What can’t Jewish people eat?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “ What can’t Jewish people eat?”. We will also discuss what they can eat and who governs the dietary requirements.

What can’t Jewish people eat?

Jewish people cannot eat foods and drinks that are outlined as prohibited in the Torah, which is called Trefah which includes meat from certain animals, certain dairy products, certain grains, and certain ways of eating foods and mixing different types of food.

Jewish people are only allowed to eat Kosher foods which are Hebrew for “fit for consumption”. All Jewish people follow the Kashrut which is the Jewish dietary law to choose what to eat, and what to avoid.

Specific types of meat 

Animals that do not have cloven or split hooves and do not eat the cud are considered non-Kosher according to Kashrut. Animals such as pigs, rabbits, squirrels, camels, kangaroos, and horses are not allowed. Any predatory animals or birds that prey on other animals or birds are also not allowed.

Scavenging or predatory birds such as eagles, owls, vultures, gulls, and hawks are forbidden to use as food. Even the cuts of beef such as flank, short loin, sirloin, and shank that comes from the hindquarter of the animal are also not permitted to be eaten.

Meat that is not prepared or slaughtered according to Kosher rules is not allowed to be consumed by Jewish people. There is a certain way the meat needs to be slaughtered and prepared for cooking.

A Shochet, a Jewish person approved to slaughter the kosher animal with Jewish rule known as Shechita is only approved for eating. The eat is to be entirely drained off the blood as blood is not approved for consumption.

The meat is salted for 30 minutes, soaked in water for 1 hour, and drained and washed before cooking to make sure there is no blood remaining in the meat.

Dairy from a non-kosher animal

Consuming dairy that does not come from a kosher animal is also prohibited for consumption by a Jewish person. The dairy or dairy product that has been processed without using kosher guidelines is also not allowed.

A dairy product such as cheese which has been made using animal-based derivatives like gelatin and rennet is also prohibited to be consumed as they are not considered kosher. Any dairy mixed with meat or meat products or utensils used for processing or cooking meat is also not considered kosher as the Kashrut identifies it as non-kosher.


New grains that were planted and harvested after the Passover festival the previous year are also not considered kosher. The grains should be in their second year of harvest to be included in the kosher diet.

Grains that are not processed using kosher guidelines or are not labeled kosher are also not allowed to be consumed by Jewish people.


Pareve is anything in between meat and dairy which includes fish, eggs, fruits, and vegetables. Fish that do not have fins and scales such as scallops, prawns, lobsters, oysters, and other seafood are not considered kosher.

Eggs should not have any blood traces inside them to be considered kosher, if there is a blood line inside the egg, then it is not allowed to be eaten. Fruits from a tree that is not three years old are not considered kosher which also includes the products from those fruits like wine, jams, and jellies.

Who governs the dietary requirements?

The dietary laws under the biblical and rabbinical practices are governed by the Kashrut. The rules that are set out in the Torah have to be followed by the Jewish people. The products that are sold in the market need to be Kosher certified by different rabbinical bodies where they mark the labels if the products are Kosher.

The certification is called Hechsher which is marked as K inside a circle in the packages. All the Kosher certified products including meats, dairy, and pareve which include vegetables, fruits, and fish are labeled as being kosher by different certifying bodies who all follow Kashrut rules.

What can Jewish people eat?

Jewish people can eat any food that is considered kosher. In regards to meat, they can eat any animal with their hooves split into halves and that can eat their cud such as cows, sheep, goats, oxen, and deer. Poultry that has been domesticated like chicken, geese, ducks, quail, and turkey are also allowed.

Dairy and dairy products like milk, cheese, and butter from kosher animals are allowed. But mixing meat and dairy is a big no-no in the kosher diet as it is prohibited in the Torah.


In this brief guide, we answered the query, “What can’t Jewish people eat?”. We also discussed what they can eat and who governs the dietary requirements.

I hope you find this blog useful. If you have any questions, please let us know.




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