CRC Pesach Kashrus Alerts (Pesach 5772 / 2012)

(Monday, April 2nd, 2012)

By Rabbi Sholem Fishbane

Kashrus Administrator of the Chicago Rabbinical Council

Kashrus Updates

cRc Coffee Policy for Pesach: Coffee beans that are plain, unflavored and are not decaffeinated do not require Pesach certification, but the grinder should be clean.  Instant, flavored, or decaffeinated require certification. Folgers, Tasters Choice, and Nescafe instant coffee, unflavored, regular (not decaf) is acceptable without special Pesach certification.

ACE Productions (the media division of the Chicago Rabbinical Council) has released a new video starring Rabbi Yaakov M. Eisenbach on How to Prepare a Seder Plate. This video (and other fine ACE productions for Pesach i.e. How to Kasher Keilim and How to Wash Romaine Lettuce) can be found at: http://bit.ly/GXlYeD

Non-kitniyos nuts are acceptable for Pesach if there is no BHT/BHA and are not blanched or roasted. However, pecan pieces may be soaked in alcohol during and require certification.

Consumers are cautioned not to take for granted that a product is Kosher for Pesach simply because it is in the Kosher for Pesach section of their store, or because a “Kosher for Pesach” sign is posted. Each year there are numerous instances, even in Jewish stores, of non-Pesach products mistakenly being mixed in with Pesach products, usually because their labels are almost identical. This occurs frequently with Telma soup mixes and cubes, Osem, Gefen, Haddar, Manischewitz, Empire and other brands of products that have both Pesach and non-Pesach versions of the same products with similar labels.

Those purchasing larger cuts of meat (such as is used for food service) which is in a Cryovac bag and is not certified for Pesach should (a) wash off the meat before cooking and (b) cut off any edible ink.  The reason for this is that the Cryovac bags may be lined with starch and the ink may be kitniyos-based.  Other forms of raw or frozen meat (or poultry) that are not processed or ground, and do not contain other ingredients, are acceptable without special Pesach certification.

The cRc Pesach Shopping Guide had listed baby powder as being acceptable for Pesach without any Pesach supervision. Please note that some baby powders may contain oat flour. As such, baby powders are only acceptable if they only contain talc, talcum powder, corn starch, or other innocuous ingredients.

Twenty five (25)lb. bags of Andean Naturals Organic Golden Royal Quinoa (Specialty Commodities, Inc) have been distributed with stickers bearing an unauthorized OK Kosher for Pesach symbol. This product is not certified by the OK.

Pedialyte freeze pops, liters, singles, and powder packs are acceptable for use on Pesach as long as they bear an OU on the label. They are all kitniyos and are therefore only suitable for cholim.

Benefiber, a product of Novartis, is OU certified but is chometz. This should not confused with Resource Benefiber, a product of Nestle Healthcare, that is found primarily in Healthcare Facilities, which is OU certified and is chometz-free.

All Pompeian brand Grapeseed Oil is acceptable for Pesach with only the Star K on the label. The “P” Pesach designation is not needed.

All Dole, Fresh Express and supermarket brand bagged salads with a Star-K next to the date code are Kosher for Pesach without the “P”. This, of course, does not include any salads that contain kitniyos.

Gerber 2nd Food 4oz. jars of carrots and squash are chometz free. The green beans and peas are also permissible but are obviously kitniyos and special care is needed with dishes. Both are permissible with only the OU. The “P” is not required.

The following are the only cRc certified stores selling fresh prepared Pesach foods: Hungarian Kosher in Skokie and Srulie’s inSkokie (and available at select Jewel locations).

Nestea brand instant tea, both regular and decaf unflavored are acceptable without Pesach certification.

Although cRc certified during the majority of the year, certain packages of products manufactured by the following companies may have the cRc logo removed or covered during a short period after Pesach. This is because although their chometz has been sold over Pesach the company continues to operate over Pesach. Please be careful to check those products as the cRc does not certify those specific items unless the cRc is on each package: Bulldog Bakery, Today’s Temptations, Eli’s Cheesecake, Biondillo’s.

Rubenstein canned salmon that only has added salt and water is kosher for Pesach with only the OU.  All Pillar Rock Salmon (with only salt and water added) in both cans and pouches is acceptable for Pesach with only the OU on the label. The “P” is not required.

Real Lemon and Real Lime brand juice concentrate is acceptable for Pesach even without the “P” on the label. This only applies to this brand.

The following are some brands of raisins that do not require special Pesach certification. The OU alone is sufficient and the “P” is not required: Del Monte: natural and golden, Dole, Fisher Nut, Great Value, Jewel, Kroger, Market Basket, Market Pantry, Member’s Mark, Price Chopper, Publix, Ralph’s, Setton, Stop & Shop, Trader Joe’s: Raisins, (also Bing cherries, fancy dried nectarines, fancy dried pears), Winn Dixie.

