Beef from cattle slaughtered and dressed in accordance with certain prescribed Jewish rites is known as "kosher beef." The term "kosher" means clean, or ceremonially clean. The method of slaughter differs from the usual custom in that the animal is not stunned before the throat is cut. The vital organs receive a special inspection, and the carcass is cleaned under the supervision of a Rabbi of the Jewish church, or his representative, who places a mark on the forequarter for purposes of identification.
In the United States, only the forequarters, often with the rib cuts removed, are used by orthodox Jews. These must be used within three days after slaughter. If not used within that time. the meat must be washed every third day thereafter until the twelfth day, after which it is no longer considered kosher, but is referred to as "tref," and may not be used. Most "kosher" markets sell only the square cut chucks (chuck, plate, brisket, and shin). Boston is probably the only exception. In that market the entire forequarter, which includes 10 ribs, is used by the "kosher" trade. Such trade ,is confined principally to the larger cities that have considerable Jewish population.