Letter from Rav Shlomo Miller Regarding Bugs in Fish

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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}

12 COMMENTS

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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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