Mashgiach and Kosher Standards
Yotze VeNichNess - Random Coming and Going
Meat may not be cooked until it has been "Kashered". The meat must be soaked in water, salted, which draws out the blood and then rinsed, HaDocha AchaRona.
A well known illustration of Yotze VeNichNess is found in ShO YD 69:10; in a case where we last saw the meat we are Kashering when it was left standing in the kitchen with the non-Jewish servant, after it had been salted. It is now discovered cooking in a pot. We can not accept the non-Jewish servant's statement that they rinsed it. The meat is not Kosher unless we can establish that the non-Jewish servant is in fear of being discovered to have not washed the meat as it should. This fear is determined by what is known as Yotze VeNichNess.
Rav Shternbuch rules that a shrewd woman is preferred as a Mashgiach over a Frum man who is less shrewd.
Level of Supervision – Yotze VeNichNess
1. It is strongly recommended that a Mashgiach Temidi, a permanent full-time supervisor be in attendance from the unlocking of the premises until the final closing.
2. Where absolutely necessary very frequent Yotze VeNichNess, which means that a Mashgiach pops in randomly a few times every day, would be acceptable.
3. The foundation of Yotze VeNichNess is instilling fear. The owner manager must fear being caught doing the wrong thing.
4. Comprehensive knowledge of the entire facility and all entries and exits, and its nooks and crannies must be mastered providing the Mashgiach with the ability to predict “weak spots” in the system’s integrity. A Mashgiach who does not display expertise in these arenas does not instil any fear in the owners managers, and is in fact sending an undisguised invitation to the owner manager to arrange substitutions.
5. Obviously, the greater the potential gain from cheating the greater must be the fear factor. Therefore the frequency of these visits depends entirely upon the potential gain from substituting non-Kosher with Kosher foods.
6. We must also evaluate the ability of the Mashgiach to “catch” the violation. The owner manager is not going to bring non-Kosher meat into the eatery whilst it is still in its non-Kosher livery. We must have clear unequivocal guidelines that enable the Mashgiach to discover the substitution.
7. Small eateries, restaurants, bakeries and pizza shops, have a far greater opportunity and incentive to use non-Kosher ingredients than large manufacturers. They must be visited often and rigorously inspected to truly create a sense of fear.
What actually satisfies Yotze VeNichNess?
It appears that the Shulchan Aruch, other than providing some general guidelines, does not define this in detail, because an effective deterrent is that which creates fear, and this depends very much upon the circumstances, the incentive to substitute, the nature of the relationship between the owner manager and the Kosher certifier, and the power of the deterrent.
Kashrus lore pats itself on the back with the oft repeated story of Mashgichim checking the trash for evidence of contraband. This is an exercise is self deception.
The Mashgichim who live by this fable and check the trash, persuade themselves that they are excelling at their craft. Consequently, everything in their mind at least, is OK. Unfortunately this hubris leads to less vigilance.
Meanwhile, those who are intent on cheating the system have plenty of other places where they can safely dispose of the "evidence".
Besides, this "clever ploy" of checking the trash indicates that the Hashgocha agency and Mashgiach have no inventory controls to monitor Kashrus adherence in this eatery.
It's like licking the chickens at the Monsey butcher to determine if they are Kosher or not. Had the Rabbonim no other means to verify the Koshher status of the chickens? Think I am exaggerating? Meat came in from the original slaughterhouse without seals. Our Mashgiach rejected the meat and sent it back to the truck. The (non-Jewish) driver simply applied seals that he had on the truck, and brought back the same boxes of meat. Of course our Mashgiach, under the direction of his Rabbinic supervisor, rejected the meat. How would holograms help in such an instance (other than to profit those selling holograms)? see original
[According to this story, no meat can ever be accepted as Kosher. I have contacted this org many times begging them to remove or modify this posting]
a. an establishment that uses products for which there is significant price differential between Kosher and non-Kosher, requires systems that can verify with certainty that substitution has not been arranged.
In the meat final rinse, HaDocha AchaRona scenario, there are a number of significant considerations:
First and foremost, it applies to a Rabbinic prohibition. Cooked or salted blood is not prohibited by Torah Law. In cases of doubt, Rabbinic prohibitions are resolved leniently whereas Torah prohibitions are resolved stringently.
