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Non-Kosher person ate Kosher


Rabbi David Sperling

Nisan 6, 5773
Hello, a My name is Eliyahu, I was at a kosher restaurant the other day with a friend. I don’t keep kosher, I refrain from pork, shellfish, and mixing meat and dairy. My friend is also Jewish but he eats anything and everything, so as we are eating I wondered if he ate pork earlier in the day and now used the silverware kosher restaurant, can that fork or spoon un-kosher the restaurant? Thank you
Shalom, I hope the food at the kosher restaurant was good, and that you enjoyed the meal. I am happy to be able to tell you that your friend did not cause any problems in the laws of keeping kosher for the restaurant. This is because almost always non-kosher foods can only transfer into silverware (or plates and pots etc) directly. That is, for example, cooking non-kosher food in a kosher pot, or eating non-kosher hot food with kosher silverware. Even if your friend didn't brush his teeth after eating the non-kosher food, and then ate kosher food he still wouldn't make the silverware un-kosher, as the non-kosher taste in his mouth is not strong enough to transfer to the spoon. The worst case scenario would be if he had really bad hygiene, and slobbered some un-kosher fat from his unwashed mouth or hands onto the kosher spoon. In such a case though, because the fat would be considered as cold food, we would only need to wash the spoon off - which I hope the restaurant (unless IT has really bad hygiene) would do anyway. By the way, you write that you don't keep kosher, you only "refrain from pork, shellfish, and mixing meat and dairy" - you should know that while you are correct that this isn't keeping fully kosher, however it is a big step on the way. The kosher laws, which are so special in bringing G-dliness into our every meal, certainly take a lot of work (especially outside Israel). May you be blessed to continue to grow in your Judaism, and merit to enjoy the full blessings of the Torah.
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