Q:

Why is it that fresh herbs must be checked for infestation but dried herbs are permitted without any checking? Is it because the companies clean the herbs really well before they dry and sell them?

A:


The factories do clean and sterilize the herbs somewhat before they package them, but that cleaning is usually not thorough enough to meet our standards for the removal of bugs. The herbs are acceptable for kosher use for an entirely different reason. Shulchan Aruch YD 84:8 rules that 12 months after a bug is "born" it becomes permitted because by that point it has surely died and dried out to the point that it is no longer a forbidden food-item. It is generally accepted to follow the lenient opinions cited in Darchei Teshuvah 84:102 that the same leniency applies to bugs which were mechanically dried (in less than 12 months). Therefore, even if the herbs were infested, the drying-process effectively renders the bugs as "kosher" and the herbs can be eaten as-is.


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