Furthermore, even within the Rabbinic lenient rubric:
i. A servant of the household is subservient to and in fear of the master and the household
ii. Non servant workers are assumed to not be in fear [Shach, PrMg 42; ChDaAs BiUrim 15]
1. The Mechaber, by his description, “a non-Jew who is a servant in a Jewish home …” rather than “a non-Jew who has placed the meat in the pot and we are unsure if it was rinsed”
2. However, Yad Yehuda  suggests that even a non-servant will be fearful if he fears a penalty, and Yad Avraham suggests that a servant is fearful without Yotze VeNichNess.
iii. A Jewish non-religious worker is more cocky and needs greater vigilance than a non-Jew [Rema ShO YD 118:1]
iv. The servant is familiar with the procedures and knows what to do
v. The servant knows that members of the household are nearby
vi. Any member of the household may pop in at any time
vii. The procedure for washing the meat takes some time so there is more fear
Those ultimately responsible for determining Kashrus must have Orthodox Semicha and live a Frum life. It is advantageous to have specific training and experience in practical aspects of Kashrus supervision.
It is critical to Kashrus, that only those who are Shomer Torah Umitzvos have ceredibility. All facts relevant to Kashrus must be verified by such people. Rabbi Moshe Feinstein,zt’l insists that a reputation for honesty and integrity does not suffice to provide the necessary evidence required for Kashrus. [Igros Moshe 40, I:54 and II:43]
a. must live a Frum life.
b. should be trained in practical aspects of Kashrus supervision.
c. ought to be paid by the Kashrus organization and not by those being supervised.
i. this is generally not a viable option.
2. Mashgichim mostly serve a dual function, they assist the business and they also supervise it.
3. Such arrangements are far from ideal, but we should endeavour to at least ensure that the Mashgiach:
a. is able to directly attend to his primary function without impediment.
b. is not required to perform menial tasks which undermine his stature and authority.
Level of Supervision – Shomer Shabbos
4. A Shomer Shabbos owner manager cannot be his own Kosher Mashgiach. This does not constitute effective Hashgocha. We have recently witnessed tragic cases where Shomer Shabbos proprietors were caught [and heaven help us – how many have not been caught] selling non-kosher product. This more than proves the inherent deficiency of such arrangements.
a. Although some may defend this as being Halachically justifiable, [eid echod neomon bi’ussurin, one witness is acceptable regarding questions relating to Kashrus] this arrangement is seriously flawed and invariably leads to tragedy and erosion of the value and performance of Kashrus.
Level of Supervision – Conflict of Interest
5. The OU insists that restaurants and caterers must be supervised by a Mashgiach who has no financial interest in the facility. While this policy is undoubtedly one to aspire to, individual Rabbonim must assess the Kashrus needs of their communities and determine whether it is feasible to maintain such standards.
6. The entire facility or at least the storage areas for these foods must be locked whereby the Mashgiach alone or his designates have access to these foods.
7. A non-Shomer Shabbos person must not have access to the locked areas.
8. Locks and seals must be tamper-evident.
9. Security requirements can be met by having a key available in an envelope sealed with at least two seals.
10. Whenever an emergency occurs requiring access to the key, the Mashgiach must be notified and the overseeing rabbi’s approval must be sought.
11. The lock must then be changed to offset the risk of the key having been copied.
12. Foods requiring Bishul Yisrael, Jewish participation in the cooking, are not adequately provided for with Yotze VeNichNess. A Mashgiach Temidi is required, unless a locking device is in service which makes it impossible to relight the pilot light without the PIN code the Mashgiach. [this is an OU standard which I do not believe is fact a Halachic requirement]
13. Commercial food production in or for first world markets, is strictly governed by Health and Safety and Traceability requirements. This means that every single step must follow pre-defined documented protocols that are designed and verified by external auditors. In short, it is basically impossible to alter ingredients or processes without going through a long investigation that requires full documentation. And it is certainly not worth their while.
a. As such, Yotze VeNichNess may not be required at all, since there may well be adequate evidence to provide a Halachic ruling by being able to access these records.