I have searched a number or sources for this, and have asked people involved in kashrus, and can't quite get a straight answer. This is a series of compound questions:

  1. If a meat pot is completely clean but a ben yomo, why don't we rely on batel beshishim? Wouldn't there be a miniscule amount of meat left in the pot?

  2. Depending on the answer to above, why then does it matter if its a ben yomo or not?

  3. This raises the general question, does the notion of batel beshishim apply at all when speaking of utensils and the status of the food cooked in them?

  4. I see the "DE" symbol on some foods. The only definition I can find is that its nat bar nat. But no mention is made of ben yomo or not. Does DE imply ben yomo or non ben yomo?


  • "Wouldn't there be a miniscule amount of meat left in the pot?" How could one possibly know how much meat flavor is left?
    – Double AA
    Commented Sep 12, 2017 at 0:27
  • "How could one possibly know how much meat flavor is left??" - my assumption for the sake of this question is that clean means completely spotlessly clean. Are you saying clean is a separate issue from flavor? If so, that get us closer to the answer.
    – Bob Barr
    Commented Sep 12, 2017 at 0:35
  • 1
    There's really no way to know how much meat is left quantitatively so you have to assume the worst case: the volume of the pot of meat is left (or the total volume of meat cooked in the pot ever, whichever is less). Then you can apply Batel beShishim as usual.
    – Double AA
    Commented Sep 12, 2017 at 0:36
  • all of this is discussed at length in Basra b'chalav of yore dea. Mashgichim are not required to know this sort of information. You would have better success discussing this with a rav
    – Dude
    Commented Jul 21, 2022 at 19:36

2 Answers 2


The Shulchan Aruch addresses all of this. The point is that some taste particles may have wound up in the walls of the pot. As shishim is measured by volume, not mass, and volumes aren't necessarily additive (1 gallon water + 1 gallon alcohol = 1.96 gallons total), we can only play it safe if we assume there was a volume of milk/meat/non-kosher taste particles in the pot walls equivalent to the total volume of the metal of the pot. It is thus very rare to have 60 against such a volume.

(The one exception would be if I take a brand-new pot, pour in 1 cup of beef broth, and boil; then I pour it out and clean out the pot. Now I pour 62 cups of milk into the pot and boil. In this case, I know that there is no more than 1 cup total of meaty particles contained in the walls of this pot, so it is in fact batel. [Bonus points for discussion of other opinions on chan"an in this case.] But generally, pots have been used a lot, so we assume the volume of the walls to be entirely filled with flavor particles.)

This is why we have to resort to nat bar nat when cooking pareve soup in a dairy pot (for Sephardim anyway), as bitul beshishim is unlikely.

To answer your second question: In industrial applications we generally assume ben yomo; a company could easily do a dairy run and a non-dairy run in the same day. (If anything, they're very unlikely to let their machinery sit unused for a whole 24 hours!) So the "DE" potato soup is the industrial equivalent of if you boiled milk in a pot, washed it out, then an hour later boiled pareve potato soup -- the general guidance from kashrus agencies is you don't have to wait six hours, but don't eat it with meat!; this is exactly how the Ramah and Shach come out in this case.

(A true case of nat bar nat means the food is completely pareve; i.e. you can mix it with meat or milk.)

  • "...equivalent to the total volume of the metal of the pot."- Are you essentially saying surface area? Also, if the taste particles are so abundant, how is the parve food cooked in the dairy pot considered parve at all? Or is this perhaps is essence of nar bar nat, that its a way of creating this parve food despite it not being batel beshishim (or rov?)
    – Bob Barr
    Commented Sep 12, 2017 at 0:55
  • 1
    @BobBarr surface area multiplied by the thickness of the metal. (Volume; it's three-dimensional; go from square inches to cubic inches.) And you're correct; nat bar nat says even if it's not batel beshishim, the taste of those milky particles is so weak at this point that the Torah didn't prohibit them if mixed with meat -- no matter how abundant.
    – Shalom
    Commented Sep 12, 2017 at 1:02
  • Another aspect of this question I forgot to ask is about ovens (where the food does not touch the cooking vessel directly). Do these same concepts apply?
    – Bob Barr
    Commented Sep 12, 2017 at 3:48
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    @BobBarr please ask ovens as its own question.
    – Shalom
    Commented Sep 12, 2017 at 8:09
  • If I pour 60 cups of milk, clean it, leaving residue from 60 cups of milk, and then pour 60 cups of broth, surely this is batel beshisim? Or the inverse, 60 cups of broth, clean, then at 60 cups of milk. Also, this operates under the assumption that it is impossible to clean metals to where the residues are as negligible just as in the case with milk on Pesach.
    – fny
    Commented May 8 at 19:48
  1. We do nullify a pot, but we cannot intentionally nullify only if it happens by accident ש׳׳ע יורה דעה צט, סע׳ ה.

  2. Yes ben yomo or not can have ramifications. For instance if it is not ben yomo this might make the amount not required to be 60x. See ש׳׳ע יורה דעה צט, סע׳ ז. Where there a vessel that is only used with abundant food like a vat, may nullify intentionally however says the Beir Heitiv and Taz, that this requires for a 24 hour wait period (eino ben yomo) to be done intentionally.

  3. Yes

  4. It doesn't imply anything about ben yomo, therefore one must consider it possibly ben yomo. Though it might also not be ben yomo (cor.ca/2018/05/but-is-it-really-dairy)

  • 1
    I think you're missing the point of the question. All our normal kitchen utensils are like your vats in that they are always used with way more food than is necessary to dilute any taste expelled from the vessel. I have never ever once tasted output-taste from a clean normal pot in my kitchen.
    – Double AA
    Commented Jul 20, 2022 at 12:20
  • @DoubleAA maybe our cleaning soaps today are able to make Hagala, for sodium hypochloride I am sure it's better than 10 hagalot
    – kouty
    Commented Jul 21, 2022 at 13:54
  • Perhaps this deserves a separate question and this comment shouldn't be considered a psak, but יו׳׳ד צט סע׳ ז׳ the maran does sound like what you mean assuming you feel that what you cook is not a small amount in that pot etc.... But if you follow the Beir Hetiv he tells us the Halacha is that it must be pagum as well. Similarly follow the Shach (and where he points) that it appears he won't allow this as he quotes dissenting opinions (also see Beir heitiv there). This is obviously a complicated question.
    – msj121
    Commented Jul 21, 2022 at 14:00
  • The above was skimmed so take with a grain of salt
    – msj121
    Commented Jul 21, 2022 at 14:08

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