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Waiting Between Meat & Dairy

Waiting Between Meat & Dairy


The laws of kashrut 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 (neither meat nor dairy) 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.

After eating meat foods, we wait six hours before eating any dairyAfter eating meat foods, we wait six full hours before eating any dairy. 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, however, 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.

There are also certain slight restrictions on eating meat together with fish, and in certain communities, on eating fish together with dairy. Click here for more on this subject.

Illustrations by Yehuda Lang. To view more artwork by this artist, click here.
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Discussion (15)
June 2, 2016
waiting between meat & dairy
Vegan-ism is the answer! Totally easy to be purely kosher that way. And kind to the Creations of Has hem!
alice jena
richmond hill
May 23, 2016
I am Ashkenazi and was brought up to wait 3 hours between meat and dairy.
It was always acceptable to wait just 20 mins after dairy,(milk, cream, etc) but cheese was never a involved if meat was intended so soon after. I do have a frum cousin whose husband only ever waits 1 hour after meat, Now, after reading down your column ,I presume his Family follows Sephardi tradition. My long time curiosity is answered!
Sidney Peterman
Edgware, UK
July 10, 2015
I thought it was because milk gives life and meat is something that was killed. you would never mix life and death together.
February 10, 2014
Re:Cheese and Meat Roll
It is true that while biblically permitted, the Rabbis forbade eating fake dairy with meat, since it appears to the onlooker that you are eating meat and dairy together. This prohibition is called Marit ayin. However, since it is not really dairy, if you have something to clearly show that what you are eating is not real dairy (for example, you are drinking almond milk together with your meat, and you leave the bottle of almond milk there so all can see it is not cow's milk), then it is permitted. For more on this see The Obligation to Remain "Beyond Reproach".
Yehuda Shurpin for
January 24, 2014
Waiting period between eating dairy and meat
If you're a vegan, you don't have to wait between eating anything ! It's the ethical alternative.
January 23, 2014
Cheese and Meat Roll
Last year I travelled on long haul flight and was supplied a kosher meal of cheese and meat on a same roll. On further inspection I figured the cheese was parev. I didnt eat it, but the passenger next me (non yid) pointed out that that can't possibly be kosher.

On inspection of the airline meal it had a kosher stamp from a well known orthodox kashrut BethDin. My question is why does this BethDin authorise this meal as being kosher - it clearly does not look kosher and they are certainly sending the wrong message to the community and other onlookers.

I had been taught that in earlier times chicken was considered parev but to avoid pottential onlookers thinking a person may be eating chicken with say a milk and confusing it with meat, chicken was nominated as meat. If we are so careful about this rule- what right does a BethDin have to place their kashrut sign on something which looks like mixing of meat and milk. I continue to scratch my head in disbelief- Am I missing something her?
Chaim L
January 23, 2014
If we are Ashkenazi originating from Rhine region (West Germany , France) we wait only 3 hours between meat and dairy. Furthermore, if we are originating from Holland (Dutch Jews) only 1 hour is mandatory.
Freddy D Maier
January 23, 2014
Very Helpful!
This is very helpful. Thanks for posting it!
March 5, 2011
fish & dairy, poultry & dairy
Do the kosher rules of poultry & dairy apply also to fish & dairy? Why do the rules of beef & dairy (seething a kid in its mother's milk) apply to poultry and milk?
Fulton, MO
March 4, 2011
Most medicines are not a problem though some do have kashrut concerns. When that issue arises, an alternative kosher medicine should be found.

In a situation where no kosher alternative exists, a Rabbi should be consulted as health concerns will often push aside the kashrut issue. Each situation needs the attention of a Rabbi.

Approved medicine lists can be found online from various kosher supervision.
Yisroel Cotlar for
Cary, NC