What Does Kosher Mean?
Kosher foods are prepared in a way that follows biblical traditions which are over three thousand years old. The intention of Kosher food laws is to ensure that only foods that are "fit and proper" are consumed. Kosher meats can come only from animals that have cloven hooves and chew their cuds -- farm raised cattle, sheep or goats. Most domestic poultry is also acceptable.
How is Meat Certified as Kosher?
All meat and poultry, whether kosher or not, first undergoes a rigorous inspection by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In addition to meeting USDA requirements, Kosher meats are processed according to the rules of one of several Kosher supervision agencies. In Kosher packing plants, specially trained "mashgichim," along with USDA inspectors, oversee all operations.
Unlike livestock in non-Kosher plants, Jewish law requires that livestock not be "stunned" prior to slaughter. Meat derived from these animals is then Koshered by first salting and then thoroughly rinsing to remove impurities. During processing, the meat is trimmed of certain fats, all veins and arteries.
What is the Difference Between Kosher and Non-Kosher Hot Dogs?
The primary difference between Kosher and non-Kosher hot dogs is that Kosher hot dogs do not contain pork. Kosher hot dogs also are made from beef or poultry that has been slaughtered according to Jewish law. Like other hot dogs, Kosher dogs contain high quality cuts of meat and spices. As with all hot dogs, every ingredient in a Kosher hot dog must appear on the package label.
Who Eats Kosher Hot Dogs?
Demographic research indicates that six million Americans eat kosher products -- only about a quarter of whom are Jewish. In fact, Kosher hot dogs are a small, but growing part of the hot dog category. While hot dog sales have been strong in the last year, the Kosher hot dog category is growing at twice the rate of the total category.