The lawsuit, which sought class-action status, was filed in U.S. District Court in Minnesota. It alleged that the fraudulent mislabeling of food as kosher has been a problem for years. The suit alleged ConAgra was aware of the value consumers put in seals and standards, such as the "Triangle K" on Hebrew National meats to represent that they are kosher.
In order for meat to be considered kosher, the animal the meat came from must be healthy and clean, meaning it can't have dirty hides covered in mud, sand or stones, the suit said. The lawsuit alleged the animals used to make Hebrew National products did not meet those standards, and that unclean and unhealthy animals were often selected to be slaughtered for kosher meats.
In his ruling, Frank noted that Triangle K and its Orthodox rabbis determine whether food is kosher.
"Naturally, therefore, this Court cannot determine whether Defendant's Hebrew National products are in fact kosher without delving into questions of religious doctrine," the judge wrote.
Shares of ConAgra fell 3 cents to close at $32.69 Thursday.