Long Island, New York, July 17, 2012, 4:00 pm -- /EPR NETWORK/ -- Under Jewish kosher dietary laws, you can't mix kosher and non-kosher food at any meal or in any kitchen. If you do, then the kosher food becomes tainted and is no longer kosher.
Scott Morrell, head of one of Long Island's largest kosher caterer, is accused by former employees of preparing and serving, over a number of years, non-kosher food in kosher kitchens - - food that he represented as kosher. This is a direct contravention of kosher dietary laws.
Two former employees of Morrell Kosher Caterers allege that as part of Morrell's non-kosher catering business , Morrell brought non-kosher food into the kitchen of Temple Beth Torah. This food was placed on the same food preparation tables where kosher food was also being prepared, and the same pots and pans were deliberately used to cook both kosher and non-kosher food.
The result of this deliberate co-mingling of kosher and non-kosher food, pots and pans is the contamination of all the kosher food prepared in the same kitchen, from that first moment of contact onwards.
Examples of the non-kosher food introduced into the kosher kitchen by Morrell include shrimp, lobster, pepperoni, prosciutto, and sausage. Despite this, Morrell represented that the food being served at kosher events his firm catered was in fact kosher and, as such, customers were charged more money for the kosher affairs. Typically, Morrell contracts for kosher events included a charge of $800 for kosher food.
Class Action Lawsuit brought by Morrell Employees -- A Second Lawsuit
But this is not all the bad news for Morrell. A second lawsuit , a class action brought by hundreds of former Morrell employees , accuses Morrell's company of, over a six year period, holding onto service charges included in the catering contracts -- money that was earmarked for waiters, bus staff and maitre d's. The employees said that the caterer also demanded that they give back to Scott Morrell any cash tips they received at events catered by Morrell's company.
Howard Fensterman Morrell -- A Third Lawsuit
Howard Fensterman Morrell -- A third lawsuit against Morrell was by attorney Howard Fensterman. It alleges breach of contract and fraud by Morrell regarding a function hosted by Fensterman on May 29, 2010. That event was catered by Morrell's firm. The suit accuses Morrell of substituting lower priced liquor for premium, top- shelf liquor brands, as called for in Fensterman's contract.
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