Questions on Food Restrictions During the 9 Days - Part 2
Shailah of the Week by Rabbi Zvi Nussbaum
Rabbinic Coordinator, Kosher Hotline Administrator for the Orthodox Union
Although it is customary to sample Shabbat food every Erev Shabbat, during the 9 Days one would have a problem, as it is forbidden to consume meat during this time. Some poskim say that one may taste the food but spit it out and not swallow it. Others maintain that one may indeed sample the meat dish on Erev Shabbat if their custom is to do so on every Erev Shabbat. Rabbi Wosner, z”l, was of the opinion that as long as one is sampling a little bit to see if it needs more spice etc., it is permissible as this is not included in the prohibition which is to eat meat to increase one’s level of enjoyment.
The Iggerot Moshe writes (O”Ch 4:21.4) that while children who are of age to understand the concept of not eating meat during the 9 Days may not be fed meat on Friday, however if such children are usually fed an hour or two before Shabbat because Shabbat is very late , then one may feed them at that time before Shabbat during the 9 Days as well.