Swine flu not kosher in Israel

JERUSALEM Mon Apr 27, 2009 5:37pm EDT

A woman cooks tortillas, a staple of Mexican cusine, while wearing a facial mask to protect herself against the outbreak of swine flu in Mexico City April 27, 2009. REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez

A woman cooks tortillas, a staple of Mexican cusine, while wearing a facial mask to protect herself against the outbreak of swine flu in Mexico City April 27, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Jorge Dan Lopez

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Swine flu? Not in the Jewish state.

"We will call it Mexico flu. We won't call it swine flu," Deputy Health Minister Yakov Litzman, a black-garbed Orthodox Jew, told a news conference Monday, assuring the Israeli public that authorities were prepared to handle any cases.

Under Jewish dietary laws, pigs are considered unclean and pork is forbidden food -- although the non-kosher meat is available in some stores in Israel.

(Writing by Jeffrey Heller; Editing by Charles Dick)

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