Formost Bug Expert Rav Moshe Vaya Reiterates That One Need Not Be Concerned Regarding Anisakis Worms in Fish


salmon-wormBy Rabbi Yair Hoffman

Wednesday night, Rabbi Moshe Vaya, arguably the greatest Torah expert on bugs and worms in fish in the world, addressed close to 200 people at Shaaray Tefilah in Lawrence, New York. Introduced by Rabbi Dovid Weinberger Shlita, the Morah D’Asra of Shaaray Tefilah, Rav Vaya went into an in depth analysis of the problems associated with many of the foods we eat on a daily basis. The presentation was in English and Rav Vaya displayed a masterful grasp of numerous issues in regard to bugs and a wonderful sense of humor as well.

Here are some tidbits:

1] It is almost impossible to clean strawberries as there is a new type of thrip that developed within the past 36 months that is impervious to removal through soap.

2] Corn on the cob is a food that should be avoided because there are thrips that go in between the corn and the cob that cannot generally be detected. Canned and frozen corn are generally washed well and are free from problems.

3] Raisins are almost always infested lately and sometimes the bugs can only be seen after soaking them for two hours. Even later more bugs will come out of the raisins after five hours. Rav Vaya Shlita holds that one should make raisins at home by putting grapes in an oven for two hours at 200 degrees Fahrenheit. He also says that they taste much much better that way.

4] Rav Vaya also stated that if one did observe an anisakis worm go from the stomach to the flesh than that worm is forbidden to be consumed. He further explained that his position and those of many Gedolim that he spoke to is that one does not have to be concerned for this. Rav Vaya did explain that ideally, all anisakis worms should be removed from fish. Rav Vaya’s position seems to be a middle ground position.


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  1. Rav Moshe Vaya hold that there no problem at all to eat these worms in fish so why does rabbi hoffman write that he holds middle ground???

  2. Wait! Now I am really confused. Wasn’t Rabbi Hoffman at another recent gathering where they proved that the fish with anisakis worms are forbidden? Whose p’sak should we rely on?

  3. You wrote that “He further explained that his position and those of many Gedolim that he spoke to is that one does not have to be concerned for this”. What is meant by “FOR THIS”?
    Also, if “ideally all anisakis worms should be removed from fish” then I think your headline is misleading when you write “One Need Not Be Concerned Regarding Anisakis Worms in Fish”

  4. #4: You follow whatever Rav you choose for yourself. For myself, as I rely on R’ Belsky and the OU for shailos about kashrus, I will follow R’ Belsky’s view.

  5. to #1 Rav Vaya is considered by many to be one of the foremost experts.

    middle ground – What it appears is – one need not refrain from eating fish, BUT if you see a worm or you want to be machmir, remove them.

  6. Michali:
    Rabbi Hoffman has publicly expressed his opinion that these worms are assur, and advocated following the opinion of the gedolim.
    He nevertheless acknowledges Rav Vaya’s status as an expert on toloim, and reports, objectively, rav Vaya’s presentation in the Five Towns. Rabbi Hoffman writes for a Five Towns publication.
    What we have here is a refreshing instance of someone being fair and objective.

  7. He is a big expert and everyone respects him and he is entitled to his Psak but big experts don’t always agree and he can very well be wrong. From my standpoint he is wrong since the Gedolei Haposkim disagree with him. End of conversation for me.

  8. I just spoke to a very competent rabbi who is the head of a huge kashrus organization and he said it’s a problem in Eretz Yisroel but no need to worry in America.

    I don’t want to quote his name, but all I ask is that each of you contact your own local kashrus agency or LOR and see if you have to be makpid on it. I bought strawberries yesterday and based on the psak I just got I plan on serving them!

  9. I forgot to mention that my rav and head of the kashrus agency said there is no problem with fish- we could consume fish as we always had (I’m not sure if the fish grown locally are not a problem or they just don’t agree with the other psakim from other cities).
    Again, ask your own rav, don’t rely on my anonymous psak, but not everyone holds the same on this matter, so don’t base your kashrus, or any halacha from a website.

  10. Rav Moshe Vaye was recognized by Rav Elyashiv shlita as the foremost expert on bugs. Rav Vaye is merely stating that 17 years ago all the gedolim including Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zal and Rav Elyashiv were matir. This is the exact same shailo that was raised 17 years ago. We all have been eating all the fish for 17 years with the haskomo of all the rabonim , why should we change now.

  11. Rav Vaya has been researching and wrote about the worms in fish 30 years ago. He is a very big machmir in hilchos tolaim in fact my Rav told me I should only eat Positive Produce because Rav Vaya is the Rav HaMachshir of that company and if he claims it’s kosher then you better believe it’s bug free. If he claims the fish is kosher I will definitely rely on him.