Shalom Life | November 04, 2015

Hebrew National Hot Dogs Promote Eating Products with Bacon, Shellfish

The kosher hot dog company has promoted using its products in recipes containing bacon, shellfish, and other non-Kosher foods

By: B. Shane Morganstein

Published: August 10th, 2015 in Business » World

Hebrew National Hot Dogs Promote Eating Products with Bacon, Shellfish

Photo: Screenshot from Hebrew National ad


Iconic producer of kosher hot dogs Hebrew National has been posting videos on its website featuring un-kosher recipes that use their kosher hot dogs.

“Our hot dogs follow very strict kosher standards in terms of the preparation of the hot dogs themselves, and keeping that kosher process is very important to us. But our consumers eat the hot dogs for a number of reasons. Some stick to our hot dogs for kosher reasons, and some eat our hot dogs for reasons of taste and preference,” explained Dan Skinner, a public relations manager for Hebrew National. “For those consumers we have presented recipe options that are not necessarily kosher recipes in the strictest sense.”

The preference of non-kosher consumers to buy kosher products is no surprise, given that the restrictions of kosher halacha (Jewish law) require any meat products to made using specific, higher-quality parts of the animal. As the Kosher National brand’s slogan goes, “we answer to a higher authority.”

CEO of the kosher division of the Orthodox Union (OU) Rabbi Menachem Genack believes that the promotion of kosher products in non-kosher recipes may be perfectly fine.

“It depends on the context,” began the rabbi. “A kosher product that’s sold to the general population, if it’s not confusing in any way, that would be OK. If it’s a company that’s selling kosher meat and there’s a real potential for confusion, that would be a problem…Kosher supervision does not only relate to the kosher food; it’s also the ambiance. A lot of these things are judgment calls.”

Hebrew National is certified kosher by Triangle K, which is headed by controversial rabbi Aryeh Ralbag. Ralbag has headed a controversial beit din (Jewish religious court), was until recently the Chief Rabbi of Amsterdam, and had direct links to the Rabbi Mendel Epstein get (Jewish divorce) extortion ring.

Most kosher food in America is produced on the same production lines as non-kosher food, the primary difference between the two being that rabbis ensure that the kosher food is made with the proper ingredients, free of any ingredients that might ruin the kosherness of the food (like bacon, shellfish, or gelatin). Ultimately it will be up to the rabbis with Triangle K to determine if this new course of advertising will damage Hebrew National’s kosher certification.


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