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Consumer Kashrut Alerts

The following notice concerning fruit imported from Israel is from the Beth Din of Johannesburg on February 20, 2009.

Fruit imported from Israel (avocados, mineolas and possibly others) are now available in South Africa. These fruits are produce of the previous year (5768) which was a shmitta year, and are therefore classified as having kedushat shvi’it (sanctity of the seventh year). The following rules apply to fruits and vegetables having kedushat shvi’it:

  • Fruit normally eaten by humans should not be given to animals.
  • Vegetables, such as potatoes, which are normally cooked, may not be eaten raw.
  • Fruits and vegetables normally eaten raw should not be cooked.
  • Fruits and vegetables that are eaten both raw and cooked can be eaten either way.
  • Juice may only be extracted from such fruits or vegetables where this is normally done, e.g., oranges and apples. It is not permissible to extract juice from, for example, bananas.
  • Leftovers, peels and husks which are normally eaten or have remnants of food attached, must be wrapped first, and then disposed of in the normal manner.
  • If a food with kedushat shvi’it is cooked with other food, all the food must be regarded as having kedushat shvi’it.
Purchasing such fruits with cash poses a halachic difficulty which is beyond the scope of this notice to elaborate on. Therefore, one may either purchase them with a cheque or credit card, or if one wishes to use cash, then other non shmitta items (not necessarily fruits) should be included in the purchase.

The London Beth Din has a list which is reprinted below of when fruits and vegetables stop being of shmitta status at www.kosher.org.uk/shemittaalert.htm dated October 10, 2008. Please note that the dates are in European notation, which is date/month/year.

Vegetables: Unless otherwise stated vegetables will become permitted from Chanukah (22.12.08)
The following are exceptions to this rule:-

Butternut Squash 15th Sivan 07.06.09
Chickpeas 1st Sivan 24.05.09
Courgette 1st Cheshvan 30.10.08
Cucumbers 1st Kislev 28.11.08
Dill 20th Cheshvan 18.11.08
Garlic 6th Adar 02.03.09
Lettuce 15th Cheshvan 13.11.08
Onions 1st Nisan 26.03.09
Paprika 3rd Elul 23.08.09
Pumpkin 10th Sivan 02.06.09
Radish 27th Cheshvan 25.11.08
Spinach 23rd Cheshvan 23.11.08
Spring Onions 20th Cheshvan 18.11.08

Fruit: The following fruits have kedushat shevi'it until the dates specified below:

Apricots 1st Iyar 26.03.09
Avocado 1st Av 22.07.09
Cherries 10th Sivan 02.06.09
Dates 20th Elul 09.09.09
Figs 15th Nisan 09.04.09
Grapes 1st Elul 21.08.09
Lychee 1st Sivan 24.05.09
Mango 1st Tamuz 23.06.09
Melon 25th Kislev 22.12.08
Nectarine 1st Nisan 26.03.09
Orange 1st Elul 21.08.09
Peaches 1st Nisan 26.03.09
Sharon Fruit 15th Elul 04.09.09
Plums 1st Av 22.07.09
Pomegranate 15th Av 05.08.09
Strawberries 1st Tevet 28.12.08
Water Melon 25th Kislev 22.12.08

Kashrut.com has information on shmitta at www.kashrut.com/consumer/vegetables/#SCHMITTA.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/Alerts/?alert=A2660

The information posted is from secondary sources. We cannot take responsibility for the accuracy of the information.

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