When a person uses a utensil with hot food, the utensil absorbs some of the food’s flavour. As well, any flavour that has been absorbed into the utensil will be expelled into the food. Therefore, if fleishig food was cooked in a utensil which has previously absorbed milchig flavour (such as a pot within which milchig food was cooked), the fleishig food becomes forbidden for consumption, as it has absorbed flavour from the pot in which it is currently being cooked.
This though only applies when the fleishig food is being cooked in a pot in which milchig food was previously cooked within 24 hours. Only then will the flavour that is absorbed into the walls of the pot be considered tasty and when released into the fleishig food become forbidden by halacha. However, if twenty-four hours have elapsed since milchig was last cooked in the pot, the fleishig food does not become forbidden for consumption when the pot is clean, for at this point, the pot will only release “putrid” milchig flavor into the fleishig food and such flavor does not have the power to prohibit the food after the fact.
It must be noted that a person may not use a milchig pot that was used within 24 hours to cook fleishig. This is because if people were allowed to use pots that were not used within 24 hours, they may come to cook with pots used within 24 hours and cook fleishig and milchig together.
So, if a person stuck a milchig spoon into a fleishig pot that is boiling, the spoon will absorb some of the flavour of the fleishig food and become forbidden to use for both fleishig and milchig. Next month we will discuss what should a person do if such a spoon got mixed in with other spoons and it is not recognizable.
What should a person do if after he finished putting away all his cutlery he noticed that he had accidently stuck his milchig spoon in a boiling fleishig pot and now it was mixed in with all his other milchig cutlery? Does he have to kasher all his spoons?
When the milchig spoon was stuck in the boiling fleishig pot, the spoon absorbed some of the flavour of the soup and may not be used with either fleishig or milchig dishes.