All Mountainside Farms milk,Roxbury,NY bearing date codes April 10th through April 21st are OU certified Kosher for Pesach. The “OU-KP” stamped after the code was left off some cartons.

Dallas Kosher regrets to inform the public that this year there are no local dairies that have agreed to produce Kosher Pesach milk. The options for KFP consumers this year are limited, but there are two reasonable choices: 1) a limited amount of Lamer’s Brand Cholov Yisroel milk available at some of the local supermarkets or 2) buy all milk before Friday, April 6th at 10:58am. This option only applies to unflavored white milk. The reason this is allowed is that any trace of chometz from the vitamins or equipment will become nullified before Pesach.

Spectrum brand unrefined coconut oil is kosher for Pesach. This only applies to this brand for 2012 and only when bearing the OU on the label.

cRc Frozen Fish Policy for Pesach: In order to keep fish looking and tasting fresh many companies flash freeze their fresh fish in a solution that may contain a small amount of corn syrup. (An extensive article on this topic can be found at http://bit.ly/H0kVbG)   Therefore one should purchase fresh frozen fish with a Pesach certification. There are several brands that are acceptable without Pesach certification which includes Kof –K certified C. Worthy Frozen Raw Salmon and The Great Fish Company Frozen Whiting if they originate from Chile only, OK certified Costco fresh frozen salmon, and OU certified Kirkland brand salmon. Please see our website for a more extensive list of permitted brands http://bit.ly/GBjMoy  If one can not find any fresh frozen fish with a hechsher or that is not on an approved list they may use regular fresh fish if they wash it well with cold water.

Chia is not considered kitniyos, and may be used on Pesach after a cursory inspection to ensure no other grains are mixed in. However, hemp seeds are considered kitniyos, and may not be used on Pesach. Please note while fennel seeds are treated like kitniyos the fennel leaves are acceptable without hashgacha but need to be checked for insects.

Coca Cola will not be available in California this year due to a quirk in the law that would make the ingredients unacceptable. In Chicago, products produced by Pepsi Cola had two different kosher certifications, the Kof-K and US Kosher. In states where Coca Cola is available with an OU-P for Pesach, it will only be available in Regular and Diet flavors (not even a Caffeine-Free version). This year, in New York, Coca Cola items will be made with an OU-P in 2 liter bottles.

Pepsi on the other hand was offering Kof-K kosher Pesach beverages that included a Caffeine-Free version of regular and diet Pepsi. In addition Pepsi was also producing Pesach versions of Seven-Up, Sierra Mist, Canada Dry Ginger Ale, Lemon-Lime Seltzer, Mandarin Orange Seltzer and regular seltzer. It was also offering a variety of Dr. Brown’s flavors.

SOY MILK, RICE MILK and ALMOND MILK: Lieber’s Almond Milk is under the certification of Rabbi Weismandel as kosher for Pesach. This is preferable to the soy and rice milk (which are kitniyos and may even be made on chometz equipment) that are permitted for cholim which can be found on various Pesach Lists. There are however many soy and rice milks that may contain actual chometz (for example the Kirkland Rice milk certified by the Scroll-K). The following soy/rice milk products are chometz free and may be consumed by cholim (it is recommended that those who require these products ideally purchase them before Pesach): 1) ZenSoy vanilla, plain, chocolate and cappuccino soy milk. 2) Soymilk, Original – Giant, Shop Rite, Winn-Dixie, Price Chopper, Meijer, Stop & Shop, 365 Everyday Value. 3) Rice Milk, Original – Shop Rite, Meijer, Price Chopper. Rice Dream – Unsweetened Rice Milk (not standard Rice Milk). 4) Almond Milk (Original only) – ShopRite, 365 Everyday Value, Kroger, Meijer, Ralphs, Trader Joe’s, Winn-Dixie, Price Chopper. For a more complete list of such products please visit our website at http://bit.ly/H15Ya6

Tissues that are infused with oils or scents may be used on Pesach.

Toothpaste may contain chometz and therefore the cRc only recommends using toothpaste with a Pesach hechsher.

Please note that regular canned tuna needs hashgacha for Pesach due to fillers and broths used in the product.

Whole Star anise with no additives is acceptable for Pesach. Although it has a similar taste to anise, it is not at all related to true anise and is not a Pesach concern.

There are different opinions whether cumin is kitniyos. The cRc considers it kitniyos while other reliable agencies do not.

Due to a packaging error, old packaging has been used for some Tate & Lyle sugar. Nevertheless, all Tate & Lyle Granulated and Caster Sugar (1kg or 500g packs) bearing the KLBD logo are kosher certified for Pesach even though not bearing a KLBD-P (Kosher for Pesach) logo.

One of the cat foods listed in the cRc Pesach Guide has been reformulated and now contains chometz. Science Diet (dry) Adult Light Cat Food now has Oat Fiber listed in the ingredients and is being removed from the cRc pet food list.

