Star-K Changes Course, Now Following Osrim On Worms-in-Fish Issue


star-kRecently there has been much discussion about the fish worms called Anisakis. These worms/parasites have been found in certain species of fish. Some Gedolei Eretz Yisroel have ruled that these worms are halachically prohibited and, therefore, those species of fish must be inspected prior to use.

Since the Star-K says that it strives to have its kosher certified products accepted by all kosher consumers, Rabbi Moshe Heinemann has instructed Star-K establishments and mashgichim that only the non-problematic fish be used. Until the Star-K issues policies and procedures for inspections (as they have for vegetables and fruit) the problematic species of fish – fresh, frozen or canned – will not be used, even with kosher certification (unless prior approval is given by Star-K.)

Rabbi Heinemann recommends that consumers follow the same policy. Therefore, only non-problematic fish should be used until guidelines for inspection are issued. As with all halachic issues, people should follow the guidance of their personal Rav.

The following lists are based on research by Rabbi Gershon Bess. Note: Read carefully since there are some species of fish that appear on both lists. Their acceptability or non-acceptability depends on where they originate. We have no information about fish not included on this list.

Until further notice, only the variety of fish found on the following list may be used without any need for inspection:

Flounder – Only Fluke, Georgia Banks, Channel
Gefilte Fish
Herring fillet
Lox – Farm Raised [if wild, would state “wild”]
Minced Fish Sticks
Pollock – Atlantic
Red Snapper – Eastern or Atlantic only
Salmon – Farm Raised (e.g. Atlantic, Norwegian, Chilean, New Zealand, British Columbia )
Sardines – from Morocco, Philippines, Portugal
Sea Bass – Striped Bass, Grouper (Mexican), Blue Nose (New Zealand)
Whitefish – Michigan-Lake Superior

Until we issue policies and procedures for inspections (as we have for vegetables and fruit) the following species of fish (fresh, frozen or canned) should NOT be used (even with kosher certification):

Cod – Scrod, Hake
Flounder – Yellow Tail, Wild Dabs, Black Backs, Turbot, Yellow Fin Sole
Pollack – Alaskan – Fillet fish sticks or patties
Red Perch
Red Snapper – Pacific
Sable a.k.a Black Cod – including Smoked
Salmon, Wild – Fresh/Frozen/Canned – All types
Sardines – Norway, Scotland
Yellow Fin Sole

{Noam Newscenter}


  1. its becoming clear that the leading experts like rav moshe vaya and rav belsky permit these worms and theres no reason to figure out exactly the story behind the issur in israel.

  2. Sardines from Morroco is not a problem.
    Minced fish sticks are a problem, it’s not ground like gefilte fish.

  3. I cannot for the life of me forgure out why herring is consistently on the lists as being clean when R’ Revach himself wrote to Rav Shlomo Miller that in America they should be problematic.

  4. I found the list of permitted fish to be quite confusing – and amusing. It included Carp, Flounder, Pike, Pollack and also . . . . Gefilte Fish.
    So am I to understand that if I make my gefilte fish from something on the second list, say Cod, Halibut, or Wild Salmon, that somehow “kashers” the treif fish?

  5. Costco sells Kirkland canned salmon with hechsher. It says “farm raised” on the can. So I assume that means not all canned salmon is a problem. Am I wrong?

  6. Mr. Green, I assume that reason why gefilte fish is muttar is that the worms are ground up and therefore batul berov.

  7. Once ground up, the worms are batul b’shishim. However, this only permits fish ground commercially, and not specifically to allow them to be eaten. It is forbidden to grind them up in order to make them batul based on the Rabbinic principle of Ein Mevatlin Issur Lechatchila – we do not nullify (such as through grinding) forbidden foods to make them permissible. In other words, don’t buy the fish thinking that you’ll grind them later and make them batul. See Yoreh Deah 99.