Treif in Miami
The Yeshiva World reports that the kosher chinese restaurant in Miami, Fu Xing was selling non-kosher chickens. Now it probably shouldn’t matter as Miami is trief anyways, but there is a silver lining; I now know conclusively that non-kosher chicken does not taste better than the kosher variety.
Now on a serious note, let me tell you what the problem is: the standard of kashrus. I know many kids who made extra money as teenagers working summers as mashgichem for restaurants in Miami. This is a typically low paying job and you can’t support a family on it, so its high school to college age kids that work at this. Now I’ve done this myself and I’m pretty sure I know most of the people who worked as mashgichem in Miami restaurants.
The only requirement was that they met with the rabbi who headed the position in the beis din who would ask them if they were shomer shabbos. Thats it. The only people who had any training were those who did it full time which wasn’t many. They were taught the basics of shomering: unlock the fridges, light the fires, check the fridge for hechshers on everything, lock up at night.
The main problem is that noone checked on the teenagers who were mashgichem and noone checked if they kept kosher themselves.
I know one person very well. He worked at a restaurant as the mashgiach for almost three years. He had gone off the derech years before. He didn’t keep kosher and he didn’t keep shabbos, yet he was responsible for a prominent restaurant being kosher.
Now in fairness to him I know he was actually meticulous. He knew his stuff (learned on the job of course) and nothing treif passed through that resturant. He may not keep kosher but he knows its importance to everyone else who eats there. Unfortunately, he split the shift (mornings or nights) with another guy who I’m pretty sure didn’t care.
The whole system needs revamping. Right now its based around money. Restaurants want the kosher business so they tolerate having a mashgiasch, however they pay around $7-8 an hour and so as not to have a dead hand around they always require the mashgiach to work preparing the food as well, further limiting his ability to be checking on the workers.