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Animal Food, Frozen Food & Muktzeh

The Daily Halacha Moment - Animal Food, Frozen Food & Muktzeh 🍲

״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)

“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


Is animal food muktzeh?

Is inedible food muktzeh?

Is frozen food Muktzeh?


Food that is only fit for animal consumption is not considered muktzeh, provided that the animal is in the household, or, is commonly found in one’s city (even if it is an ownerless animal).[1] Even foods that are forbidden for human consumption but permitted to derive benefit from, such as an animal that was not slaughtered properly or chicken that was accidentally cooked with milk, are also not considered muktzeh since they can be given to one’s animal or to a non-Jew. [2]

Foods that are partially edible, such as dates that have been picked when they are not fully ripe, are not considered muktzeh. [3] Similarly, cucumbers that are not fully pickled yet are not muktzeh since they are still considered edible. [4]

All cooked and baked foods that are frozen are not muktzeh, since it is possible for the food to defrost on Shabbat. This is permitted even if one froze the food with the intention that it should not be eaten on Shabbat (Rav Moshe is stringent).[5] Similarly, stale bread is not considered muktzeh, since it is possible to eat it with soup or some other liquid and soften it.[6]


[1]. Shulchan Aruch 308:27, 29. Ohr LeTzion, vol. 2, 26:8 states that if the city is very large and an animal is only found at the other end of the city, then the meat will be considered muktzeh since the animal is not considered “available.” However, Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 3, p. 23, Yabia Omer, vol. 9, 108:154 and Halichot Olam, vol. 3, p. 210 state that the poskim, including the Ben Ish Chai, Miketz 2:15, do not give a limit to how close the animal has to be, and it would seem that it is enough that the animal is found in the city, even if the city is very large and it is not practical to go to the other end of the city on Shabbat. This is similar to the sefer HaTerumah §84 who permits one to touch challah that was made in Chutz LaAretz, since it is permitted to be given to a Kohen who is a minor, even though there is no

Kohen presently in one’s vicinity.

[2]. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 3, pp. 22-23 and p. 112.

[3]. Shulchan Aruch 310:2; Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 3, p. 86.

[4]. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 3, p. 86; Shevet HaKehati, vol. 2, 139:1.

[5]. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 3, p. 9, unlike the Igrot Moshe, O.C. vol. 5, 22:35 who states that if one had intention to not eat the food on Shabbat then it will be considered muktzeh.

[6]. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 3, p. 9 and vol. 4, p. 291.

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