Ben-David Winery, based in Moshav Sdei Eliezer, was found to be using the “OK” symbol on bottles of Merlot 2008 (a dry red wine) without authorization. The label states “OK-P” (Kosher for Pesach), but, in actuality, the wine has a regular non-mehadrin supervision and is the product of heter mechira grapes.

Joyva products are normally under the supervision of the Kof-K during the year. However, the Kof-K does not supervise any Joyva products for Pesach because they may contain kitniyos.

Although Y’chin aseptic pack tomato sauce was distributed by theHebrewTheologicalCollege (Skokie Yeshiva) for Purim is marked kosher for Pesach, it does contain soybean oil which is kitniyos. The Pesach certification was given by a Sephardic agency which allows kitniyos on Pesach.

Chicago Rabbinical Council Quinoa Policy: quinoa needs a special Pesach supervision and there are three options that one can purchase them: 1) Andean Naturals with a lot code beginning SCI-JI sold only in 1,000 lb increments (888) 547-9777 x 711  www.andeannaturals.com 2) Andean Naturals with a lot code beginning SCI-JI sold in wholesale 25 lb bags. (914)220-2974 http://www.layapaorganic.com/Contact_Us.html  3) Quinoa Corp, Ancient Harvest brand, lot code 3.01.14 k, sold in small retail 12 oz boxes. When ordering directly from them, mention that you want the Pesach run. (310) 217-8125 http://www.quinoa.net/   It is important to note that even the quinoa from the above approved sources should be carefully checked before Pesach for any foreign matter before use. This can be done by spreading the quinoa out on a plate and carefully checking there are no other grains or foreign matter mixed in. One may use any leftover quinoa from last year Pesach.

There are two types of parchment paper, Quilon and Silicone. All Quilon type paper requires a reliable hashgacha during the year while the silicone type does not. Both require special Pesach certification. All parchment paper under the certification of the Star K is permissible for Pesach even without Pesach certification. This is not to be confused with wax paper or freezer paper which does not require any certification during the year or for Pesach.

The Dannon Company will not produce its traditional OU yogurts for Pesach. The Vanilla, Plain, Coffee and Lemon flavors are certified by the OU and in previous years had been available as certified kosher for Pesach. This year Dannon has chosen not to offer this product.

To receive email kashrus alerts, send your name and email address to: alerts@crcweb.org 

The cRc is proud to introduce the cRc Kosher APP now available FREE OF CHARGE on all iPhones, iPods, iPads & Palm WebOs! Android App is available at http://bit.ly/cRcAndroid. Blackberry APP is not available at this time.

Alerts are compiled from Kashrut.com http://www.kashrut.com/Alerts/ , kashrus agencies’ websites; Kashrus magazine; Kosher Information Bureau; Jerusalem Kosher News www.jerusalemkoshernews.com  – jerusalemkn@gmail.com, Shatnez Laboratory; and from the Guide to Chodosh (Rabbi Yoseph Herman).

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)

6 Comments

  1. Milhouse says:

    I don’t see why cat food should be a problem, even if it does contain chametz. It’s not eaten by normal people, and the chametzs is less than half, so while one may not eat it, one may own and derive benefit from it. (see Shulchan Aruch OC 442:4 and Rambam ChuM 4:12)

  2. hendoner says:

    To #1 I would say that the London Beth Din has a list of pet foods (cats/dogs/fish) which can be used for Pesach. Even the Mishna was concerned about pet’s welfare on Pesach. See the Mishna in Challah Perek Aleph Mishna Ches which evaluates Matzah made for dogs if it can be used at the Seder and if Challah has to be taken.

  3. Milhouse says:

    #2, What on earth are you talking about? Who cares whether the LBD has such a list or not? What does it prove? And what has the mishneh in Challah got to do with Pesach? The mishneh merely discusses whether or not a dough intended for dogs is considered bread. What has it got to do with the subject here?

  4. shazam says:

    #1: “I don’t see why cat food should be a problem, even if it does contain chametz.”

    Sorry, you don’t but the cRc and Star-K explicitly do. Any pet food which contains chometz ingredients (barley, rye, oats, wheat, and/or spelt) may not be used on Pesach. They are not considered Ta’aruvos Chometz (which OC 442 is all about), but actual Chometz, which one may not benefit from (regardless of the percentage of chometz contained) unless it reaches the stage of “aino ra’uy l’achilas kelev” – cannot be eaten by a dog – which pet food, by definition, is not.

  5. Milhouse says:

    #4, yes, I know the cRc thinks there’s a problem – the article says so! Hence my comment which points out that the cRc is WRONG. If the Star-K share this amhoratzus then they’re wrong too.

    How can you say that a pet food which contains chometz is not a taaroves chometz? What do you think taaroves means? Are you stam an am hooretz? How can you not know that anything with less than 50% chometz is by definition a taaroves?

  6. torahwriter says:

    #1 – min baino mino bnosen taam, and is oser to use on pesach, and the owner may be over bal yiroeh ubal yimatze.

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