Metzger proposes identifying jackets for kashrut supervisor

By JONAH MANDEL
May 23, 2011 20:12
1 minute read.

 
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Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger is pushing for kashrut supervisors working in restaurants and food production to be clad in a special jacket identifying them as such, as a comprehensive set of standards, rules and regulations for that role is still notably absent.


The rationale behind the proposal, put forth to the members of the Chief Rabbinical Council last week, stems not only from the advantages pertaining to the standards of service and hygiene such attire could inspire, but primarily to its potential to discourage the supervisors from unjustifiably leaving their work-place. Kashrut supervisors working for the Chief Rabbinate do not have to clock-in, and receive their payment directly from the restaurants or factories they supervise, an absurd situation that is fertile grounds for misdemeanors and corruption. Furthermore, there are no clear critera for becoming a supervisor, nor is there real training. Metzger's proposal from 2004 to establish a lengthy period of training for supervisors never came to fruition. In addition, a recent bill put forth by MK Otniel Schneller, that would have regulated all aspects of a supervisor's job definition, but primarily create a third authority that would pay the supervisors to prevent direct money exchange between the supervisors and supervised, was shot down by elements within the rabbinate and treasury. Schneller is currently working on a modified version to his bill, after studying successful kashrut models from abroad, such as those of US-based OU (Orthodox Union) and OK Kosher Certification.


Metzger's inspiration for his recent initiative also came from abroad, when during a recent visit to the UK he was impressed to see a kashrut supervisor in designated attire. The chief rabbi's proposal was so far approved by the Chief Rabbinical Council for examination, but has yet to be accepted as regulation.

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