The ban is temporary, meant to be in place only until allegations against Agriprocesors and the Rubashkin family are proved false or true.
Still, once in place – and with the high probability of Rubashkin guilt, combined with so many previous Rubashkin crimes – it is likely the ban would stick.
Rabbi Kalman Winter
Vaad Harabonim of Washington
11161 New Hampshire Ave, Suite 402
Silver Spring, MD 20904
Dear Rabbi Winter:
It has been reported in The Washington Post that Agriprocessors Inc., also known as Rubashkin’s meat, has been the subject of a raid by the government on their kosher slaughtering plant.
It has been reported that numerous, serious ethical violations have gone on there and there has even been an allegation of a meth lab on the premises. Furthermore, certain other allegations might have a direct impact on whether the animals are actually slaughtered properly.
Although we can not be certain, at this time, whether the allegations are actually true, we should act with caution and concern.
Thus, I urge the Vaad Harabonim of Washington to temporarily suspend Rubashkin’s meat in the stores and caterers that it supervises. Because such a suspension, if it applied to product currently in the inventory of stores and caterers – as well as product in people’s homes and in restaurants – would impose a burden on those persons and entities, I suggest that this ban apply only to future shipments from Rubashkin’s and that the suspension expressly provide that it does not apply to product that had been shipped by Rubashkin’s prior to the suspension. I also urge the Vaad to personally investigate this matter and report back to the community on the status of this company.
Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld
Ohev Sholom—The National Synagogue
VIN notes the Va'ad HaRabbanim has not yet responded. (VIN doesn't have the date of the letter, so we don't know how many days the Va'ad has had it.)
VIN also reports (as a commenter did earlier here) that an unnamed Orthodox Kashrut organization(s) will be issuing a ban on Rubashkin products early next week. (My guess? Star-K and/or the Chicago Rabbinical Council.)
[Hat Tip: Stephen M.]