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At some supermarkets / stores, there is a "bulk fruit" section. I'm not talking about selecting fresh fruit off of the shelf or "fruit island" as is seen in some stores, like where they keep the apples etc..

I'm talking about where they keep bulk fruit in big plastic containers, and you use some kind of big spoon to pick them out and put into your plastic bag.. Here's a picture of what I'm talking about (except the kind I'm talking about have actual dried fruit instead of candy):

enter image description here

SO it's pretty reasonable to assume that the same containers which now have kosher fruit in them at one time contained dairy-coated snacks or or non-kosher items. So is the fruit taken from there still kosher, since it's safe to assume they reasonably cleaned the containers, or no?

Just BTW, one time someone gave me a bag of figs from one of those containers and I actually found a chocolate (probably most-definitely non kosher, milk chocolate) covered nut mixed in with the rest of them. IDK if this was a 1/10000 case and in general it's safe to assume that they are always cleaned, or no (?)

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This dried fruit may or may not be kosher. The reason has nothing to do with the bins it is stored in, however. Room temperature solids are not halachaly able to render one another non-kosher, so a non-kosher chocolate in a fig bin, as per your example, will not render the dried figs non-kosher. (Below 110° F, but if it's above 110° F at your local supermarket, you've got bigger problems than whether or not the bulk dried fruit is kosher.)

The real kashrut issue is insect infestation- non kashrut-certified dried fruit should conform to FDA standards at least, but these are significantly more lenient than kashrut as pertains to bugs and bug parts. You should ask a rabbi what dried fruits are considered problematic in your area and those need to be checked prior to eating.

https://oukosher.org/publications/inspecting-dried-fruits-for-insects/

Interestingly, a Hidabroot article on Tu B'ishvat I am unable to link to states that "Kashrut of oil spread on fruit: dried fruit often has oil spread on it and you should make sure those oils are kosher". I have personally never heard of anything like that at all but it may be worth speaking to a Rav about.

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    Thanks. If someone were to theoretically check the fruits for bugs, as you said at the end, then seemingly (based on the article) it should be permitted(?). You say there's no problem with the bins, what if the fruit were cut with a non-kosher knife or some other factor? Apparently not all the utensils used to make it need to be kosher? – bluejayke Jan 21 at 2:56
  • If you check the species your rabbi tells you are problematic in your area for bugs, @bluejakye, the dried fruit is totally permitted, just as fresh produce is. As for non-kosher knives and other such factors, when used by gentiles for gentiles, they are considered bittul. Link explaining same below: – Josh K Jan 21 at 3:49

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