Non-kosher hotdog sparks outrage in NY

Worker at deli in Brooklyn uses electric knife to fend off patrons who confront him over non-kosher meat.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
March 23, 2009 17:52
1 minute read.

Non-kosher hot dogs can be found in almost every corner of New York City, but in the case of one Brooklyn eatery, their presence almost sparked a riot. It happened just a few days ago, when patrons of "The Shawarma King" kosher deli spotted a non-kosher frankfurter wrapper and then saw a worker at the restaurant barbecuing the meat on the grill. The customers confronted the man, a heated argument broke out, and the incident quickly escalated from there. Footage captured by a cell phone on the scene and aired on New York City's CBS 2 showed the patrons yelling at the worker, who, in response, grabbed an electric knife from behind the counter and fended off the angry crowd. Click here to see the video of the incident. "I was petrified - stuff was going through my mind," one man told the news station. "I want to live. I don't want to get stabbed for a hotdog." Other customers who were present at the time played down the incident and defended the worker. "He just got angry," the patron told CBS 2. "He wasn't about to do anything to the guys." According to rabbi who originally granted the restaurant its kashrut certification, the whole situation was "a terrible mistake," but certainly not intentional. "It was a one-time incident," he wrote in Yiddish in a Jewish community newspaper, explaining that the workers who had been sent to buy the hot dogs had gotten confused and purchased the items from the wrong market. "They caught it before it was even served to the consumers," he added. Many residents of the neighborhood seemed quick to accept the explanation, pointing to the owner of the establishment's character. "He's a very religious man," one man told CBS 2. "He studies every morning, and he's not the type of guy to fool people." Following the ruckus, the eatery on 13th Avenue was shut down for a number of days to allow rabbis to inspect the premises and purge it of all non-kosher food and equipment, the station reported. In addition, the owner told the station that all utensils which were in contact with non-kosher meat had been cleansed.


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