I always knew that "Glat Kosher" Kashrut classification relates only to beef, it's when the cow is cooked and eaten within 24 hours of it being butchered. Recently I was told several times that there is "Glat Kosher" in chicken as well. Is that true? What is the definition of "Glat Kosher" for chicken? what is the base for it?


The short answer -- as indicated by others, technically "Glatt" refers to how smooth the lungs are. With chickens, any question of that sort and the bird is not kosher. So there is no such thing as "Glatt" chicken.

There are, however, many other halachic preferences that will distinguish a "basic kosher" product from an "extra kosher" or "mehadrin" product; because "extra kosher" beef will be "glatt", people have started using that term for any kosher preference.

One such preference that applies to both beef and chicken -- and perhaps this is what you had in mind -- is that the soaking and salting be performed within 72 hours of slaughter, rather than stopping the clock by freezing the meat or re-washing it.

Other preferences that you'd find in an "extra-kosher" meat product (beef or poultry) pertain to how many animals the slaughterer does between breaks.

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  • So which is correct: "'Glatt' on a chicken is just a marketing ploy," or, "A glatt chicken is mehudar"? (PSA: By "mehudar" I presumably don't only mean "costing extra" but also better in kashrus) – SAH Dec 26 '17 at 18:31
  • @SAH it depends on a lot of factors! A narrow "truth in advertising" reading would be the former, it means nothing; practically it's used to mean at least something: I heard a recording from Rabbi Genack of the OU that many decades ago, "Glatt" became the catchphrase for all sorts of improvements in the kosher business, most notably insisting that the shochtim be shomer shabbos. – Shalom Dec 26 '17 at 19:13
  • Interesting.... Do you think the glatt-labeled ones do your soaking and salting in 72 hours? – SAH Dec 26 '17 at 19:17
  • @SAH poultry from Pennsylvania? For sure. This was more of an issue back in the day when beef was getting slaughtered in one part of the US and then sent by refrigerated rail someplace else to be salted/soaked; or slaughtered in South America, frozen there, and then shipped to Israel to be salted/soaked. From what I hear we've increasingly moved towards having the salting facilities onsite with the slaughterhouse. – Shalom Dec 27 '17 at 13:04
  • @SAH I hope you won't mind my being devil's advocate, here. But, regarding kosher shechita, what does " better in kashrus" mean? If the shochet is Shomer Shabbat / mitzvoth and the shechita has been surpervised so that it follows all the halachot of shechita that's necessary (sharpness of the knife, method of slaughter, etc.) the shechita is done. There aren't too many variations regarding shechita. What, then, makes one shechita "better" than another? Either it's good (kosher) or not! – DanF Dec 27 '17 at 20:15

Glatt is about the lungs, not the timing (AFAIK) and it doesn't apply to chicken.

From here,

Misconception: "Glatt Kosher" means something like "extra kosher" and applies to chicken and fish as well as meat.

Fact: Glatt is Yiddish for smooth, and in the context of kashrut it means that the lungs of the animal were smooth, without any adhesions that could potentially prohibit the animal as a treifa, an issue only applicable to animals, not fowl or non-meat products.

For other info, try here.

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  • the thing is that nowadays some people use glatt to mean 'mehudar' when it comes t food – user15253 Dec 26 '17 at 13:34
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    @Orangesandlemons people's vernacular or hashgachot (kosher certification) agencies? If the former, they're misusing the term. If the latter, its misleading too. – Oliver Dec 26 '17 at 14:39
  • @Oliver , from my personal experience it's pretty much both nowadays. As the peoples vernacular now understand it akin to 'mehadrin', whether it is misleading or not is another question. – user15253 Dec 26 '17 at 19:18
  • @Orangesandlemons Unfortunately you're prob right. JJLL commented above that Empire labels chickens OU Glatt - perfect example of misrepresentation. – Oliver Dec 26 '17 at 19:22

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