At the market where I buy groceries, there’s a deli counter under kosher supervision, selling fish and meat. When I buy fish, the clerk puts on a new pair of rubber gloves, takes a fresh piece of paper from a dispenser, places the paper onto the scale, weighs my fish, puts the fish and paper into a plastic bag, and throws away the gloves. When the next customer orders corned beef, the procedure with gloves and paper is repeated for the weighing of the corned beef.

My question is, would this routine allow the selling of kosher food on non-kosher equipment?

It’s hard to picture a market in which they sold pork and kosher foods on the same scale, relying on rubber gloves and a piece of paper to segregate kosher and non-kosher. But is there any reason that the distinction between pareve and meat should require less policing than the distinction between kosher and non-kosher?

I can see that if the shop sold kosher and non-kosher beef that were hard to distinguish, kosher customers might worry that they had actually been sold a piece of non-kosher meat. But I'm not asking about that possible confusion; I'm asking about that status of the food if we do everything as we intend, putting the paper on the scale etc. Would the equipment shared by kosher and non-kosher be worse than equipment shared by pareve and meat?

  • 3
    If you're asking me (which I guess, in a way, you are), I would have guessed that the reason they switch gloves is to avoid cross-contamination between fish and meat (based on the whole danger of mixing fish and meat thing), not because it's meat and pareve. Or more generally, maybe they just want to avoid cross contamination between meat and fish for health/taste purposes. – Salmononius2 Apr 29 '18 at 20:09
  • Short answer is yes, because of nat bar nat deheteira. Will elaborate later b'n. – Shalom Apr 29 '18 at 22:11
  • Your question may be stronger than you realize. Mixing fish and meat is considered in halacha to be a matter of danger; and normally we are at least as strict about danger as about prohibitions. – msh210 Apr 30 '18 at 3:48

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