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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Former L. A. Kosher Meat Distributor Says RCC Knew About Doheny Meats For Years

The Kashrus scandal in Los Angeles continues to brew, with the latest report via the Jewish Journal website. In their article, Daryl Schwartz, the owner of Kosher Club, a retailer and distributor of kosher meats, claims that he witnessed Doheny Kosher Meats repacking meat in boxes labeled “Glatt Kosher” as early as 2010. He also says that he reported what he saw to the Rabbinical Council of California, and was told that they “would look into it”.

The following is from the Jewish Journal:

The Rabbinical Council of California (RCC) abruptly revoked its certification from Doheny Glatt Kosher Meats on March 24, but the RCC, Los Angeles’s leading kosher oversight agency, had first heard about the distributor’s suspicious practices years earlier.

Eric Agaki, an investigator who had been independently monitoring Doheny’s warehouse on Pico Boulevard and another location in the San Fernando Valley for the past six months, told KTLA on Sunday that he had discovered the company was selling meat as Glatt Kosher that had not been certified as such.

In an interview with The Jewish Journal on Wednesday, Agaki said that so far, he could only prove the 53-year-old company had been selling its customers meat that was kosher, but not “glatt kosher,” a higher standard.

But Agaki said that he doubted the meat allegedly repackaged and sold by Doheny was kosher by any standard.

“We think that they were packed with treyf, just regular meat,” Agaki said.

Agaki captured video and physical evidence that he said showed Doheny’s owner was reusing boxes from Agri Star Meat and Poultry, a glatt kosher meat processor, packing them with non-glatt kosher-certified meat, and then resealing them with fraudulent tape and labels that said “Aaron’s Best,” an Agri Star brand.

The investigator’s findings were first reported by KTLA on March 24, the day the RCC revoked Doheny’s certification. But Daryl Schwartz, the owner of Kosher Club, a retailer and distributor of kosher meats that closed its doors on Pico in 2011 after more than 20 years in business, told The Journal that he had known years earlier about everything Agaki later found.

Schwartz also said that, as early as 2010, he reported seeing the empty boxes, fraudulent labels and fraudulent tape to Rabbi Nissim Davidi, the RCC’s kashrut administrator.

“It was numerous times over the years,” Schwartz said.

Schwartz said he got the same response each time.

“He [Davidi] said, ‘I’ll look into it,’” Schwartz said.

Whether Davidi or anyone in the RCC investigated the suspicious practices Doheny is not yet known.

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