Eida Halts Hechsher on Sultam Pots

23 Tevet 5771
December 30, 2010

pot-for-cookingAn ad appears in this morning’s HaMevaser newspaper stating the Eida Chareidit has halted its supervision on the ‘hagala’ of Sultam pots.

Therefore, the Eida announces that those purchasing the pots should be aware that hagala and tveila are required.

14 Comments

  • Yaki Tenenbaum
    December 30, 2010 - 09:42 | Permalink

    Why would hagala be needed on a brand new pot? Is there some material used in the manufacturing process which contains non-Kosher ingredients? And if it is required is this halacha (applicable to all new kitchen utensils) or a chumrah?

  • yechiel-admin
    December 30, 2010 - 10:30 | Permalink

    There are rabbonim, including the Eida Chareidit, who are concerned with the coating on pots, at times from a non-kosher source.

    Depending on whom one asks, it is required or a chumra. There are quite a few people/communities that are certain to do hagola and tveila on new pots.

    I recall that decades ago, arriving at our Jerusalem absorption center, we were instructed to do hagola on the new pots received from the Jewish Agency because of the coating applied in the manufacture process.

    In short, one should consult a competent rav for guidance.

  • Chaim
    December 30, 2010 - 16:03 | Permalink

    Why is tevila required on “Sultam” pots? Isn’t it a Jewish owned company?

  • (Rabbi) Tsvi Rogin
    December 30, 2010 - 20:28 | Permalink

    When certain types of metal including steel and aluminum are rolled out, the rollers are smeared with grease/oil/fat. That is the reason that in the United States most kosher people buy aluminum foil with a hechsher. Rav Heineman of the star k (and this does not imply that i endorse either him or the star k hechsher) with the help of political clout from our Halal observant cousins managed to put a hechsher on the manufacture of what are commonly called tin cans, but which are in fact steel cans.

    The same process of greasing the rollers takes place when manufacturing pots and pans. In America, we never really thought about this too much, but in Israel people became aware of the issue.

    Therefore it is customary to kosher the brand new pots before use.

    As a convenience to its adherents, the Eida Chareidis gave supervision to the hagala of some pots. Not all of the Sultam pots were ever koshered by the Eida, only those with an Eida Chareidis seal on the box and label on the pot were under their hashgocha.

    There are several points which require clarification here:

    (Yechiel please help us with this one) Is the Eida saying that they will no longer kosher the pots, or are they saying that the ones on the shelves of stores which have their seals and labels also need koshering?

    Is the implication that until now, even the ones which did not have the labels of the Eida were koshered, or the entire reference is to the ones with the labels? (Yechiel, again please help.)

    A third question is also a generalized question. Pots and utensils need koshering according to the type of use and according to the way that they became nonkosher. A pot used for boiling food is koshered through hagala, boiling. A grill used for barbequing is koshered by libun (making it red hot) as is the fork or knife used on the meat which is on the grill.

    There are poskim who say that frying pans require hagala and those who say that libun is required. In general, libun is much harder to do then hagala, so we can’t just say let’s be machmir. From my personal experience, cast iron frying pans will not give up all of the absorbed fat with a simple hagala.

    Here, the steel is hot enough to be rolled. It is not molten hot, but you would feel really bad if you touched it at this stage. The fat is on it. Is this like boiling, requiring only hagala, or is it like frying, or worse. (Any poskimg reading this, please give opinions or again, Yechiel can you help out here?

    (Rav) Tsvi Rogin

  • Ben Waxman
    January 2, 2011 - 08:58 | Permalink

    I’d like to echo chaim’s question: why is tevila required or is this also just some chumra?

  • Shlomo
    January 2, 2011 - 09:17 | Permalink

    The Minchas Yitzchak (Rav Weiss the Gavid of the Eda) has a teshuva that the smeared liquid is not fit to be eaten and therefore no hagala is needed.

    This is the reason for those who do not do hagala.

  • Elie Greenblatt
    January 2, 2011 - 12:39 | Permalink

    In my experience so far, I have yet to find non-kosher oils used in the manufacture of pots or tin foil. All the factories I’ve been to use only petroleum-based oils (ie no kosher issue). In any event, the annealing process that follows has a din of libun, so even if they were to use animal fats it would be kashered.

  • (Rabbi) Tsvi Rogin
    January 2, 2011 - 15:14 | Permalink

    As far as tevilas ceilim is concerned, the pots are manufactured in Turkey. It would be foolish to assume that they are made in a Jewish factory. They are made by goyim. The fact that they are made for a Jewish company is irrelevent, and even the ones with the hechsher of the Eida Chareidis require tevilla.

    Shlomo: Please give us the exact citation so that we can look it up. this is actually a factual issue, not a halachic issue. If they smear it with fat or grease or oil from animals, it is probably just as edible as the stuff used for frying or deep frying in most nonkosher restaurants. A teshuva discussing a fact situation which was written decades ago may have no bearing on the current situation.

    Elie Greenblatt: Are you related to the famous Rav Greenblatt of Tennessee who went from town to town to mesader gittin? In what capacity and in what country did you visit pot manufacturers? In the US, they don’t have a hechsher. In Israel, the Eida gives hechsher, but who else does?

    Rav Heineman may have been lying to everyone when he claims that they used nonkosher oils/fats to grease the rollers, but he did make that claim in a public setting in Los Angeles. i did not mishear, on was on the dais next to him.

  • (Rabbi) Tsvi Rogin
    January 2, 2011 - 15:22 | Permalink

    Further to Elie Greenblatt:

    We are now living in a global economy. Most things are made in China, many things are made in other third world places. We must not assume that the common practice in America or Israel is the universal practice. Nor may we assume that the common practice in America is the universal practice in America.

