The New York Post has a story about yet another kosher food scandal.
A kosher-food supervisor at an Upper East Side store was fired after complaining about insect-infested food to his boss, who told him, “Don’t worry, it’s protein,” a new lawsuit charges.
Moshe Iskhakov, who worked as a mashgiach at Park East Kosher starting in December 2013, alleges in his Manhattan federal-court lawsuit that conditions at the Jewish butcher were far from kosher — bugs covered the vegetables, rats ran rampant and meat returned by customers was resold.
When Iskhakov complained, his supervisor told him to just “wash the insects off of the vegetables” while store owner Michael Kane quipped, “Don’t worry, it’s protein,” the suit says. The bosses then retaliated, making him dispose of dead rats and refusing him paid vacation and sick time, he alleges.
I see it repeatedly. Religion industrialized = corruption.
I recently put a mashgiach on the spot about trusting kashrut in my local kosher market. He started out with a strong defense of his industry and the market where he was working. And my son who was present at the time became somewhat embarrassed that his father was displaying so much chutzpah to actually interrogate this very religious looking mashgiach. But after some hard questions and citing some examples of kosher food scandals (including the Agriprocessors fiasco), the mashgiach finally admitted the truth; one can’t trust any food product for kashrut that isn’t self-supervised. He even went on to point fingers at a Monsey butcher who was caught reselling chickens from Foster Farms (a story with which I was not familiar).
Yes, I did come off quite forceful and without much tact initially. But sometimes that’s what it takes to get the truth to surface from some religious people trying to maintain a facade of integrity. My young yeshiva bochur was shocked and later said “Wow, you were right, Dad. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t heard it myself.”
(hat tip: Wigmore)