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Unattended Kosher Food in Hospital Room


Unfortunately, we will be in the hospital with our son for a few months while he receives cancer treatment. I have obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) that mostly resolves around kashrut issues which is the context of this question. Do I need to be concerned about the kosher food we bring in to the room being unattended when we are not around? For example, we have a full pizza and leftovers from kosher restaurants in there now that have no hescher sticker on the boxes. I suppose the concern would be someone could switch the food, or otherwise tamper with it while we are gone. There would potentially be hospital staff that come in and out. I know that might sound crazy, but the OCD messes with my mind and it is going to be a long few months here.



HKB”H should send your son a refuah shleima, btoch shar cholei Yisroel.

Regarding your question, you do not have to be concerned, for a number of reasons. First of all, there is no concern when the person who might enter doesn’t know when you are coming back, and is afraid that you will come back momentarily, therefore he won’t risk switching anything. In most instances, that you leave your room, no one knows when you are coming back. A second factor is, that we ae only afraid that something might get switched if the gentile has what to gain by the switch, i.e. he will take a more expensive piece, and place a cheaper one in its place. When you have a pizza pie or some leftovers from a restaurant, the gentile doesn’t really have what to gain by switching his pizza with yours, or his meal with yours.

Best wishes


שולחן ערוך יורה דעה הלכות מאכלי עובדי כוכבים סימן קיח סעיף י  “המניח עובד כוכבים בביתו, ובו דברים שאם הוחלפו יש בהם אפילו איסור תורה, אם הוא יוצא ונכנס או אפילו שהה זמן רב ולא הודיעו שדעתו לשהות, מותר, ולא חיישינן שמא החליף, אפילו אם הוא נהנה בחליפין, והוא שלא סגר הבית עליו”. ערוך השולחן יורה דעה סימן קיח סעיף ל, “והנה הסכמת כל רבותינו הראשונים והאחרונים דלא חשדינן ליה לעובד כוכבים שיכשיל את הישראל בחנם כשאין לו הנאה מזה”.


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