Kosher certified ham? Not so fast says the OU

Pig products and farming are a heavily regulated industry in Israel
Despite bearing the OU hescher, this hunk of ham is not kosher.

The Internet is buzzing this week with reports of an “OU certified” ham, but despite the iconic hescher the Orthodox Union wants you to know that this hog is still not kosher.

The OU says that this was an “unauthorized use of the OU symbol,” and this is not in fact a heschered product.

Israel only allows “kosher” pork

It’s unclear if this ham would be allowed for import under Israel’s strict pork import law. The 2019 law states pork products can be imported into the Jewish state only if they contain a kosher certification. (Obviously we are satirically asking the question.) The import of non-Kosher meat has been banned in Israel since 1994, but certain types of meat (seafood, lard, sausages, etc…) were allowed to still be brought into the country. That all changed three years ago when lawmakers quietly changed the law.

Pig farming in Israel is also heavily regulated, a 1963 law allows for the raising of pigs for research on land leased from the government. The law also allows for the sale of surplus meat. Only one facility exists in the country on Kibbutz Lahav— the Institute for Animal Research.

Further exceptions are made in Christian areas.

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