couponing in the holy land

Frugal food shopping for the Anglo Israeli

Archive for the tag “meat”

More meat and fish shortages expected next week- stock up now

Municipal veterinarians throughout the country are threatening to strike on October 26 in protest of a proposed new law that will transfer much of their authority to a תאגיד (corporation) that will perform veterinary inspection of food of animal origin under the authority of the Ministries of Health and Agriculture.

The main focus of their ire is the revoking of what is called בדיקת משנה- literally secondary examination- of meat, poultry, and fish when it passes from municipality to municipality.  The laws that require this examination were written 30 and 50 years ago and are not performed in any other developed country.  Detractors of this examination say that each municipality charges exorbitant fees, has very limited hours for inspection (generally not in tandem with delivery hours), and actually damages the products by exposing them to high temperatures when opening the truck for the exam.  Rescinding this part of the law will lower prices for the consumer and provide a higher quality product with a longer shelf life.  The “taagid”, under government authority and not privately owned, will inspect the food before it leaves the factory as well as when it arrives at its final destination- whether it is a supermarket, cold storage, or restaurant.

Proponents of “bedikat mishne” say that there won’t be enough inspectors to ensure the safety of food that is currently inspected by municipal veterinarians.  Prices won’t drop as expected and consumers will receive a lower-quality product.

This reform is part of the new Misrad HaBriut Food Law which passed the first reading in the Knesset and is being discussed prior to the second and third reading as part of חוק ההסדרים.  This law combines several laws into one and therefore the Food Law will be whisked along with other politically important legislation.  You can compare the hok to a VIP pass allowing fast access by avoiding all the lines.

I have strayed from the point of this post, which was to say that if the municipal veterinarians strike, they won’t be examining meat and fish that enters their municipality.  Since it must be inspected before it enters, there won’t be any meat or fish moved throughout the country starting on the 26th.  Food can be moved locally, however.  For example, if a shipment of frozen fish arrives by boat to the Ashdod port and is released to cold storage in Ashdod, all of the supermarkets in Ashdod can get fish delivered because it didn’t move between municipalities.  Chicken, however, is a different story.  Almost all of it moves between municipalities so expect a severe shortage.  What people may not realize is that stopping production not only hurts consumers, it also causes צער בעלי חיים- suffering to the animals.  Poultry has to be slaughtered by a certain age because if it is delayed, the birds will become too big for their house.  This will cause excessive crowding and undue stress on the birds.  It is not practical or financially feasible to move them to a larger house or split them up into two for that short time until they go to slaughter.  Therefore, whatever the outcome, it must be decided quickly because there will be a lot of pressure on Misrad haChaklaut to prevent those birds any undue suffering.

Source: Globes, Agrisupport online

EXPOSED: Kashrut and health violations in Osher Ad

Do you buy fresh meat from the counter at Osher Ad in Jerusalem?  If so, you want to watch this video published today by Arutz 10.  The Hebrew is difficult to follow (I watched it twice) but to summarize, this is what they found in two Osher Ad supermarkets:

  1. Sanitary violations- picking up meat from the floor at putting it back in the display, dirty floors
  2. Health violations- grinding fresh and frozen meat together, selling expired products
  3. Kashrut violations- the mashgiach for Kehillot splitting the same piece of meat into Badatz Beit Yosef (Atara) and Kehillot, grinding both hashgachot together and selling it as Atara, the worker adding holograms to packages of meat without instruction from the mashgiach.

Badatz Beit Yosef’s response was that they do not have a mashgiach on the premises of Osher Ad.  Therefore, any meat that is sold in Osher Ad under Atara is prepared and supervised in a different place and brought to Osher Ad already packaged with a hologram.   In the video, however, a worker actually put holograms on packages of meat that were prepared in the store with an Atara label.

Osher Ad’s response on their Facebook page:

The videos that have recently been published are staged.   There is no connection between what you see in the video and the narration that accompanies and interprets it.  The chain promises always and forever to stand by our promise to the consumer to provide low prices, the highest kashrut and quality standards.  That is how we have acted and that is how we will continue to act.

