By Rabbi Yair Hoffman for the Five Towns Jewish Times
A salad was purchased in the heart of a major frum community in the NY metropolitan area. The establishment from which it was purchased has a Heimishe hashgacha and a mashgiach checking the lettuce. But if you see what is inside, you won’t be happy. The salad, made mostly of Romaine Lettuce, is filled with thrips.
Thrips are minute, slender insects with fringed wings and are also most definitively – non-kosher.
Thrips are generally tiny (1 mm long or less) and are not good flyers, although they can be carried long distances by the wind. They are nira la’ainayim. In the right conditions, like indoor growing rooms or greenhouses, many species can exponentially increase in population size and form large swarms because of a lack of natural predators, making them an irritation to humans.
The take home lesson? Consumers should be on top of hechserim to make sure that everyone is doing their job.