London’s kashrut agencies have held a “unique” meeting after a kosher food scandal rocked the city of Liverpool last month, leading to the suicide of a well-known retailer.
Meeting at the United Synagogue this week were leading figures from the capital’s Kashrut agencies, including the Federation, Kedassia, Kosher London Beth Din (KLBD), London Board for Shechita and the Sephardi Kashrut Authority (SKA).
It follows a communal tragedy last month when two kosher delis in Manchester and Liverpool under the same ownership had their kashrut licences suspended after authorities raised concerns about selling non-kosher meat and poultry.
In the space of two days, “serious breaches of kashrut” were reported at Roseman’s Delicatessen in Childwall, Liverpool, and Gough’s Deli in Prestwich, Manchester. They were part or wholly owned by Robert Kaye, who committed suicide a day later.
Liverpool’s kashrut authorities told Jewish residents that the sale of non-kosher products had been “ongoing for a considerable amount of time,” adding: “Many people will need to return their kitchens and their utensils to kosher status.”
Experts from Manchester have since been called in to help re-kosher kitchens at the city’s Jewish care homes, schools and synagogues.
This week’s meeting of London agencies was “to establish a joint policy of minimum requirements for all meaty restaurants and manufacturing premises” and “to consider how best to utilise technological advances, particularly in CCTV,” to assist them in their work. CCTV would be in addition to the shomer, or supervisor, they said. CCTV experts addressed the meeting.
In a joint statement, participants said: “The meeting took place in a spirit of harmony and achdut (communal unity) with the sole aim of learning from one another and improving kashrut standards. We hope that this unprecedented gathering will be a forerunner of future collaboration and cooperation for the benefit of the entire Jewish community of London.”
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