The concern of bishul akum is further complicated by a hotel staff's lack of familiarity with the fundamentals of kashrus, according to Rabbi Yosef Krupnik of the Council of Orthodox Rabbis of Greater Detroit.
"Imagine an affair where there's an omelet station.
The flame under the omelets tends to go out frequently, and we have to tell the non-Jewish workers that they can't relight the fire themselves when it goes out; they have to wait for the mashgiach.
They've never heard of such a bizarre concept!"
Perhaps because the rule is so foreign to them, Rabbi Krupnik adds, workers sometimes forget this "small detail" and relight the flame themselves.
This is no laughing matter, for not only will the resultant prohibition of bishul akum render the food forbidden, but the food will in turn transmit nonkosher "taste" to the utensils that are used to handle it.
Another little-known complication is that chefs often have their own favorite knives, which they keep with them and use wherever they go.
Rabbi Krupnik always emphasized to hotel employees that they cannot use their usual knives even to cut lemons and limes that will be served with drinks.
With decades of experience supervising "out of town" kosher affairs, Detroit's Rabbi Krupnik has keenly pinpointed a number of attitudes that lead to kashrus complications.
"Part of the problem actually has to do with the guests at a simchah," he
"Nowadays, people come to their caterers with all kinds of expectations," Rabbi Krupnik explains.
"Often, they saw something they liked at another person's simchah and they want to replicate it at their own."
But the host might be limited by various kashrus factors he
hasn't even thought about.
For example, an item that was acceptable to one supervisory agency may not be acceptable to another.
"There are issues that come up with affairs on Shabbos as well," Rabbi Krupnik adds.