Orthodox Jews Worry Water Isn't Kosher
Tue Jun 1, 7:25 AM ET
NEW YORK - Orthodox Jews in New York have become concerned that the city's drinking water may not be kosher because it contains tiny crustaceans known as copepods.
The organisms, which measure about a millimeter long, pose no threat to human health, according to the city Department of Environmental Protection. But Orthodox teaching bars the eating of crustaceans — aquatic animals with skeletons outside their bodies, including shrimp, crab and lobsters.
The organisms first came to the attention of Jewish leaders in Brooklyn two weeks ago, The New York Times reported Tuesday. An Israeli produce company that exports kosher vegetables to New York alleged that its products had become infested with insects after being washed in the city's water.
An examination of the water under a microscope revealed the copepods, which are common in unfiltered ocean water and groundwater. The city's supply comes mostly from reservoirs upstate and rates high enough under federal standards not to be filtered.
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