From the Rav’s Desk: May one place a box of salt in the same bag as meat or milk during shopping?

  1. Question: [Monday, 7th Elul 5781]

I once heard that when you go shopping you shouldn’t put the salt bag or box in the same bag as meat and milk and I would like to know if this is correct?


While there is basis in the Poskim for such a stringency, those who are lenient have upon whom to rely. If you would like the stringent, then when you go shopping you should initially avoid placing salt which is meant to be designated as Pareve in the same shopping bag as meat or milk even if they are both closed and in containers or plastic wrap. Rather, they should each be placed in separate bags. If, however, you have separate salt containers for meat and milk, then you may place the meat designated salt container with meat and the milk designated salt container with milk. All the above is only initially to be followed, however, Bedieved if one already placed the salt in the same bag as the meat or milk it may still be considered Pareve.

Explanation: The Talmud states that a vessel which contains Kutach is not to be near salt [which is designated as Pareve or meaty]. Some write that this is due to worry that perhaps milk will fall into the salt, and it will not become nullified, and one will then come to use the salt with meat. Others write that the reason is because salt has ability to suck the milk flavor from the nearby vessel. The ramification between the two reasons is regarding if the salt and dairy are not touching in which case according to the first reason it is still a problem while according to the second reason it is permitted. Another ramification is regarding if both the dairy and salt are closed, in which case according to the first reason it is not a worry while according to the second reason it is still is a problem. Practically, one is to suspect for both reasons and opinions and not place salt and a Kutach near each other unless one is covered and they are not touching. Now, regarding if this ruling applies to all milk products or only to the Kutach dip, then while certainly the worry of the first reason which is regarding spillage is applicable to all milk products, some Poskim suggest that the second reason of absorption is only relevant to the actual Kutach dip. Likewise, it is unclear if the above applies only towards dairy or even towards meat. Accordingly, while there is room to be stringent to initially avoid placing salt and dairy or meat in the same bag when shopping, those who are lenient certainly have upon whom to rely.

Sources: See Michaber and Rama Y.D. 95:5; Chulin 112a; Darkei Teshuvah 96:85-89; Kaf Hachaim 95:60-65; 1st Reason: Rashi Chulin 112a; Taz 95:16; Shach 95:22; Beis Yosef 95; Peri Chadash 95:20; Kaf Hachaim 95:60 2nd reason: Rambam, brought in Peri Toar 95:7; P”M 95 M,Z, 16; Zivcheiy Tzedek 95:41; Kaf Hachaim 95:61; Regarding Bedieved: Kneses Hagedola 95:9; Erech Hashulchan 95:19; Zivcheiy Tzedek 95:44; Kaf Hachaim 95:64-65; See Admur 462:20; Piskeiy Yoreh Deah p. 206; Regarding a Kutach versus other dairy products see: Issur Viheter, brought in Toras Chatas Kelal samech, and Drakie Teshuvah ibid


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