Los Angeles Kosher Meat Scandal: KTLA Says Device For Making Labels Found By Private Investigator

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doeThe following is an article from KTLA:

As Southern California Jews continue to celebrate Passover, there’s some shocking news about the meat that may be on their dinner tables.

The Rabbinical Council of California has removed its supervision from one of the area’s most prominent glatt kosher meat distributors.

You’ve probably heard of kosher — glatt kosher more strict.

There are strict religious guidelines for preparation, and it is very expensive to buy.

One distributor who provides meat to restaurants, caterers, and customers in Southern California has lost its religious backing, and an undercover video may explain why.

For Rabbi Shimon Kashani and many of the Jewish faith, eating glatt kosher meat is an important part of their religious practice.

It’s so important that religious supervisors oversee every aspect of the food’s preparation and distribution. And Jewish families pay up to triple the cost of non-kosher meat.

At Doheny Kosher Meat on Pico Blvd in Los Angeles, undercover video and pictures show — at first glance — the rules are being followed.

A supervisor called a Mashgiach unlocks the warehouse and inspects the deliveries.

“He’s looking to make sure products are coming from glatt kosher slaughterhouse. They have the proper labels, they have the proper seal,” Rabbi Kashani explains.

But the pictures taken by private investigator Eric Agaki have raised serious concerns among rabbis throughout California.

On March 7th, 2013, Agaki videotapes a vehicle at an unsupervised warehouse in Reseda at 5:58 a.m.

The private investigator follows the vehicle to a McDonald’s parking lot, where it’s met by another car, driven by Mike Engleman, the owner of Doheny Glatt Kosher.

Pictures show both trunks open. “They transferred the glatt kosher boxes from his vehicle to the owner of Doheny Market,” Agaki says.

A short time later, video shows Englaman’s car at his lot at Doheny Glatt Kosher.

Engleman waits for the Mashgiach to arrive and unlock the door to oversee the delivery of sealed glatt kosher boxes.

But when the Mashgiach appears to leave the site, Engleman’s trunk is opened.

“As soon as the Mashgiach left and turned the corner, he signaled his workers to offload his trunk,” Agaki says.

“Same boxes, but they’re used. You can see they’re open, you can see that they’re old, you can actually see some of them flapping,” he describes.

The boxes offloaded from the SUV are labeled glatt kosher, but their appearance troubles Rabbi Kashani, as does the apparent lack of supervision.

“It seems that they’re bringing in some boxes that are not supposed to be there, and they’re bringing them in when the Mashgiach isn’t there — that’s very troubling,” Kashani says.

We visited Doheny Glatt Kosher Meat Sunday night after we were told the Rabbinical Council of California — or RCC — as shown the undercover video.

No one would answer questions, except for one loyal customer.

“I would be surprised. I know the people, it’s a rumor,” the customer said.

But just before 10 p.m. Sunday night, many in the Jewish community received an email informing them:

“The RCC announced… it removed its kosher supervision, for cause, from Doheny Kosher Meats located at 9213 West Pico Blvd.”

It went on to say that meat bought there until before 3 p.m. Sunday “is permitted to be eaten and can be enjoyed on Yom Tov.”

The owner of Doheny Glatt Kosher spoke to us on the phone, only to tell us an emphatic “no comment.”

But Rabbi Kashani tells us he believes the group of religious leaders made the right decision to preserve trust in a costly way of life that carries deep spiritual importance.

The RCC is a religious authority, and there is no indication Doheny Glatt Kosher Meats has violated any government laws or regulations.

The private investigator did show us a box of glatt kosher labels from a factory in Iowa and a device for making them that he says he found at that warehouse in Reseda.

It’s unclear if the USDA is investigating this case.

(Source: KTLA)


13 COMMENTS

  1. “glatt kosher more strict”

    As we all know, it isn’t about the strictness of the supervision, but about the condition of the lungs of the animal — glatt means smooth (no lesions). Strictly speaking, there is no requirement for Ashkenazim to eat glatt meat.

    “there is no indication Doheny Glatt Kosher Meats has violated any government laws or regulations”

    Wouldn’t selling non-glatt meat as glatt be a violation of consumer fraud laws? In addition, misrepresenting a kosher product is asur halachically!

  2. There are some very disappointing aspects to this saga.

    Firstly, most readers may not know this fact, but Mike Engelman, the owner of Doheny, is NOT religious. He is a Freia’a yid who is NOT shomer Shabbas,

    The question that behooves from this aforementioned fact, is why would the RCC give a hechsher to a Freia’a yid, instead of allowing capitalism to play itself out, so that, at the very least, a Frum yid could build a parnasa from distributing meat.

    And lastly, even more disappointing, is the fact that already 21 years ago, the Chabad community caught this crook selling Treifa meat in the Long Beach area of California, before he moved to Pico.

    Someone will one day have to answer up for these questions.

  3. meat bought there until before 3 p.m. Sunday “is permitted to be eaten and can be enjoyed on Yom Tov.”

    whats that supposed to mean?!

  4. To “chofetz chaim”:
    You see, its guys like you who like to “cover up” scandals like this under the guise of “Frumkeit”! Who is being hurt over here? People who ARE Frum! I’m sure you believe that the RASHA who was “caught” in Monsey selling Treiffa meat, was also a Tzaddik! Frum people pay more than anyone else when it comes to meat because they want a good Hechsher! They PAY for it! This is not some Chesed by some poor store owner trying to help Kosher consumers! Based on your other comments regarding this SCANDAL, one would have to conclude that you have some hand in this cover up!

  5. emeshurts:
    Your comments clearly indicate that you are a am ha’aretz in all kashrus aspects and also unfamiliar with the facts here in southern california.

  6. no one is covering this up, my point isa clear,BEING THAT THE INVESTIGATION IS NOT COMPLETE, YOU CANNOT DRAW CONCLUTIONS FROM AMEI HAARETZ LIKE A COMPETITOR DERYL SHWARTZ OR FREI NEWSPAPERS AND BASH RABBONIM ALL THE WHILE FOR “COVERING UP”!!!!

    DID YOU NOTICE A CONCLUSTION YET? NO! SO WHY MAKE YOUR OWN BASED ON SHADY AND SHAKY FACTS

    again, dont get me wrong this guy from doheny is a rasha gamur and nichshol rabim
    but to bash the rabbonim isnt the answer, the hecsher that certified the guy in monsey is still around and that was way worse!!

  7. Just wanted to clarify for anybody who knows me that the poster above called “chafetz chaim” is not me. I don’t know anything about this case other than what was reported in the email and here on YWN.

  8. I am sure this goes on more often that we are ware of, I blame this on the Mashgiach. His sole responsibility is to prevent things like this, if he can’t do that then he is not doing his job.
    The owner of this shop has to be prosecuted and put away for this actions as well.