For meat to be kosher, you must start at the very beginning. You must ensure that only healthy animals are slaughtered for use in kosher foods. These animals must have split hooves and chew their cud. Cattle and sheep are the primary animals used in the koshering process. In the USA, only the front quarters of the animal are used for koshering.
If you see any of the symbols that are represented, it means "the food has been inspected by one of the many kosher certifying agencies in the United States. Each agency identifies itself by its own unique symbol."
Hogs and pigs do not chew their cuds and are therefore not Kosher.
A kosher inspection starts while the animals are still alive and continues until the finished product leaves the plant. This system operates under the diligent and watchful supervision of kosher inspectors, who stringently control the process from the time the meat is slaughtered until it is shipped.
Kosher Slaughter (Shechitah)
This is where additional costs come in. The slaughter is performed by a "shochet"
(a man of skill, piety and expertise). Make sure that:
1. Neck area is clean
2. Severing of the trachea and esophagus
3. Cut is within the proper area
4. No hesitation
5. No pressing
6. No tearing