Letter from Rav Shlomo Miller Regarding Bugs in Fish

Thursday March 18, 2010 6:33 PM - 12 Comments

rav-shlomo-miller-letter-bugs-in-fish-small[Letter below.] In light of the recent tumult regarding insect infestation in fish, Rav Shlomo Miller, rosh kollel of Kollel Avreichim of Toronto, head of the Bais Horaah of Lakewood, and one of the gedolei haposkim of North America, has released a letter with simple and clear guidelines for people to follow. Poskim and rabbonim have been inundated with phone calls and inquiries regarding this kashrus matter.

Please note that there are varying halachic opinions regarding this issue.

The following is a free translation of Rav Miller’s letter:

Regarding the issue of insects [parasites] called Anisakis that are found in fish, which some forbid and some permit [consumption of these fish]. The matter of consideration is whether [the insects] are in the category of ‘darna dekivri’ brought in the Gemara [Chullin 67b] which are permissible, or if they are forbidden because they enter from outside [the fish].

Behold, in my opinion, with respect to salmon called ‘wild salmon,’ it is good to be stringent in this regard and grind the fish prior to eating it, and one who is stringent and does so should be blessed, but those who are lenient and rely on those who permit it have who to rely upon.

The type of salmon called ‘farmed salmon’ is permitted, as is lox which is made from [salmon], since these parasites are not found in them.

The general rule is that [those types of fish] in which parasites are not [generally] found, like various types of flounder and otehr types of fish, are permitted. If one wishes to be stringent, one should check the fish himself opposite a light. If it is not possible to check them, one may eat them. All types of fish which have customarily been eaten cannot be made forbidden unless there is a clear reason to forbid them.

And on this I sign my name, this 25th day of Adar 5770, here in Lakewood,

Shlomo Eliyahu Miller

Click here to view the letter from Rav Miller.

{Translated and transcribed by Dovid Bernstein-Matzav.com Newscenter}

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12 Responses to “Letter from Rav Shlomo Miller Regarding Bugs in Fish”

1. Comment from stam
Time March 18, 2010 at 7:34 PM

Mi hem haosrim?
Who assurs? I wish we would still get tshuvos from poskim and not just letters

2. Comment from Anonymous
Time March 18, 2010 at 11:39 PM

I don’t understand how grinding helps.Aren’t
you just grinding up the bugs that may be there?

3. Comment from MOSHE
Time March 19, 2010 at 12:00 AM

I don’t understand how grinding helps.Aren’tyou grinding up the bugs that may be there?

4. Comment from World Saver
Time March 19, 2010 at 1:38 AM

Grinding makes it applicable to the rule of “battul b’shishim”. If it is a beria, then it is not battul.

5. Comment from World Saver
Time March 19, 2010 at 1:41 AM

R’ Elyashiv and all Eretz Yisroel poskim assured. (When this issue came up in EY around 1.5 years ago)

6. Comment from anonymous
Time March 19, 2010 at 2:00 AM

to 2 and 3

grinding helps for bidul. when something is whole (and considered important) like a bug or worm even if they are very small bidul is not possible. however if it is ground, it no longer is whole and is mivadel.

7. Comment from bob
Time March 19, 2010 at 7:38 AM

the only problem is that if its a beria - its considered mevatel issur by grinding - and therefore assur. see sh”a y”d end of 101.
the issue probably is that if its only a safek issur - most poskim (shach et al) are maykel by mevattel issur.
therefore, r miller is saying since its not vaday issur (b\c maybe insects aren’t there plus meiker hadin its muttar anyway) its preferable to do that to add another safek - making it a bit better.

8. Comment from mayim
Time March 19, 2010 at 8:12 AM

Yehi ratzon S’hneeheyeh L’rosh V’lo lezonov

9. Comment from Anonymous
Time March 19, 2010 at 9:46 AM

If its a safek, then salmon should be mutar because, as R’ Miller writes, “All types of fish which have customarily been eaten cannot be made forbidden unless there is a clear reason to forbid it.”

If its vadai issur, then grinding would be mevattel issur l’chatchila.

10. Comment from Anonymous
Time March 19, 2010 at 3:59 PM

The story of R’ Elyashiv assuring are just stories.

11. Comment from bob
Time March 22, 2010 at 3:43 AM

note he didnt assur - he just stated its better by grinding -b\c its only safek issur. that is the point.

12. Comment from Zvi
Time July 22, 2010 at 8:30 PM

There is no such thing as spontaneous generation of life. See:
http://knol.google.com/k/torah-science-and-greek-philosophy#Spontaneous_Generation_of_Life

All worms enter the fish from the outside, either as worms, or as eggs. Fish scientists all agree that the Anisaki worms enter the fish from the outside, and the Rambam explicitly says that if a worm entered from the outside, the fish is forbidden. Therefore, all such infested fish should be forbidden. The Hallachic question is much simpler than it sounds, and the answer is straight forward.

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