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Waiting Periods Between Meat & Dairy

Waiting Periods Between Meat & Dairy


The laws of kosher require that in addition to not eating them together, we wait a specified period of time between eating meat and eating dairy.

After eating dairy and before eating meat, eat something pareve, which does not stick to the palate. Then rinse your mouth, or take a drink, and wash your hands. In addition, many have the custom of waiting a certain period of time -- a half-hour or an hour. After eating certain hard cheeses, a six-hour waiting period is required (see Why the extended wait between eating "aged" cheese and meat?).

After eating meat foods, we wait six full hours before eating any dairy. The six-hour waiting period is standard for all Jews, except those groups which have halachically established other customs.

If a small piece of meat is discovered between the teeth, remove it and rinse the mouth, but an additional waiting period is not required (even if six hours have elapsed since eating meat). If even the smallest amount of food is chewed or swallowed, the full waiting period becomes necessary.

If food is tasted but immediately eliminated from the mouth before chewing or swallowing, then no waiting period is required. One should rinse the mouth well.

Meat and dairy foods may not be eaten at the same meal, even if they are in separate dishes and even if the waiting time elapses.

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Discussion (27)
January 24, 2017
Thank you.
Palisades, NJ
January 23, 2017
Waiting 6 hours for turkey or chicken
Yes, we wait six hours for turkey and chicken too. Although technically not meat, we treat them as meat in almost all ways.
Rabbi Yossi Grossbaum, for
Folsom, CA
January 23, 2017
To Judi
Yes, plain eggs (not cooked with dairy) can be eaten with meat. They are considered a neutral food. Staff
January 22, 2017
Can eggs be eaten with meat?
Judi levy
January 20, 2017
Does the 6 hour waiting period apply to Turkey and chicken as well or is there a lower restriction for that?
January 16, 2017
No It is Not In the Torah
The Torah does not mandate this waiting period. Rather, this safeguard was enacted by the sages so that not come to accidentally break Torah law.
Menachem Posner
January 16, 2017
Other customs
The article does state that there are "groups which have halachically established other customs." Since this leniency applies only to people who follow the customs of those specific communities, it was not thought wise to go into great detail on a page as basic as this one, leaving room for misunderstanding.
Menachem Posner
January 15, 2017
How come you only bring the Beth Joseph not the yekki or the Dutch minhag of keeping one hour
Rabbi Dovied zwi
December 26, 2016
Where is this law on the Torah.It sounds like many of the commandments that the Jews broke by adding to or taking away from Gods Word. If it's the scripture about not cooking a kid in it's mothers milk, I think there is another more logical interpretation.Any one know?
Randolph Cain
November 22, 2016
Re: When is it batul?
Breathing "meat" air or mist is not enough to be considered eating. You may eat dairy immediately afterwards (although you should probably wash your hands, in case you touched something in the meat kitchen).
Eliezer Zalmanov
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