Kosher Kitchen

We are becoming more observant and considering becoming kosher. If we decide to do so, what process, if any, is available to make our dishes kosher, or must we get all new dishes?

Kosher Loopholes?

I was with family in New York who are very Orthodox and strictly kosher, so I was very surprised by what I saw happen in their house. They were cooking meat on the stove and one of the children accidentally dripped a couple drops of their ice cream cone into the pot, which I would have thought would have made the whole thing non-kosher. But my cousin, who is very strict about everything and studies Torah every day, came home and said it’s ok because not enough dripped in to render the meat not kosher. I didn’t want to say anything, but it seemed very self-serving; how could he decide that it’s “not enough” to make it non-kosher?! If G-d said meat and milk is treif, why would this not be treif?! Am I missing something?
I would appreciate your answer because this has really been troubling me; in my mind it calls into question their integrity in all they do.

Kosher Fish Oil

I have been suffering from a severe allergy condition for a number of years. It has affected my breathing and overall physical condition in a very profound way. Conventional medicine has not been able to do very much, as the side affects at times outweigh the benefits of the medication. I have been trying the non-conventional route for some time now, and my practitioner is urging me to try taking a very powerful Omega-3 oil supplement, which may be the answer. This fish oil, however, is not kosher, as a significant percentage is from the liver of a shark. Although the shark it’s derived from does have scales, so maybe it is kosher as it has fins and scales? If it is, great, if not, what could I do – is there a way to take this oil if I keep kosher?

Kosher Facility

Could you please explain what does it take for a restaurant to be “kosher,” other than the obvious? Does the restaurant have to be “inspected” regularly? Is there a restaurant hechsher posted somewhere? Who certifies the restaurant’s bona fides? Does a Jew have to supervise or work there and, if so, does he (can the person be a “she”?) have to be in the kitchen, and what is this “official” person “required” to do? Does the restaurant have to employ any Jews? Does it have to be owned by a Jew? I am certain I have lots of questions I don’t have the time to think of…