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Cholov Stam: An Update from the Farm (and Lab)

by Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer – OU Rabbinic Coordinator Dairy

Copyright © 2011 by Orthodox Union. Reprinted by permission from Daf HaKashrus.

In a recent issue of Daf HaKashrus, we presented information about the contemporary controls and regulations that pertain to government inspection of milk, demonstrating (with the concurrence of Rav Belsky, shlita) that the Igros Moshe’s heter for cholov stam is alive and even stronger than before1.

In brief, we noted that current protocol includes government inspection of farms (which was not always the case in prior days – see Igros Moshe YD 1:49), which precludes milk from non-kosher species from entering the commercial milk chain. We described how milk used in commercial dairy plants can only be provided by government-approved source farms, and how government inspectors track documentation for all milk shipped to commercial dairies to assure that it indeed originates from exclusively government-inspected farms.

After discussion with a high-ranking senior dairy farm inspector in upstate New York, as well as with administrative officials at departments of agriculture of several states, the following additional points of information were determined to be worthy of publication for the readership:

1 This new information does not in any way negate the validity of the p’sakim which do not accept cholov stam, such as Chelkas Yaakov 2:37-38, and the apparent objection to any notion of cholov stam in the Aruch Ha-Shulchan in YD 115:5

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