MANCHESTER IN SHOCK: Kashrus Scandal At Deli Ends In Tragedy

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This past Monday, YWN received two letters from the Beis Din in Manchester, England notifying consumers that a hechsher of the Gough Deli in Manchester was being removed effective immediately. It was due to allegations of non-Kosher meat seen in the establishment. On Tuesday morning, shock spread through the community when word spread that the owner of the establishment was found dead. Police are investigating the circumstances.

The letter received by was signed by Dayan Yehudah Asher Steiner. The letter was verified by YWN to be authentic.

The halachic rulings included in the letter stated that all products purchased in the deli in the past bearing the MK Hechsher are still considered to be kosher. It also stated that all products carrying a Liverpool Kashrus Commission Hechsher were to be considered non-kosher.  It further stated that all products that were not labelled are also to be considered non-kosher.

The ruling extended to all items bearing the Gough label that were delivered outside the store as well, including catered events, synagogue functions, etc.

It seems that the hechsher was removed by the Manchester Beis Din on account of non-kosher meat items (livers) brought into a different store owned by the same owner located in Liverpool, England. Liverpool is located some 34 miles due west of Manchester.

In a different letter issued by the Liverpool Kashrus Commission, the hechsher of Roseman’s Deli, owned by the same owner as Gough Deli was modified but not removed.  The modification only allowed for pre-packaged foods to be sold in the store. No fresh products will be allowed to be produced in the Liverpool deli.

The reason for the modification rather than complete removal of the hechsher was explained in the letter signed by Rabbi Natan Fagleman. The modification will allow the community to still have access to fresh meat and kosher products – which is crucial to the survival of the community in Liverpool.

The letter further encouraged support and understanding of the new arrangement.

There has been an international trend it seems of fraudulent activity in matters of kashrus in the past few years.  Recently, there has been fraud at a location in Antwerp, Belgium wear a man posing as Chareidi was selling meat items with falsified Kashrus certificates.  In Johannesburg, South Africa, and Los Angeles, California in the past few years there were also cases of sneaking treif meat in a store with a legitimate hechsher.

One Kashrus expert remarked to YWN, “The possibility and potential for fraud in the Kashrus industry is not insignificant.  The profit potential is huge and the Kashrus agencies must be effectively trained in order to take preventative measures.  AKO, the Association of Kashrus Organizations, should interview the Kashrus Organizations that became aware of this fraud – learn what they can from these incidences and create a fraud detection seminar before the next convention. This is critical.”

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)




28 COMMENTS

  1. It’s not that shocking. They always listened to the BD and they were certified anyway. This is probably a competitor complaining. They wouldn’t sell not kosher to an orthodox Jew.

  2. You wrote: “Liverpool is located some 34 miles due east of Manchester.”
    Actually, Liverpool is located some 34 miles due WEST of Manchester.

  3. Really irresponsible to imply that there’s a connection between the beis din’s ruling and the owner winding up dead.

    I don’t know if it was your intention to make this implication or if the article was just poorly arranged to make it seem that way. The title alone implies that his tragic death is connected to the kashrus scandal.

  4. Hallel: Thanks so much for this vital information but even if the Sun sets in the East, how does the geographic position of Liverpool relative to Manchester affect the kashruth or treifus of the relevant products any more so than the cities’ relative positioning in the soccer league standing.

  5. 34 miles east East, over the Pennines, is Leeds. They had their own scandal about 10 years ago when the goy butcher of the shul butcher’s shop was found in a night time sting cutting up treif meat that he was shipping for sale in Scotland. He had been working there for 25 years. No kashering of people’s keilim was needed, i guess the assumption was he wasn’t selling it in the store.

    Reading things like this makes me understand the allure of vegetarianism better. Pass the brisket.

  6. Unless they’ve moved it recently, as far as I remember, Liverpool is on the west coast; it is west, and probably a little south of Manchester.

  7. lakewhut – you are dreaming. There have always been problems with kashrus fraud. A few years ago there was a particularly notorious case in Monsey where an outwardly frum person sold treif meat as part of his business. The kosher scene in New York in the first part of the 20th century was a Wild West type war zone, where sometimes physical threats were aimed at rabbonim trying to enforce minimum standards, against dealers who were outwardly frum. Read about Rabbi Breuer’s zatzal fight to maintain high kashrut standards in New York.

  8. Why wasn’t the hechsher removed from the store that had the treif meat (Roseman’s) but removed from the other store (Gogh’s). Doesn’t make sense.
    Was Liverpool Kashrus Commission 
    Supposed to have a mashgiach in theRoseman store? Maybe kashrus agencies need to supervise each other.

  9. This article should not be on here and the comments are out of line. A man has died. Comments about teshuvah? Conjecture about the nature of his death?
    Shame on you

  10. For the sake of clarity:

    The latitudes and longitudes of Liverpool and Manchester are 53.4084° N, 2.9916° W and 53.4808° N, 2.2426° W respectively. It is obvious that the difference in latitudes is very small. The main difference is found in the longitude, where there is a 3/4 degree distance between the two cities.
    This is important to know for calculating zemanim. It is easy to compute that every 1 degree west corresponds to 4 minutes later. So 3/4 of a degree west equals 3 minutes later. Therefore, any zeman given for Manchester will be 3 minutes later in Liverpool, all just round. So, for example, if sunset is at 8pm in Manchester, it will be at 8.03 pm in Liverpool. (If there was also a meaningful difference in the latitude, then the calculations would become more complicated and would alter depending on the time of the year.) I hope that clarifies the relative positions of these two English cities comprehensively enough…

  11. SharonSJ, the article says why the Liverpool shop can continue in business: because otherwise Liverpudlian Jews would have nowhere else to buy meat. But note that it can only sell pre-packaged meat with a hechsher. That’s no different from what non-Jewish supermarkets can sell.

  12. Was this article written by a first grader? I’m so confused. First you say the guy was found dead. Then you talk about some vague details of different stores in random UK towns, who has a hechsher and who doesn’t. Then you never explain what the dead guy has to do with anything.
    Grade: F-

  13. Interesting. The rov who was guiding the tzibur after the monsey scandal is now residing in England .
    Rabbi shraga feivel Zimmerman

  14. “Poor Brits could always be fooled into anything…”

    I’m not sure the ehrliche yidden of the UK are any more or less gullible than those of any other country. The same old axioms about knowing your hashgacha, relying wherever possible on a full-time resident mashgiach on location etc. apply universally. A good chassideshe hashgacha, the gold standard, doesn’t insulate you entirely from risk but certainly reduces the likelihood of such shenanigans. Otherwise, hedge your risk by investing in a kitchen remodeling company.