Q. I am a Sefardi. I was barbecuing hamburgers in my backyard and I went inside to prepare some side dishes. I left the hamburgers totally unattended. I then remembered that I’m not supposed to do that. Can I still eat the hamburgers?
A. Shulchan Aruch (YD 63:2) rules like the opinion of Rav (Chulin 95A), that meat left unattended outdoors (or even indoors if a window is left wide open) becomes prohibited. Although Ashkenazim follow the more lenient ruling of the Rama, Sefardim follow this ruling (Kaf Hachaim, YD 63:23). If, however, a person recognizes the meat as the original meat he placed there (tevias ayin), then even according to Shulchan Aruch the meat can be assumed to be the original (Yalkut Yosef 63:3). Nevertheless, one would have to recognize the piece of meat well (Yalkut Yosef 63:2), which should not be taken for granted with a hamburger or hot dog.
A minor cannot be trusted to recognize a piece of meat (Hagaos R’ Akiva Eiger, YD 63:1).
This column comes from OU Kosher’s Halacha Yomis dedicated in memory of Rav Chaim Yisroel ben Reb Dov HaLevy Belsky, zt’l, Senior OU Kosher Halachic Consultant (1987-2016). Subscribers can also ask their own questions on Kashrus issues and send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. These questions and their answers may be selected to become one of the Q and A’s on OU Kosher Halacha Yomis.