Ben-Dahan proposes kosher police

New bill proposal would give kosher inspectors authority to probe restaurant owners, confiscate items connected to their offense.

Kosher restaurant (photo credit: REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov)
Kosher restaurant
(photo credit: REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov)
Kosher certification inspectors of the Chief Rabbinate will receive significant new powers, according to a bill proposed Monday by Deputy Religious Affairs Minister Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan, with the support of Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau.
The legislation is intended to prevent defrauding and misleading the public about what is kosher. The bill has the support of the government, which is expected to enable its passage.
“The rabbinate has had a department to enforce kosher certification regulations for 14 years but the department’s authority has never been set,” the bill states.
The bill would give kosher certification inspectors the right to enter restaurants, and other establishments that provide food, and remove kosher certification notices that have expired.
They would be authorized to probe restaurant owners like police and even confiscate items connected to their offense.
Like police, the kosher inspectors would wear uniforms while on duty, and they would be required to wear badges identifying them.
Ben-Dahan said the bill was necessary to end kosher certification fraud and return credibility to dietary supervision.
“Until now, due to their lack of authority, the inspectors have been too weak to confront the unkosher criminals, who have been able to avoid punishment,” Ben-Dahan said. “This bill would give them the tools to fight them effectively.”