Checking Fruits for Tu B’Shevat

8 Shevat 5772

February 1, 2012

dried-fruit4With Tu B’Shevat on the horizon many of us will be heading out to buy fruits, fresh and dried, towards partaking in and making a bracha on many of the wonderful fruits that Hashem has blessed us with.

Before being seated at your Tu B’Shevat tisch/seder however, one must acquaint oneself with the current status of insect infestation, which varies from country to country.

The following links provide updates information and inspection techniques provided by a number of prominent rabbonim. These sheets are applicable for Israel.

Rabbi Moshe Vaye (English)

Rabbi Yehuda Leib Landau of Bnei Brak (Hebrew)

Kosharot (Hebrew)

I would like to remind readers that certain items, such as dried figs are simply so infested that only trained experts can determine if they are suitable for eating and as such, it is advisable to refrain from purchasing “infested items”.

These items may bear a high-end hashgacha, but that only reflects that trumos, ma’asros have been taken and that there is no orla issue.

If a label does not clearly state an item is insect free, then one must assume it is not. That is the rule. The hashgacha does not reflect the status regarding infestation.

3 Comments

  • Joel
    February 1, 2012 - 14:34 | Permalink

    Will someone please enlighten me as to why the mehadrin hechsheirim are so particular (as they should be) about terumos and ma’asros, which bazman hazeh are d’rabbanan, yet “approve” infested produce? We all know of the multiple “lavim” – d’oraisa – that one is oveir on every single insect that is eaten

    How many, in order to keep the mere minhag of eating peiros ha’aretz on Tu B’Shevat, are nichshal in multiple lo sa’ases? Maybe it would be better to be mevatel this minhag?

    Priorities, rabbosai?

  • Shmuel
    February 1, 2012 - 19:14 | Permalink

    It is impossible from a practical standpoint to give hashgacha for bugs. After the food sits around for a little while, bugs will appear in it that were not there before…

  • Chaya H.
    February 10, 2012 - 17:16 | Permalink

    I really don’t understand about figs. With good-quality figs, i.e. gooey and not all dried out, it seems fairly easy to check the inside of the figs in good light. I occasionally find bugs, and I can usually see that the fruit is infested as soon as I open it.

    I am not averse to giving up food I love because of infestation–I have stopped eating cauliflower in Israel for precisely this reason–it’s not worth the trouble. But in this case the statement that “only trained experts can determine if they are suitable for eating” is not consistent with my experience in 10 years of checking and eating them.

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