Whole Cashews in Cashew Chicken:
A friend of mine emailed me a picture a while ago of an opened cashew with a bug in it and said (don’t know if he had a psak for this) that we must check cashews before eating them. The other night I ordered Cashew Chicken from the local Glatt Kosher Chinese restaurant not thinking about what my friend had told me. When it arrived, the dish was covered in full cashews (which were not very cooked). Was I supposed to open up each cashew to look inside? Since that is not practical (or sanitary since it is covered in sauce), should Chinese restaurants be serving this dish?
In quality, fresh and properly stored and transported cashews, bugs are extremely rare. They fall under the category of “miut sheino matzui” a very small percentage [well under 10 percent]. This minimal level of infestation does not require checking according to halacha. If the restaurant has a reliable hechsher, the cashews are presumably quality controlled. In addition they are usually frequently spot checked by a mashgiach for infestation. In such a scenario the cashews may be eaten whole without checking.