What do you think? I personally have never been in an Osher Ad but I know a lot of readers are- does the video tell the truth?  The votes on Osher Ad’s Facebook page are 50% positive and 50% negative right now.

When is the price too good to be true?

As mentioned in my previous post, you can frequently read reports of meat, fish and eggs that have forged labels. The rabbanut reports it from a kashrut standpoint, but the Ministries of Agriculture and Health report it because of the danger to public health.

Unfortunately, the illegal smuggling of meat from the Palestinian Authority, either slaughtered in the street or as donations from foreign countries is a very lucrative business. The prices of fresh meat in Israel is astronomical, and unfortunately more people care about the bottom line than why the Israeli price is higher than the PA price. It is therefore brought over in the bottoms of trucks without refrigeration, without veterinary supervision, and without a care for the possible diseases it may be incubating in those extraordinarily hot trucks.

Here is a short video showing how the police found a huge hidden panel filled with meat (notice the English labels) because of the strange smell coming out of the truck. The driver says he gets 1000 shekels per delivery and the value of the meat in the truck was 80,000-100,000 shekels. Don’t think this meat goes to backroom bodegas- it is sold to the finest gourmet restaurants in the center of the country. Watch this short video and see. Even if your Hebrew isn’t great, the pictures alone are worth watching.

The story does not end with meat, however. Pirated eggs are one of the most lucrative businesses in the PA. Eggs are also brought in hidden panels, in garbage trucks and other non-refrigerated and unclean vehicles. They are then sold on the market as “farm fresh eggs” and that is why they have no stamp on them or they are illegally brought into a sorting factory and given a stamp. Yossi Beitzim in Rishon L’zion lost their license for stamping smuggled eggs. There are also “stamp factories” in the PA who produce forged stamps on the eggs before they are smuggled over. In 2009 a large factory was discovered and shut down in Kalkaliya.

Can you see the eggs in this picture?

ביצים שהוברחו לישראל

ביצים שהוברחו לישראל צילום ארכיון: חנוך יחיא, משרד החקלאות

These eggs were going to be sold in the local shuk at a fraction of the price you would pay in the supermarket.

Kolbotek went into the field with Pitzuach ( היחידה המרכזית לאכיפה וחקירות (פיצו”ח), a division of the Ministry of Agriculture who is responsible for protecting our borders from smuggled plant and animal products. Here is what they found (don’t be intimidated by the Hebrew):

Another short clip:

What are the lessons we should learn?

  1. If the price is too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t buy it.
  2. Do not buy eggs without a stamp on them. Under ANY circumstances.
  3. Do not buy eggs with a blurry or unclear stamp- it may be forged.
  4. Do not buy meat or fish that does not have Hebrew on the label. The law states that there must be a Hebrew label, even if it is sold in Arabic-speaking neighborhoods.
  5. Do not buy food of animal origin (meat, fish, eggs, dairy products) that clearly states that it was produced in a city that is not under Israeli control. This does not apply to products that are not of animal origin.
  6. If you discover any of these suspicious products, you should report it to Pitzuach by phone (03-9559911), fax (03-9559115) or by email ( They are available 24/7.

Kimat Chinam’s weekly sale circular

Click here to see the circular.

Some good sales include Heinz 907 gram ketchup for 8.99 (credi card hoders only), apples/bananas/rimonim for 4.99/kg, Tirosh grape juice (750ml) for 7.99 each when you buy two, various frozen fish for 14.99/kg, and frozen meat between 19.99-24.99/kg.

