[Avodah] Is one required to have two sets of salt shakers, one for dairy and one for meat?

Akiva Miller akivagmiller at gmail.com
Mon Jan 3 17:35:22 PST 2022

R' Yitzchok Levine cited:

> From today's OU Kosher Halacha Yomis
> Q. Is one required to have two sets of salt shakers, one for dairy and
> one for meat?
> A. The Rema (YD 88:2) writes that there is a minhag is to have separate
> bowls of salt for milchigs and fleishigs. This is because when one dips
> food into the salt, crumbs might remain behind. This concern seemingly
> does not apply to a saltshaker. The salt is well protected inside the
> shaker, and it is extremely unlikely that any crumbs will fall through
> the tiny holes. Nevertheless, there is a widespread minhag to have
> separate saltshakers. Sefer Badei Hashulchan (88:30) points out that if
> there are young children who might touch the saltshaker to their food,
> then it is certainly proper to have separate saltshakers. He applies this
> to other condiments that are brought to the table as well, such as ketchup
> and mustard. If there is concern that children might squeeze the bottles
> right against their meat, it is best to designate them for meat or dairy.

There does not seem to be any concern that the salt shaker or condiment
container might be dirty with grease or pieces of food from the previous
meal. In light of the halachos of Mayim Acharonim, it seems to me that we
are concerned about hands getting dirty during the meal; if so, it seems
likely that some of the food will get onto the container, where it could
get transferred to other foods at the next meal.

This is especially so, given the halacha (Yoreh Deah 89:2) that when going
from dairy to meat, we must make sure that our hands are clean to prevent
these mixtures. I have not noticed this requirement when going from meat to
dairy, and my guess is that there's a presumption that the residue will
come off of the hands during the long meat/dairy waiting period. But the
residue will stay on the condiment containers, unless one has a practice to
wash them off after every meal.

Can anyone offer additional information on this?

Akiva Miller
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