Bishul Akum: Prestigious Cooked Foods

Do not eat bishul akum (foods cooked by non-Jews under these conditions):
  • Prestigious, which a king or president of a country might serve at a state meal. (Foods that would not be served at a wedding are certainly not subject to bishul akum.)
  • Foods cooked in a regular stove/oven.
  • Foods that are only eaten cooked, such as:
    • Asparagus;
    • Eggs;
    • Some types of fish (not those eaten raw); and
    • Meat.
Foods that are sometimes or usually eaten raw are not subject to bishul akum, but they must be edible raw, without any further preparation.
  • All fruits.
  • Many vegetables.
Note For a food to be considered edible raw, more than 10% of the population near where you are must eat that food raw. Even if that food is eaten raw by most of the people in another country, you may only consider the people in your own locale.
Example Even though Japanese eat a lot of fish raw, only Jews living in Japan may consider raw fish free of bishul akum restrictions.
Note Ceviche, cold smoked salmon (lox), and foods that have been marinated or soaked in brine, vinegar, or other liquids are not considered to have been cooked and are permitted to be eaten even if wholly prepared by non-Jews, but not if the foods are cooked.
For a Jew to eat prestigious, “only-eaten-cooked” foods cooked by non-Jews, a Jew must do some part of the cooking—such as lighting a flame or participating in the cooking.
Note Bishul akum laws do not apply to foods cooked in a microwave oven or induction coil cooker.
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