Photo: Shaul Golan
Gefilte fish controversy
Photo: Shaul Golan

Gefilte fish importers cry foul

Importers claim local producers not subjected to strict gefilte fish standards

Fish war: Gefilte fish importers are charging that they are being subjected to severe discrimination from the Israel Standards Institute, which subjects imported goods to strict standards not enforced against locally produced fish.


Gefilte fish is a traditional Jewish dish of poached stuffed fish that can be served either warm or cold.


As it turns out, gefilte fish is subjected to specific regulations. According to the relevant standard (number 841for those who care) for preserving fish, applicable to carp preserved in gefilte fish sauce, each piece is supposed to be made of carp alone.


But importers claim that in reality, the standard is not being applied to local producers and is only being enforced against them.


“It turns out that the stuffed fish pieces suffer from serious discrimination in Israel,” a statement by the importers said.


Gideon Regev, who heads the food department in the Chamber of Commerce, said “the Israeli gefilte fish is made of mixture of fish, but local producers are not subject to any enforcement mechanism.”


Regev says the Standards Institute does not allow fish ball importers to refer to the product as gefilte fish unless it’s made of carp only.


“There is no justification for this or a traditional reason stemming from unique recipes,” he said. “The product meets all regulations and is imported with a Health Ministry permit. There is no reason not to call the product by its real name.”


The Israel Standards Institute, meanwhile, said the Health Ministry was in charge of the matter.


פרסום ראשון: 11.23.05, 11:35
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