Kosher Pork Discovered in Queens

A Queens supermarket suffered a label malfunction

This article is from the archive of our partner .

For anyone out there who keeps kosher but has always wondered what pork tastes like, you had an hours-long window yesterday to find out. The New Yorker's Philip Gourevitch wrote about how Israeli artist Oded Hirsch stumbled on pork chops, cutlets, spare ribs, and stew bone while shopping at the Associated Supermarket in Sunnyside, Queens, all in packages with Hebrew labels suggesting that the meat had been kosher slaughtered. Gourevitch eventually learned from New York's Kashrut chief that the pork appeared because Associated was using a label machine that it had purchased from a Kosher market. Hirsch's cell phone managed to capture the mislabeled meat before it was hastily pulled from Associated's shelves:

The Atlantic's Jeff Goldberg highlights the comments section of the Orthodox paper Voz is Neias, where there's a lively debate about Sephardic versus Ashkenazic Kashrut standards. There are also worries about how widespread the problem is. "What if it were chicken or beef--would anyone have even noticed it?" one commenter wonders. "How do we know there isn't trief chicken or beef with the same label in the stores right now???" Another commenter thinks that concern is silly:

Any Jew who buys a package of 'something' and just throws it in the cholent without noticing the word 'pork' has some of his own issues. If this was packaged as beef that was unkosher with a kosher label, then the individual purchaser would not be culpable in any way, people need to pay attention to the product they are buying.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.