“Let me check with my client to make sure everything is Kosher.” I have heard this phrase, or some similar iteration, countless times to make sure certain terms or conditions were acceptable or legitimate, but never to make sure something was actually Kosher. It looks like some local lawyers are going to have to do just that to defend against a large class action filed earlier this month.
For the unfamiliar, many Jews keep Kosher and follow the dietary laws of kashrut. These laws spell out the rules and regulations of what foods Jews can eat and how food is prepared so they are consistent with Jewish law (also known as halakha). People who keep Kosher, and as someone who grew up in a Kosher house and who worked as a cashier and bag boy at Fishman’s Kosher Market, I can attest that proper and honest labeling about what is or is not Kosher is essential.
According to allegations in the suit, one of the biggest producers of Kosher food is selling food it claims is 100% Kosher but is really treif. Oy gevalt!
The suit claims that ConAgra, the manufacturer, marketer and distributor of Hebrew National, misrepresented that its products are “100% kosher ‘as defined by the most stringent Jews who follow Orthodox Jewish Law’” because of how they are actually produced. In order for food to be considered kosher, it must meet certain exacting requirements including the following:
- Certain animals cannot be eaten at all
- Method and manner of slaughter
- Examination of the animal after slaughter
- Removal of blood from the animal
- Removal of certain nerves and fats
- Segregation of Kosher and non-Kosher meats
Meat cannot be considered Kosher if one of the requirements is not met or followed. Plaintiffs allege negligence as well as violations of state consumer protection statutes and violations of implied warranties because they claim that ConAgra was selling non-Kosher meat under a Kosher label.
The Complaint, which was removed to U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, is before U.S. District Court Judge Donovan Frank (D. Minn.) and U.S. Magistrate Judge Tony Leung (D. Minn.). ConAgra has until July 13, 2012 to respond to the suit and will most likely assert that Plaintiffs are entitled to bubkes.
Stay tuned Minnesota Litigator for the whole megillah…