Huge Kimat Chinam Meat Sale and More! 25.8-31.8

Eggplant, Onion, White Cabbage, Butternut Squash- 1.89/kg

Carrots, White Potatoes, Red Potatoes, Pumpkin- 2.89/kg

Red, Yellow, Green Pepper-3.89/kg

Red Grapes, Bananas, Corn- 4.89/kg

Fleisch chicken wings- 9.99/kg (max 4 kg)

Fleisch frozen whole chicken- 17.99/kg (max 4 kg)

Flesich chicken hindquarters or thighs-18.99/kg (max 4 kg)

Fleisch “Beit Yosef” frozen ground (beef?  it doesn’t say)- 2 for 49.99 (max 4 kg)

Rav Mahpud frozen entrecote, goulash meat- 800 grams- 2 for 49.99 (max 4 kg)

Rav Mahpud/Rav Rubin whole chicken- 17.99/kg (max 4 kg)

Rav Mahpud chicken hindquarters or thighs-19.99/kg (max 4 kg)

Rav Mahpud frozen spicy merguez hot dogs- 2 for 19.99 (max 4 kg)

Rav Mahpud frozen chicken/spicy hot dogs- 400 grams- 3 for 19.99 (max 4 kg)

Rav Mahpud (should say frozen) kebab, hamburger, ground chicken, turkey- 2 for 24.99 (max 4 kg)

Rav Mahpud frozen ground beef- 1 kg- 2 for 49.99 (max 4 kg)

Rav Mahpud frozen asado 100% beef, cow foot, tendons, shoulder roast product, eye steak- 800 grams-29.99/kg

Frozen kashered glatt beef numbers 3,7,8,10-19.99/kg

Fresh whole chicken breast , drumsticks, chicken liver- 3kg for 54.99 (max 6 kg, not valid in Binyamin yishuvim)

Fresh chicken thighs- 3kg for 44.99 (max 6 kg, not valid in Binyamin yishuvim)

Fresh aged beef for cooking- numbers 2,3,8,10- 2kg for 54.99 (max 6 kg, not valid in Binyamin yishuvim)

Fresh aged entrecote steak- 59.99/kg  (max 6 kg, not valid in Binyamin yishuvim)

Sales of the week:

Rich whip products- 1+1

Penina Rosenblum liquid soap, shampoo, shower gel, body wash- 1+1

Yad Mordechai olive oil- 750ml- 24.99 each when you buy 2 (code 104729003)

Huggies Pull Ups- 3 for 99.99

Zoglobek or Tirat Tzvi hot dogs- 1kg- 16.99

Solet (cream of wheat)- 1kg (4 units) or self rising flour/whole wheat (2 units)- 9.99

Perfect laundry detergent- 8kg- 34.99

Pepsi, Pepsi Maxx, 7Up, Diet 7Up, Mirinda 6-pack- 1.5 liter each-19.99

Sugat Indian basmati rice (2 units), risotto/thai rice (3 units), or “orzil” rice (4 units) for 14.99

Pepsi, Pepsi Maxx, 7Up, Mirinda-8 units of 500ml bottles/300ml cans- 19.99

The following sales are only for club card members (sign up here for free):

Elite Columbian, Brazilian, or African coffee-200 grams-22.49

Telma mayonnaise, K-mayonnaise-500 grams- 3 for 24.99

Telma cornflakes- 750 grams- 12.99  each when you buy two

Mama Of chicken stars, chicken ktzitzot, and shnitzel for children- 2 for 39.99

Sunflower oil-880 ml- 5.99 each when you buy 4

Schwepps flavored water, Kinley flavored soda, Jump Tea- 1.5 liters, Prigat- 1 liter- 3 for 9.99

Katit M’uleh olive oil- 2-pack- 630 ml, 750 ml- 34.99

Elite chocolate spread- 850 grams-12.999 each when you buy 2

Nestle, Strauss ice cream packages- get the second package for 4.99

XL energy drink- cranberry, lemon- 24 pack for 39.99 (includes pikadon)

XL energy drink regular (blue)- 24 pack- 49.99 (includes pikadon)

The fine print:

  • Club card members get 2% off their purchase of 300 shekels or more in cash.
  • The fruit and vegetable sales in the Nahariya store will be advertised in the store.
  • The sales of the week in the Yavne store will be advertised in the store.
  • To qualify for the sales of the week and the club member sales, you must spend 50 shekels or more on store items.
  • Limit one item/multiple per person unless otherwise stated.
  • All of the sales apply when purchasing the exact same item.
  • The fruit and vegetable sales are not conditional the price at purchase (מבצעי הפירות וירקות ללא התניית מחיר בקניה) (I am not sure of the translation here).

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