As mentioned elsewhere, we are responsible for the appointment of a Beth Din, the support of Mikvaois and the Burial of the Poor. Our prime function, however, is the provision of Kashrus services. This area of activity can be divided between Shechita and supervision on the one hand and the grant of Kosher approval to companies and products on the other. It is the former that provides the subject matter for this overview. The latter falls under MBD Kosher Certification Services Ltd and is featured elsewhere on this site.
We carry out shechita in a number of abattoirs, providing the full range of kosher meat and poultry for its butchers and manufacturers and through them, to the community at large. According to current legislation, all shochtim have to be in possession of a Local Authority licence as well as one emanating from the Office of the Chief Rabbi. This acts as a guarantee of adequate religious knowledge as well as technical ability. All of our shochtim hold such licences.
Cattle and lamb shechita is performed in Stoke. It is our aim to provide its licensees with both beef on the bone as well as with pre-packed beef and lamb, porged, koshered and de-boned at the abattoir.
For some time we have carried out Shechita in Poland. The meat from this project is sold both as non-processed and manufactured to a number oif European countries. It is hoped that some of the processed meats will also be sold on the American market.
Poultry is processed in Manchester and Tarleton at purpose-built poultry abattoirs. The full range of chicken, hen, turkey and duck is available to the community via their local butcher.
Whilst the number of butchers continues to decrease, our licensees ensure that all parts of the community are serviced either through their shops or by home delivery. The majority sell only glatt products and all operate under a high level of on-site supervision. MBD Shechita Services Ltd maintains a close and harmonious working relationship with its licensees, which is essential if the needs of the community are to be fully met.
Whilst all butchers also produce manufactured meats, the company supervises a specific plant dedicated to manufacturing namely Tovah in Manchester. This company provides an excellent range of products and competes well with the ever-increasing variety of processed meats available from manufacturers both in the UK and beyond. With the removal of the ban on British Beef in Europe, Tovah is indeed ideally placed to take advantage of this and create a substantial export business.
The licensing of caterers provides a challenge for Manchester Beth Din Ltd which it endeavours to meet. Whilst those supervisors who control the Kashrus at caterer’s premises are not in the public eye, those who provide a supervision service at catered functions are very much ambassadors for the Beth Din. Caterers are acutely aware of the crucial role played by the supervisor in ensuring that all runs smoothly and the client too, wishes to be assured that the standards that they are seeking by taking a licensed caterer are being maintained in conditions which are often difficult and unusual. The combination of traditional high quality Kosher caterers with the licensed departments of such prestigious locations as the Radisson SAS and Lowry provide catering for all tastes.
We are acutely aware of the need to provide a variety of eating-out venues for the Community to ensure that Kashrus is maintained both within and outside the home. All tastes, be they traditional or exotic, meat or dairy, eat-in or take-away, formal or informal are all expertly catered for by the our licensees. It is to be hoped that the growing numbers living on the South side of the city will also be able to support similar establishments in the future.
With four bakers operating from premises in the North and one in the South, the community can have its bread and eat it! The community expects to be able to purchase traditional challos for Shabbos, bagels on a Sunday morning together with more innovative and imaginative bread and patisserie. There is a long tradition of excellence in baking in Manchester and it is gratifying to see this expertise being passed on from generation to generation. It is to be hoped that Kosher L’Pesach products will soon be added to the bakers’ repertoire.
From Bobbies Fish operating from a unit to much smaller “cottage industries” operating from converted garages, a whole range of products are produced under supervision to be sold both to retailers and private customers. All these are supervised by representatives of the company with unannounced visits at unsocial hours often being the method of ensuring full compliance with the required standard.
Manchester Beth Din is proud that Fulda’s Hotel, which has become something of a landmark on the Manchester kosher scene, operates under its supervision. It is a long-established facility, unique in the city, which has served the needs of several generations.
It is one thing to supervise a catered function in the warm and welcoming atmosphere of a city-centre hotel. It is quite another to arrive at a snow-covered milking parlour at the crack of dawn in sub-zero temperatures at the end of a long, winding farm track. Such is the dedication of the supervisory staff that this is all part of a days work. Whether enjoying a delicious fresh cream cake or a refreshing milk shake, it is worth remembering the effort that has been expended to produce supervised milk and cream in the most trying of conditions.
We supervise a number of school kitchens both in the North and South of the City to ensure that school meals are not merely wholesome but also of a high kashrus standard. Not only the young generation at school, but equally those who are infirm, elderly, or challenged in other ways receive supervised meals in a number of wonderful institutions that offer them care and security or, as in the case of the Meals and Wheels Service, in their own home. We are proud to be able to play a part in assisting schools and other Organisations in the wonderful work that they carry out.
The community is blessed with a significant number of shops dedicated to providing for its needs. Whilst many of the items sold bear a recognised Hechsher, there are also many items on the shelves that do not. We provide personnel to visit these shops on a regular basis to ensure that these products, whilst not supervised are indeed Kosher. This ensures that anyone purchasing food in an inspected shop can do so with confidence in the knowledge that nothing non-kosher is being sold.
It is hoped that the above will have given visitors to this site an indication of the multi-faceted nature of on-site supervision at licensed establishments and supervised events. Our staff who carry out these onerous responsibilities in an efficient and professional manner deserve the acclaim of the Community as it is they who provide the guarantee that our food is prepared according to the practices and standards that the kosher consumer is entitled to and deserves.