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Kosher Food Bill Approved

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The United Orthodox Jewish Community of St. Louis has hailed a new kosher food bill designed to protect observant Jews from fraud in the sale of kosher meat and other kosher food items. The measure, introduced by Sen. Maurice Schechter and adopted at the 78th General Assembly of the Missouri Legislature, was just signed by Gov. Christopher S. Bond and takes effect Aug. 13.

It provides for a fine of not less than $25 or more than $500 or imprisonment for not less than 30 days or more than one year for offenders. According to Rabbi M. H. Eichenstein, Chief Rabbi of the Orthodox Community, the new law will replace a 1927 law that was vaguely written and difficult to enforce. The old law referred only to kosher meat and meat preparation and required kosher certification only for raw meat, poultry and delicatessen.

The new bill itemizes all products in addition to meat that require certification and thereby takes cognizance of the extensive kosher food industry that has developed since the original law. The law states that “food and food preparation to be kosher has to be prepared under and of products sanctioned by the Orthodox Hebrew religious rules and requirements.” Possession of non-kosher meat or non-kosher food in a business establishment that advertises kosher meat or food only is prima facie evidence of intent to defraud under the new law.

There are an estimated 60,000 Jews in St. Louts and of 75,525 Jews in Missouri out of a total state population of 4.7 million. There was no break-down of the number of Jews who observe Kashruth.

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