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How do I ascertain whether a particular food item is Kosher for Passover?

by Mrs. Dinka Kumer

  

Library » Holidays » Passover » Chametz | Subscribe | What is RSS?


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Foods must be specifically marked with a “Kosher for Passover” symbol (hechsher) somewhere on the packaging. Often it will be one of the kosher symbols you see all year round with the words “for Passover,” or simply the letter “P”, underneath. Just make sure that the kosher food organization whose symbol is marked on the product is reliable. Manufactured food products that aren't labeled "Kosher for Passover" or don't have a little "p" next to their kosher symbol, may contain many non-Kosher-for-Passover items that the average consumer would never know about. Food production today is so vast and complex, without a certifying agency it is impossible to know. (These parameters also apply for meat, dairy, and fish products.) All fresh fruit and vegetables are kosher for Passover, and do not require rabbinical certification.


When in doubt…


If your food item in question does not have any such symbol, or you doubt the reliability of the one you find on the wrapping, call up your local Chabad Rabbi and ask him to check it for you. There are also online resources which assist in verifying the Passover "kosherness" of many products. See, for example, http://www.kashrut.com/Passover.1 Also, many people find handy the annually updated Passover digest put out by Rabbi Avrohom Blumenkrantz (can be purchased on line) which lists many food and non-food products - such as vitamins and medications - as being kosher for Passover, or not.


Ashkenazi Jews beware: A food may be 100% kosher for Passover, but you may not eat it if it contains Kitniyot which should also be clearly marked, usually next to the kosher symbol. This rule also applies for Sephardic Jews whose families observe the kitniyot tradition.

Footnotes

  • 1. Askmoses.com offers this URL as a service, but does not assume responsibility for the content of this site.

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Passover
A Biblically mandated early-spring festival celebrating the Jewish exodus from Egypt in the year 1312 BCE.
Kosher
Literally means "fit." Commonly used to describe foods which are permitted by Jewish dietary laws, but is also used to describe religious articles (such as a Torah scroll or Sukkah) which meet the requirements of Jewish law.
Ashkenazi
(pl. Ashkenazim). A Jew of Northern or Eastern European ancestry.
Kitniyot
Various legumes and grain-like substances. The medieval sages banned eating kitniyot during the holiday of Passover because it resembles Chametz (leavened grain products) which is Biblically forbidden during this holiday.
Sephardic
(adj.) A Jew whose ancestors stem from Southern Italy, Spain, Portugal, North Africa or the Arabian countries.