Rabbi Yudel Shain of the Lakewood, NJ-based Kosher Consumers Union has made serious allegations about the state of kosher supervision at AgriProcessors.
Among the explosive charges:
[If you need help understanding the technical terms used or Rabbi Shain's English, please e-mail me.]
1. I photagraphed at AGRI an animal that was still very much alive (after shechita) & they shot it in the brain right away & it was used as a kosher animal. It is an accepted practice by Rabbinical certifiers NOT to use such an animal.
2. Rubashkin’s so called “Bais Yosef” meat is all a “sham”. The RUBASHKIN Certifier is of the stated opinion that all of their meat is “Bais Yosef” & that nobody really knows what is or is not Bais Yosef meat. (FYI contrary to Dayan Kohn BaisYosef means “no lung adhessions whatsoever”.) RUBASHKIN commonly send to caterers so called Bais Yosef meat for Sephardim and there will be 1 or 2 pieces marked accordingly “Bais Yosef’ & the rest isn’t Bais Yosef”. … Their so called Bais Yosef meat is a consumer sham! including the beef & veal certified by Rabbi Hatchuel.
3. The system at RUBASHKIN is that non-Jews do the physical “nikur” [removal of forbidden fats] which is then checked by the “Mashgiach” [rabbinic supervisor]. The Certifier was shown that the “Mashgiach nikur” physically can’t handle the load and some meat goes by without being checked. He responded “there isn’t enough full time work for 2 people, only for 1 1/2 people & we can’t hire half a person so we’ll leave it with one Mashgiach till there is enough work for two full time people”.
4. The quality of RUBASHKIN’s cattle is the cheapest available in the market (per USDA inspector, “low grade”) yet they have the highest ratio of “Kosher, Glatt, Bet Yosef” (including their veal) than most others. [Low-grade cattle normally have significantly higher levels of non-kosher and non-glatt than high-grade cattle.]
5. RUBASHKIN commonly switches labels, as it was found on numerous occasions that on top of a nonGlatt label was stuck on a Glatt label, ‘cause they were short for an order. The Non-Jewish RUBASHKIN truck drivers have in their possession a box of different kosher labels to put on to boxes of meat as per a store’s request (I have 1 of those boxes of labels that I saw fall off a truck).
6. The lung in an animal is an organ that constantly expands & contracts in the cavity of the animal. The lung is a relatively free hanging organ attached to the animal mostly by the tissue & muscle of the trachea, and slightly to other areas by some membranes. Once one cuts the supporting tissue & muscles around the kunah [lung] it is basically detached easily from the animal with a good pull or via a meat hook.
Immediatly after shechita while the animal is still in the schechita position, a non-jewish worker (the Shochet leaves the room) utilizes an 8 inch (approx) knife to enlarge the opening around the trachea & also cutting into the “diaphragm area. He then use a meat hook to grab & pull the trachea a few inches & cutting off the trachea near the lung.
The concerns are that by making the cut along the diaphragm area & around the trachea one may (in)advertently also puncture the lung. The knife is inserted quite deeply into the neck area thereby risking cutting the sirchos of the upper lung lobes. (Simlah Chadosha.)
Another serious concern is that by hooking & pulling on the trachea it will rip and dislodge the sirchos / adhesions that go from the lung to the Ribs and / or also some sirchos on the lung itself and then having the $$ opportunity to call it Glatt or at least kosher.
After the above procedures, it is practically impossible to check the lungs properly for Glatt or sirchos.
7. The “Weinberg pen” allows a shechita munachas, which is the preferred method of shechita throughout history. The design of this pen’s head restrainer is not proper. The metal bar should come way below the neck’s shechita area. The Shochet is obviously afraid of nicking his knife on the metal bar, so he must do a controlled shechita with 7-8 back & forth knife strokes (a possibility of shehiya exists). An experienced Shochet utilizes 1-2 Back & forth knife strokes. Because of this “controlled cut” the Shochet obviously is not severing all of the arteries, requiring an unacceptable “2nd cut”.
Severing all neck arteries causes an almost immediate total collapse of the animal.
8. Some 6-7 months ago a Shochet from a prominent “Torah community” was invited to see the beautiful “Rubashkin system” of shechita. He was impressed by the “show”. Now when the Shochet saw the PETA pictures he was aghast! While he was there they weren’t ripping tracheas, animals weren’t walking, thrashing around after the shechita etc. “I was taken for a ride! How can I believe “anything” I saw?” The Israeli Rabanut’s representatives claim they never saw many of the unacceptable items depicted on the PETA pictures.