I had a conversation over Shavuot with someone who works nearby my office in midtown and we were discussing some of local eateries in the area. When I brought up Kosher Delight he mentioned that a coworker of his showed him a health code document citing the restaurant for numerous violations.
Lo and behold, he was right.
According to the NYC’s Department of Health’s website, KD’s recent inspection on 05/05/2006 turned up a whopping 33 violations1 including the disturbing indictments of “Facility not vermin proof. Harborage or conditions conducive to vermin exist” and “Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas.”
This will come as no surprise to some people – Shosh once found teeth marks on a packet of BBQ sauce – but I can’t help but feel more than a little unnerved. This is hardly the first time a Kosher restaurant has been cited for such violations, and others have been forced to close altogether. Aside from the potential hillul hashem involved, such violations make people question the point of keeping kosher especially in understanding why it is more important for food to be separated from utensils than it is to be kept away from rodents.
Although it will never happen, I think it would be nice to have the Kashrut agencies keep up with the Health Code and to have their hashgachot dependant on compliance. Not only would this force restaraunts to follow dina d’malchuta and clean up their establishments, but it would also avoid creating the perception that the NYC Health Code is somehow a “higher standard” of food preperation.
In the meantime, I’ll be bagging lunch for a while…
1. Note that this is only for the KD in midown. The one on 13th Ave in Brooklyn had 6 currently unspecified violations from their November inspection and all were addressed. The one on Ave J had two violations in December which were addressed.