Suit claiming Hebrew National hot dogs are not kosher dismissed

Judge says he has no jurisdiction over faith-based disputes

ConAgra Foods Inc. no longer has to worry about the holiness of its hot dogs. On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank dismissed a consumer lawsuit filed in May 2012 that alleged the company’s Hebrew National hot dogs and other products are not kosher.

The suit claimed the packaging was misleading, featuring a symbol that led consumers to believe the products were kosher by “the most stringent” Orthodox Jewish standards, when in fact ConAgra’s contractors did not follow the proper religious procedures. The plaintiffs sought class-action status, an injunction against the labels and unspecified damages.

Frank, however, said he could not issue a ruling, because Supreme Court precedent does not allow civil judges to resolve disputes that are “intrinsically religious in nature.”

"Any judicial inquiry as to whether defendant misrepresented that its Hebrew National products are ‘100% kosher’ (when Triangle K, an undisputedly religious entity, certified them as such) would necessarily intrude upon rabbinical religious autonomy," he wrote.

Read more at Thomson Reuters.

 

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