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Consumer Kashrut Alerts

Kashrut.com is presenting information that it received from various kashrut agencies and authorities concerning worms (anasakis) in sardines. Consult with your own rabbi as to your own practice.
The following are articles explaining the kashrus issues:


The following revised kashrus alert is from the OU on February 11, 2011.

There is an issue that has been observed (so far exclusively) in Gefen sardines from Portugal canned in 5769 and 5770. Several other brands from other countries have been checked and found to be clean. We have yet to observe the following concern in any other OU sardine products.
OU Mashgichim checking the gut cavities of sardines have recently discovered small white worms around the internal organs of some sardines (not IN the stomachs, which is a separate issue regarding krill in the stomach of some sardines from Canada). These worms can be distinguished from various sardine blood vessels and sinews in that the worms maintain their shape fairly rigidly, even when agitated in water. They can be curled up or spread out, found most commonly on the underside of the ovaries. The Shulchan Aruch differentiates between parasites found in the flesh of fish (which are permitted) and those found in the stomach, head, behind the ears, etc (which are forbidden).
Due to the difficulty involved in removing the parasitic worms found in the abdominal cavity of sardines, consumers are advised to return unopened cans of Gefen sardines from Portugal to their store of purchase, for a full refund.
In addition, skinless and boneless sardine products are free from this issue.
The Orthodox Union continues to research the issue, and will advise further should we discover this issue in any other products.


The following kashrus alert is from the Volover Rav on January 6, 2011.

“This is to advise that after careful investigation it was determined that insects are found in the intestines of “Gefen” sardines from Portugal (not in the flesh). They must first be opened and the guts completely cleaned out. This is equally so in water sardines, soya oil or olive oil. The ‘skinless and boneless’ sardines are not infested.”


The following kashrus alert is from the Vaad of Flatbush and Rabbi Bess on February 9, 2011.

The Vaad Hakashrus of Flatbush has inspected large quantities of cans of Gefen sardines with skin and bones.
The following position is the result of our findings and reflects our opinion on this matter:
Gefen sardines with skin and bones from Portugal have been found to be heavily infested with anisakis worms in the abdominal cavity. They are forbidden according to all opinions and are not affected by the recent discussion about anisakis worms in the flesh of fish.
The sardines must be gutted and the interior walls scraped to ensure that the worms have been removed. This procedure requires much expertise to ascertain that all the worms have been removed. In our opinion, the consumer should not attempt doing so on his own.
Currently, this alert does not affect the status of skinless and boneless sardines.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/Alerts/?alert=A3316

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

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