Kosher meat scandal hits L.A.
(JTA) — An undercover video captured the owner of a Los Angeles kosher meat market bringing unsealed boxes of chicken into the store, leading to the revocation of the store’s kosher certification.
Mike Engelman, the owner of Doheny Glatt Kosher Meats, was videotaped on March 12 directing his employees to unload boxes of meat from his car while the store’s kosher supervisor was absent. The footage led the Rabbinical Council of California to revoke the shop’s kosher certification on March 24, the day before Passover, leaving many kosher consumers in the lurch.
Engelman eventually admitted his wrongdoing after initially denying the accusations in a meeting with the rabbinical council, the L.A. Jewish Journal reported.
“He did claim that it was kosher — I think that the way he put it was that he ‘never brought non-kosher meat into the store,’ and that he ‘never sold something not kosher,’” said a source who attended the meeting on Sunday, according to the newspaper . “But he did acknowledge bringing in boxes — he claimed it was poultry — into the store.”
Engelman has run Doheny, located on Pico Boulevard in the heart of Orthodox Los Angeles, for 28 years. He declined to comment on the advice of his attorney.
The footage was shot by Eric Agaki, a private investigator acting independently of the rabbinic council, the Jewish Journal reported.
On Thursday, Doheny reopened under new rabbinical supervision.
Rabbi Menachem Weiss, whose father, Rabbi Meshulom Dov Weiss, is listed as the shop’s new kosher supervisor, told the newspaper that two supervisors would be present in the store at all times and that seven cameras had been installed to permit remote monitoring of the premises.