Besides the main categories of meat, dairy, and pareve (non-meat, non-dairy) foods, two special subcategories of pareve foods are relevant to halacha (e.g. Yore Dea 93): pareve food cooked using clean meat utensils, and pareve food cooked using clean dairy utensils.

In America, those foods are colloquially known as "[meat/dairy/other words] kelim" or "[meat/dairy/other words] equipment". (Kelim means "receptacles".) In fact, what's probably the largest kashruth supervisory agency in the United States, the Orthodox Union, has in the past allowed products to have a "DE" certification mark, signifying "dairy equipment". And this all makes a lot of sense: the phrase "dairy equipment", or "meat kelim", or the like, refers, as a metonym, to the food that was prepared on such equipment.

In Israel, on the other hand, those foods are called "b'chezkas [b'sari/chalavi]", "with/in a chazaka of [meat/dairy]". In its normal uses in halacha, "chazaka" is probably best translated "status": it refers to the state that something or someone is in or can be presumed to be in absent evidence of a change of state. So these foods are called "with a status of meat" or "with a presumption of dairy" or the like. Why? They're not meat or dairy themselves; nor is there any halachic chazaka (that I know of) that says that they are. Where does this "b'chezkas" wording come from and why is this state referred to by this terminology?

  • related
    – msh210
    Jun 19, 2018 at 18:26
  • 6
    I think it is based on Modern Hebrew (as opposed to Rabbinic Hebrew) in which "bechezkat" means "belonging to" or "under the power of"
    – Adam Simon
    Jun 19, 2018 at 18:39
  • @AdamSimon, oh, thanks, I was unfamiliar with that word. Perhaps post an answer here?
    – msh210
    Jun 24, 2018 at 6:16
  • 1
    I thought bchezkas besari was worse than meat equipment. Like food cooked in a dirty meat oven, or fries deep fried in schnitzel oil
    – robev
    Sep 15, 2022 at 5:36

1 Answer 1


They are referred to as B'echezkat because they are always held and used for the purpose of cooking or storing said products. It also can refer to food that's pareve but was cooked in (generally) clean receptacles, so that although the food isn't strictly speaking meaty or milky, it may not be eaten together.


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