Jan 30, 2011
SushiGate in RBS
For some background, for those unaware of what "sushigate" is, for some reason Rav Malinowitz had JKN investigate the kashrus of a local sushi business, called Sushiagogo. It seems they were advertising that their business operated under the hechsher of Agudas Yisrael. Calls to the Aguda made it clear that this was not true, the Aguda said an announcement must be made to that effect, and if people ate food from the sushi place, it might not have been kosher and they should consult with their rav as to how to proceed.
After Shabbos it was further investigated and discovered that the sushi place was buyign their sushi from a factory that was under the supervision of Agudas Yisrael, but the sushi place was not itself under this supervision. They had made a private arrangement with the Aguda mashgiach and he certified that their sushi was kosher. Being that they were buying Agudas Yisrael sushi from the factory and using the Aguda mashgiach, plus the mashgiach used the Aguda name, they seem to have mistakenly been under the impression that the Aguda was giving them the certification.
It turns out that the Aguda was not aware of the arrangement, as the mashgiach had never mentioned it to them. Therefore, when they demanded the announcement, they were assuming someone claiming their hechsher falsel, so they were concerned the food was not kosher. Now that they have been apprised of the situation, they have said the food was kosher until now. The Aguda and the mashgiach have said that it was the mashgiach's error, and the food until now was fine, but the private arrangement will no longer continue. Food until now was kosher, but from now on it does not have their hechsher (perhaps they are arranging an alternate hechsher).
As only one side in this story has been heard until now, and that was via the emails they themselves publicized on the various email lists, I thought it would be helpful to get the other side of the story as well. I emailed a series of questions to the owner of Sushiagogo, and he sent me his responses.
Open thread in the comments, keep it clean.