitchen alone as long as I came in at unpredictable intervals. However, I could not eat meat that she touched, nor any food that she had cooked alone. I was told to wrap meat in a double wrapping with a seal that I could tell was still intact.

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