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Rabbi Dovid Cohen
Administrative Rabbinical Coordinator of the cRc
On December 18, 2007 the OU presented a seminar at Romanian Kosher Sausage in Chicago on nikkur for Rabbonim, Mashgichim and others involved in kashrus who had little or no hands-on knowledge of nikkur.1 The goal of the 2 hour seminar was to teach the participants enough about nikkur to be able to spot gross errors in which nikkur wasn’t done to certain pieces of meat. The following is a summary of the most practical points.
Before a piece of meat is salted, certain fats, blood vessels and other items must be removed in a process known as nikkur/traiboring. A professional menaker can easily tell whether a piece of meat was properly menukar, but just about anyone can easily learn to recognize some telltale signs of nikkur and notice when a piece of meat is sorely lacking those signs. The coming paragraphs are intended as an introduction which the Mashgiach can build on through his own “on the job” experience. It goes without saying that if, as time goes on, a Mashgiach notices a piece of meat that does not appear to have had proper nikkur, he should bring it to the attention of an expert menaker for evaluation.
Most of an animal’s chailev (forbidden fat) is in the part of the animal behind the diaphragm. To avoid the chailev, it is customary to cut the animal between the 12th and 13th ribs and sell the entire hindquarters as non-kosher.
Tenderloin (hanging tender)
The tenderloin is comprised of two halves, which are joined together for most of their length by a layer of fat.
Meat which appears to be bloodshot or has signs of congealed blood, should be brought to the attention of the Rav HaMachshir.
1 The OU was represented by R’ Avrohom Juravel (OU Ingredient Department), R’ Seth Mandel (OU Rabbinic Coordinator, Meat Industry), R’ Fishel Zimmerman (OU Mashgiach and menaker at Romanian), and the coordinator of the seminar, R’ Avrohom Stone (OU Senior Mashgiach).