The owner of the main outlet for kosher food in Liverpool, England, was found dead, just days after his business was caught selling non-kosher meat and poultry, the Liverpool Echo reported Wednesday.
Robert Kaye, a married father of two who owned Roseman’s Delicatessen, was found dead in nearby Manchester, the report said.
His death came after the Liverpool Kashrut Commission said in a letter to residents that “serious breaches of kashrut (Jewish dietary laws) have taken place at Roseman’s Delicatessen.”
Liverpool Jewish community leaders called his death tragic.
“It is with extreme sadness that we heard today of the tragic circumstances of Mr Kaye’s death,” Howard Winik, chairman of the Merseyside Jewish Representatives Council, told the Echo. “The circumstances are very tragic and we send our condolences and very best wishes to his wife and two children.”
The Liverpool Kashrut Commission also expressed its regret.
“The LKC would like to express its condolences to the family of Mr Robert Kaye upon his sad passing,” it said.
In exposing the kashrut breach, the LCK had called on the store’s patrons not to use “all utensils that have ever been used to cook meat/poultry bought at Roseman’s” and to throw out all food bearing the Liverpool Kashrut Commission symbol. The store also sold prepackaged meat from other suppliers.
The LCK said that synagogue and communal kitchens were being restored to kosher status and that he would soon advise on koshering homes, including ovens.
Roseman’s reportedly denied rumors earlier this year that it was closing down.
The Jewish News wrote in an editorial that “Liverpool has been badly hit by the economic downturn and the effects of austerity. Jewish families, who can ill-afford the higher costs of kosher at the best of times, are not immune. Beyond the immediate cost and disruption to families, there must be a serious investigation into how non-kosher food was sold in good faith as kosher. It’s truly scandalous.”