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Food News


THIS SECTION IS FOR NEWS AND INTERESTING STORIES RELATED TO FOOD, NUTRITION AND FOOD PROCESSING. THEY ARE NOT NECESSARILY RELATED TO KOSHER BUT MAY BE OF INTEREST TO THE KOSHER CONSUMER, MANUFACTURER OR MASHGIACH.

The following information from New York Times and Jerusalem Post and http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/12/17/3823024/judge-orders-kosher-meals-at-state.html">Miami Herald posted on January 21, 2013.

On December 5, 2013 a federal judge has ordered the Florida Department of Corrections to offer kosher meals to "all prisoners with a sincere religious basis for keeping kosher" by July 1. " The lawsuit concerns the state's Religious Diet Program, or RDP, currently in place only at Union Correctional Institution. According to Seitz's ruling, the state has continuously changed its timeframe for expanding the program, first saying it would be available statewide this year, then saying kosher meals would be available at five institutions next month, and then announcing an implementation date for just three of those locations.
The state has also maintained that it is not required to offer kosher meals under federal laws protecting religious liberty.
Seitz barred DOC from enforcing four rules used in the kosher program at Union:

  • A 90-day waiting period that the state said it will no longer enforce.
  • A requirement that inmates undergo a "test" to determine whether they qualify for the program, including answering a question about the specific religious laws that require them to eat kosher.
  • The "10 percent rule," which drops a prisoner who fails to eat at least 90 percent of his or her meals.
  • The "zero-tolerance rule," which removes an inmate from the program for a period of time if he or she is found to eat something prison officials say is not kosher.

The state of Florida was worried that the cost of kosher food was higher and prisoners who were not Jewish or did not keep kosher were requesting kosher food Florida's prison system has a $58 million deficit. The cost of 3 kosher meals a day si $7 vs the cost of non-kosher food at $1.54. The demand for kosher meals jumps when they are first offered, since they are something different. The demand is reduced as people realize that there is little variety in the meals.

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