    That is one of the major differences between the Eida Chareidis and many others. They do not make as many asumptions rather they check things out and in most cases have a real live mashgiach on site.

  • Ben
    January 2, 2011 - 15:29 | Permalink

    R’ Moshe Feinstein ruled that hagala is not necessary for new pots.

  • Rabbi Yehuda Spitz
    January 2, 2011 - 21:25 | Permalink

    I hope adding my opinion here helps to clarify and not chas v’shalom to cause nichshal.

    There are many different sniffim to be lenient in this case, as I will explain.

    First of all, the reason manufacturers sometimes add this “sheen” is to increase appeal for purchase, as people seem to prefer a shiny look over a dull one, and not to cause a kashrus concern. The problem arises when the product used is a non-kosher oil or fat, sprayed on to achieve this purpose. The Eidah Chareidis and different hechsherim give hashgachos on various keilim (ex. aluminum disposable pans) to 1. know it came from a Jewish owned company and therefore not come into the question of tevillah. 2. To make sure that any oil used in manufacturing is vegetable based and therefore not have this problem.

    However, even without a hashgacha, it is far from a forgone conclusion that haga’alah is required.

    1. It is not certain that these pots have this sheen (maybe a rov, but not vaday).

    2. The majority of oils used in this part of the world, as well as in U.S. is vegetable based, not animal based. Only in South America would we have to assume it is animal based. Therefore, min harov, even with a sheen, the probability is with kosher oils.

    3. Even if one wants to assume that the oils used are indeed non-kosher, and therefore problematic and the pots require kashering [like the Chazon Ish (Y"D 44,4) and Har Tzvi (Shu"t Y"D 110) who say haga'alah is required and not libun], it should be noted that they were talking about where the pots were vaday smeared with vaday issur while on the fire, which is fairly uncertain here.

    4. The Minchas Yitzchak (Shu”t vol. 4,112 – Ga’avad of the Eidah Chareidis) as well as Rav Ovadia Yosef (Shu”t Yabia Omer vol. 6,Y”D 10) both maintain that even if it was smeared with vady issur, nowadays it is “barur” that the oils used are completely Pagum from achilas Adam as well as probably Pagum from achilas Kelev and therefore do not present a kashrus concern. See also in the Kovetz Hilchos Pesach of Rav Avraham Blumenkrantz (5769 p.66) where he maintains that even for Pesach one does not have to be machmir for the above-mentioned reason.

    5. Rav Moshe Feinstein, (heard from Rav Shmuel Feurst from Chicago) was lenient as well, but for an entirely different reason: The reason why we hold a pot with aino-benyomo bleeyos (absorbed taste more than 24 hours prior) still remains assur – is because gezaira Atu ben yomo – one might make a mistake and use a pot that was used for non-kosher within 24 hours prior and transgress an issur d’oraysa. But with these pots, it is not physically possible for someone to buy a new pot within 24 hours of its manufacture, and therefore in this scenario Chazal would not have been Gozer (Similar to the case of pala in Y”D 108) and therefore one does not have to kasher the pot.

    6. And, most tellingly, due to the above reasons, the Eida Chareidis themselves, in their annual Madrich Kashrus -[in their most recent edition -Pesach 5770 p.25-26] – state that after buying new pots that have this she’ilah, ‘the “custom” is to be “stringent” to Kasher it. It does not state that this oil spraying makes the pot assur until it is kashered, rather that the minhag is to be machmir to do so because of the chashash. In other words, the Badat”z themselves hold that issue falls under the category of chumra and not din, most assuredly due to the safeikos involved as well as the lenient ruling of the Gedolim, including their own Ga’avad.

    In conclusion, it seems that if one would like to be machmir to remove any doubt, tavo alav bracha. But l’halacha, with or without the hashgacha, the new pots do not require kashering m’dina before use; ergo, it is customary to do so, especially here in Eretz Yisrael.

    I hope this helps to clarify the issue.
    Y. Spitz
    Yerushalayim

  • Ben Waxman
    January 3, 2011 - 09:25 | Permalink

    i’d just like to add that cast iron pots come with an oil coating to prevent rust. you must scrub this stuff off with steel wool and hot water before using the pot or the food will be awful. after scrubbing the pots, you season them with oil. stainless steel pots are a different story.

  • Elie Greenblatt
    January 3, 2011 - 12:58 | Permalink

    Distant cousins.

    US and China. It’s simple business- petro-based oils are generally the cheapest so they have no reason to use animal or even vegetable which cost much more. The same goes for the fatty acids used in tin foil or silicon bakeware. Although in that case I did find more veg based – all with a hechsher.

    The annealing process is in kivshan at extremely hi temp. I believe libun chamur. If not, then certainly libun kal which is no worse than the hagala that people are doing.

    Agav/BTW I could mention here the importance of having a hechsher on saran-type plastic wrap, because they do grease the plastic in order to allow one to pull it off the roll, and these also could be animal oils, but no heating takes place afterwards, so in this respect more serious a concern than pots and foil.

  • David
    January 12, 2011 - 14:22 | Permalink

    Rabbi Greenblatt,

    Just to clarify:

    Are you telling us that you have been to a large number of factories in the United States and China, or have otherwise – in some way which would be valid as testimony on a possible issur d’oraissa – obtained information about a large number of factories in the US and China, and that you believe that that we could permit these pots and pans through the din of rov?

    “Ben”,

    Could we have a reference for R. Moishe’s ruling?

    Thanks.
    David.

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