For the first time, Israel's Chief Rabbinical Council approved the importation of Foie Gras (goose liver) that includes a Mehadrin (glatt) kashrut certification, allowing religious observant Jews to enjoy the delicacy, according to a Wednesday press release from the Csengele kosher slaughterhouse.
The decision to approve the importation of kosher foie gras was made by the Chief Rabbinical Council of Israel in a telephone vote conducted among the council members. Glatt kosher products are considered to be observed more stringently than non-glatt products by rabbis, making them "extra kosher" for the most religiously observant.
Prior to the decision, only non-glatt kosher foie gras was available for consumption. In 2019, in a bid to assess whether glatt foie gras could be imported, Rabbi Simcha Weiss, a member of the Chief Rabbinical Council, along with Prof. Ari Z. Zivotofsky and Rabbi Roei Ginon (geese expert from Chief Rabbinate), visited a Hungarian Jewish Community Association slaughterhouse in Hungary to observe the fattening of the geese.
Following the conclusion of their visit, a team was established to implement a program to bring glatt goose liver products to Israel with a certification. The Rabbinical Council approved the team's recommendation of importation, with the Hungarian Csengele kosher slaughterhouse becoming the first to get the certification.
This decision also opens the door for other importers to meet the new standards in order to receive a glatt kosher stamp, which according to the Israeli Kikar ha-Shabbat news website, can be seen by Israeli importers on the website.
The new regulations also call for supervisors to be made available in order to carry out inspections at the site of the geese fattening, while not exceeding the slaughter of 4-5 geese per minute. These facilities must also be routinely inspected by professional kosher inspectors.