What is Kosher Food?



Certain religions require dietary rules in order to health and safety. Judaism is one of them, and Kashrut is the part of the Jewish law that explains what foods can and cannot be eaten, and how those foods must be prepared. Kosher foods are those that comply with the requirements of Kashrut. Meanly, fit or proper.

Kashrut laws are comprehensive; they  do not simply mention what foods are allowed. Instead, it clearly explains how permitted foods should be produced, processed and prepared before consumption. Here are the primary rules;


While land animals with hooves and ruminants can be eaten, any land animal that does not have either of these features is prohibited. Milk and other products from forbidden animals are forbidden as well. 

Kosher: Cows, goats, sheep, bison, deer

Non-kosher: Pigs, camels, rabbits, rodents, reptiles, insects, camel’s milk


Seafood that has both fins and scales can be eaten. However, shellfish are forbidden.

Kosher: Carp, salmon, whitefish, tuna

Non-kosher: Catfish, swordfish, crab, lobster, shrimp, oysters


Birds of prey and scavengers are forbidden. Other birds are permitted.

Kosher: Chicken, turkey, duck, goose

Non-kosher: Ostrich, hawk, owl, stork


Dairy cannot be simultaneously eaten with meat or poultry, but it can be eaten with fish. It should be mentioned that even a very small quantity of dairy (or meat) in something makes it entirely dairy (or meat) for kosher purposes. Three to six hours must pass away between eating dairy and meat.

Grape Products

Since wine and grape juice are used for religious purposes, grape products must be made within certain strict rules by the Jews.


Meat and poultry should be slaughtered by a trained butcher in a special method (shechita), and this method with sharp blades is seen as the most human. Before consumption, all blood, sciatic nerves and surrounding blood vessels and oil (chalev oil) around vital organs should be removed. Even if the animal source is kosher, some parts are prohibited.

Jewish dietary rules might be not common in modern food preparation as a result some companies develop their own kosher rules.The point is that the food must meet the standards required to be considered kosher, as with all other food certification systems. The food that meets the standards is packaged and put on the market with the koser logo.


CONTENT: Melisa Güçlü 




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Murphy, J. (2017, March 7). Kosher Food Certification in Australia: A Quick Guide (Australia). Retrieved from https://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/library/prspub/5142734/upload_binary/5142734.pdf

Small, S., S. B., & D. C. (n.d.). Kosher Food. Retrieved from http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agcomm/pubs/FCS3/FCS3577/FCS3577.pdf