Learn something new every day
More Info... by email
Kosher poultry is meat from domesticated birds that have been raised and slaughtered according to Jewish laws regarding kosher foods. These laws determine how the meat is handled from the time the animal is raised to the time it is slaughtered and packaged. It requires the humane and ethical treatment of the animal as well as a very specific method of slaughtering it. Several organizations provide certifications that allow consumers to identify and purchase poultry that is truly kosher.
The process of creating kosher poultry begins with raising the animals. In order for poultry to be considered kosher, the animals must have been raised in a way that is humane and healthy for them. They must be kept in very sanitary conditions and allowed to be free range. It is also important that no animals with physical abnormalities be slaughtered and used as kosher poultry. The birds are supposed to be carefully inspected before slaughter to make sure that any of them that do have abnormalities are not used.
When it comes time for the animals to be slaughtered, the process must be carried out in a way that is as quick and painless for the animals as possible. It is always important for the birds that are used for kosher poultry to be treated with respect and care. The actual slaughtering must be carried out by a trained shochet who ensures that the slaughter is done correctly. The meat must then be soaked in water for 30 minutes, salted for one hour, and then rinsed three times. Without undergoing this specific process, the meat cannot be considered kosher.
Chicken, turkey, and duck can all be considered kosher poultry when handled correctly, but these products may not always be easy for consumers to find. There are some kosher manufacturers who process and package kosher meats to sell in chain grocery stores, however these meats are more likely to be found in specialty grocery stores. Certifications are available through Jewish organizations to ensure that companies adhere to kosher standards and to provide a good way for consumers to easily identify products that follow their beliefs.
Traditional Jewish communities often have a kosher butcher who specializes in preparing kosher meats and who is a reliable source for kosher poultry. These businesses may be difficult to locate, but do still exist in many communities. Restaurants serving kosher foods, including poultry, can also be difficult to track down but do exist and provide a convenient place for people to obtain prepared kosher dishes.
@burcidi-- I'm no expert, but I think it's a little bit of both.
After the animal has been cut, all the blood has to drain out. The soaking, salting and rinsing ensures that any blood that might have remained comes out.
Jews cannot consume blood because it is believed that the blood contains the soul of the animal. That's why the poultry has to be properly cleaned during the kosher poultry processing.
I don't know anything about halal meat, so I can't comment on that. However, I have a Muslim friend who has told me that Muslims are not allowed to consume blood. It sounds like there is a lot of similarity between kosher and halal.
@burcidi-- No. Kosher and halal is not the same.
I know there are similarities in the treatment and slaughtering of animals in both Islam and Judaism. But there are differences as well and so it is not acceptable for a Jew to eat halal poultry. The same is true for a Muslim eating kosher meat. Kosher meat isn't halal for them either.
Even if the procedures were exactly the same, there is a religious aspect to this. A Jew uses Jewish prayers and procedures during the sacrifice and a Muslim uses Islamic prayers and procedures. For this reason, kosher and halal poultry cannot take each other's place.
Organic chicken is also poultry that has been treated humanely. But that doesn't make it kosher, does it?
Is soaking, salting and rinsing of poultry done as a ritual of cleansing or for some other reason?
Also, I've heard several times in the past that kosher and halal is the same. Is this true?
There aren't many markets selling kosher meats and poultry in my area. But there are many markets selling halal food because there is a large Muslim population where I live. I could get kosher meat online, but it's going to cost a lot.
I'm wondering if halal poultry is considered kosher and could be eaten by Jews?