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Q: I recently used a Worcestershire sauce on a steak. Afterward, I was looking at the bottle’s ingredients and saw that all the way at the end it says “Contains Anchovies”. I know that anchovies are a type of fish and I also know that the Gemara says that it is dangerous to eat meat (steak) and fish (anchovies) together. I wanted to know if you can shed some light on this before I write an angry email to the people who certified this sauce as pareve.
It is true that one may not eat meat and fish together (Shulchan Aruch YD 116:2) but in this case it is permitted because the hashgachah is vouching for the fact that there is so little fish in the sauce that it is halachically insignificant (batel b’shishim). [Pischei Teshuvah 115:3 and Darchei Teshuvah 115:16 & 21 cite Poskim who discuss the propriety of l’chatchilah relying on bitul b’shishim as relates to this specific halacha, and in addition some consider Magen Avraham 173:1 as a contributing factor.]
You should however be aware that some Worcestershire sauces contain a more significant amount of anchovies. In those cases, the hashgachah will insist that the sauces be labeled with the word “fish” alongside their logo so that kosher consumers will know to not use the sauce together with meat.