Uncleanness is not to be equated with dirty or evil. A person who was ritually unclean was not permitted to take part in Israel’s worship. Ritual cleanness and uncleanness set Israel apart from all other peoples, and emphasized approach to God as a unique and special experience.
Chapter 11 Clean & Unclean Food
The root of ritual cleanness and uncleanness is religious, not hygienic. On the prohibited list of unclean foods are scavenger animals, and many animals prominent in pagan worship and witchcraft. The ground these and other similar regulations rests on is this: “consecrate yourselves, and be holy, for I am holy.” V44 Israel is to live out her consecration to God in everyday life as well as in special times of worship. Diet regulations serve as a daily reminder to separation.