Chief Rabbinate Pre-Pesach Alert Regarding Lettuce

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The Chief Rabbinate of Israel has issued an alert ahead of Pesach, warning consumers that while people are diligent in removing chametz and seeing to other yomtov needs, many are unaware that the so-called insect-free greens may by a far cry from claims made by the growing number of companies.

Testing was conducted before yomtov, under the direction of Tzfas Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu Shlita, who stands in charge of this department in the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. The testing appears to address lettuce and celery (Karpas).

Following is a translation of the Hebrew document released by the Rabbanut. It divides the greens into three categories;

1.  Should soak in soapy water and follow instructions on package:
2.  Must be soaked in soapy water before use:
3.  Soak in soapy water and check each leaf separately against the sun:

The attached list has been issued after blind testing for the Israel Chief Rabbinate’s Kashrut enforcement dept by three separate labs.

Should soak in soapy water and follow instructions on package:

Birkat Katif
Chasalat
Cohen Mann Farm
Alei Habesor

Must be soaked in soapy water before use:

Glatt Alim
Yevulei HaNegev
Yarok mehaKfar
Yarok min HaTeva
Meitav Haaretz
Marina Glatt
Alei Bodek
Alim Yerukim
Alim Nekiim
Katif BaGolan
Katif Haaretz HaTova

Soak in soapy water and check each leaf separately again the sun:

Birkat David
Y. Yevulei Katif
Yevulei Lachish
YKM (Yerek Katif Mehadrin)
MS Katif
Alei Hasharon
Tenuvot Haaretz

The Rabbinate states that none of the above should be taken to mean that any of the companies listed should be avoided.

Link to original Chief Rabbinate test document.

Link to accompanying letter of explanation.

Pesach Kasher, Samayach and bug-free!

(Yechiel Spira – Jerusalem Kosher News, www.jerusalemkoshernews.com)


5 COMMENTS

  1. If all that checking STILL has to be done, then WHY BUY these “kosher” greens for 4-5 times the price of a regular lettuce with no hashgacha???

  2. #1
    In addition to the price, the head os lettuce are about 1/3 as large.
    If I had a nickel for every bug I have found in so-called checked lettuce, I would be retired by now.

  3. Re my original comment (#1) – I am NOT intending to be sarcastic.

    The whole idea of buying these “kosher” brands of lettuce (etc.) is so that we don’t have to have the tirchah of washing, checking, etc.

    If we do STILL have to wash and check we can save a LOT of money (like 75%) by just buying regular lettuce.

    Can anyone tell me if there is any good reason that we shouldn’t do that?

  4. We buy regular Romaine lettuce from the local produce market, and wash and check it. Once you get used to any mitzvah it isn’t a burden.

  5. I don’t see why anyone would want to buy those whole heads and wash them, I plan on buying the already washed whole leaves. If I remember correctly from last year, Positive Produce had it and I hope they will have it this year as well. But then again, maybe they are also full of bugs. Did any rabonim check it?