Kosher dietary laws determine which types of meat a person can eat and how they must be slaughtered. These regulations also dictate the types of birds and seafood that individuals may consume. If wine or grape juice is desired, it must meet certain standards. The same is true of dairy products, which cannot be consumed with meat. Adhering to these laws also tends to require individuals to have more than one set of cooking utensils and dishes.
Kosher dietary laws determine which types of meat can be eaten, and they outline rules for preparation. To be considered kosher meat, an animal is required to chew its cud and must have cloven hooves. This means that animals such as cows, deer, and sheep are permitted, but pigs, camels, and rabbits are not.
Additionally, any animals that are eaten must be ritually slaughtered. This means that they must have their throats cut in a humane manner, which should be done by a qualified individual. Then they must be hung to allow the blood to drain from them. Consuming the blood of an animal is forbidden. After the draining process, the meat must be washed, and it should be salted or broiled to make it kosher. It is also important to note that certain parts of kosher animals may not be eaten, such as the sciatic nerve or any fat that surrounds an organ.
Certain types of fish are permitted, but many other types of seafood are not. For a sea creature to be kosher, it must have fins and scales. As a result, seafood such as tuna, salmon, and cod are permitted, but an individual must avoid selections such as octopus, squid, and crabs. To simplify it a bit further, all shellfish must be excluded from the diets of those who follow kosher dietary laws.
With regard to birds, the laws provide a list of those that are not considered kosher, leaving individuals to enjoy species such as chicken, duck, and goose. Scavenger birds are forbidden, meaning that species such as eagles and hawks may not be consumed. Kosher dietary laws allow individuals to drink both wine and grape juice. These beverages may be consumed only if they are made under Jewish supervision. The reasoning for this stipulation is that the kosher laws prohibit consuming anything that is offered to idols.
Kosher dietary laws also dictate the preparation and consumption of dairy products. To begin with, dairy and meat may not be consumed together, meaning they may not be eaten in the same dish, such as lasagna, or even during the same meal period. This required separation also means that a lot of cheese is not kosher because cheese is often made with the lining of a cow's stomach.
Furthermore, kosher dietary laws extend to the utensils and equipment used for preparation and eating. For example, if heat comes into contact with an item that is used for the preparation of food, that item must be used only for food of that status. This means that a pan used to make beef stew may not be used later to prepare macaroni and cheese. Likewise, an item that has been used for non-kosher food may not ever be used for kosher foods.