Pesach FAQs

 
Pesach FAQs

Reminder:  When purchasing kosher l’Pesach goods from a non-supervised establishment, make sure all items bear a reliable kosher l'Pesach hechsher and do not contain kitniyot. 

What is chametz?
The term chametz applies to fermented food or drinks made from wheat, barley, rye, oats and spelt.  When these grains or their derivatives come into contact with water, fermentation is assumed to have taken place and the food is considered chametz unless, like matza, it is manufactured under very specific conditions and with rabbinical supervision.

Many common food ingredients such as glucose, caramel, citric acid and vitamin C are often made by fermentation of wheat. 

What is kitniyot?
The term kitniyot refers to grains and legumes not consumed on Pesach by Ashkenazi Jews. Examples include beans, corn, peas, lentils, rice, mustard, peanuts, chick peas and other pod vegetables. Since there are many kosher l’Pesach products made for the Sephardi market which do contain kitniyot, it is important for Ashkenazi consumers to check the labels carefully. 

Is quinoa kosher for Pesach?
Some Kashrut Agencies in the USA allow it on Pesach, although many Israeli authorities consider it kitniyot. For further information click here. We recommend that quinoa is not used on Pesach unless it is specifically needed for health reasons, in which case it should preferably be purchased with a kosher l’Pesach hechsher. There are a number of varieties on sale in kosher stores. 

Can I feed my baby regular baby milk?
Kosher l’Pesach baby formula is available from kosher shops.  In cases where this cannot be used, see the KLBD Approved Product list. Separate utensils should be used as most baby milks, including kosher l’Pesach baby formula, contain kitniyot. Since feeding bottles normally come into contact with chametz, it is recommended to purchase new ones for Pesach. 

Can I give soya or rice milk to a child with an allergy to cows’ milk?
In cases of medical need, it would be permitted to use soya or rice milk. Kosher stores sell brands with a kosher l’Pesach hechsher (containing kitniyot). Alternatively, the following do not contain chametz and may therefore be used for Pesach 2016:

Alpro Organic Soya Wholebean Unsweetened UHT
Provamel Soya Natural Unsweetened
The Bridge Rice Natural
Rude Health Brown Rice 

Liebers kosher l'Pesach Almond Milk is sold in some kosher stores. It does not contain kitniyot. 

Is it permissible to use Egg Replacers on Pesach for those on special diets?
Email info@kosher.org.uk for advice from the KLBD about permitted products. 

Can diabetics use regular glucose tablets?
Glucose tablets are not suitable for Pesach, but Glucogel is an excellent alternative, available from pharmacies. 

Are plain, cut up fruit and vegetables from the supermarket ok?
These are best avoided as they may contain antioxidants such as Ascorbic Acid or Vitamin C which could be of chametz origin.  

Can one buy fresh fish from the supermarket?
It is always better where possible to purchase food for Passover, including fish, which has been prepared under rabbinical supervision. However, if that is not possible, then one may buy frozen or fresh fish from any fishmonger, provided some skin is still attached. It is advisable to rinse it thoroughly before use. 

For a list of kosher fish, see The Really Jewish Food Guide or alternatively use the Isitkosher Search

Does tea and coffee really need to be kosher for Pesach?
Products such as herbal teas and decaffeinated coffee may contain actual chametz. The long standing custom in the UK and beyond is to buy all manufactured products with a kosher for Pesach label so as not to confuse ordinary tea with Earl Grey, regular coffee with decaffeinated coffee or other more sophisticated products which are problematic on Pesach. 

What can I feed my pet on Pesach?
Since one is not allowed to have chametz in one’s possession over Pesach, nor to derive benefit from it, one cannot feed pets on Pesach with foods containing chametz, nor can one keep such food in the house. 

Many common brands of pet foods contain cereal and are therefore not suitable for Pesach. For general advice on suitable alternatives and to view the list of Pet Foods approved for Pesach by the KLBD, click here

Can I use disposable tableware?
There is no problem with polystyrene, plastic and Chinet products, aluminium foil or foil containers. As paper plates and lids for foil containers usually contain starch which may be chametz, some people prefer to avoid their use particularly with hot or wet food. Kosher shops stock paperware, baking cases and baking parchment known to be starch free. 

The following products were tested by the KLBD in 2016 and have been found to be starch free:

Essential Waitrose Kitchen Towel
Plenty Kitchen Towel
Sainsbury's Greaseproof & Baking Paper
Sainsbury's Ultra Absorbent Kitchen Towel
Thirst Pockets Super Absorbent (Decorated)
Tesco Kitchen Towel
Tesco Ultra Absorbent Kitchen Towel 

For details of plastic ware, foil containers with lids and aluminium foil produced by Euro Disposables and certified kosher l’Pesach by the KLBD, see the KLBD list of Approved products under ‘Disposables’. 

Is there a problem with regular bottled water?
All bottled, still and naturally carbonated water is fine. Artificially sparkling water may be carbonated with CO2 from the brewing industry and should be avoided unless specifically approved. For a list of products checked by the KLBD, see the Approved Products list under ‘Mineral Water’. It is always better to buy products that are made under rabbinical supervision for Passover. 

What is the position with diet drinks certified kosher for Pesach, such as Diet Coke?
Diet drinks are sweetened with aspartame, which is made from ‘kitniyot shenishtanu’ - kitniyot which has gone through a significant chemical change. 

Although as a general rule, such a change alone is not relied upon as a reason to permit a non-kosher substance, some Kashrut Authorities are lenient in the case of kitniyot which is only a minhag (albeit a very ancient and important one).  Other authorities rule one should be strict even in the case of kitniyot. For one who wants to be machmir (strict), it is preferable to avoid. 

Is one allowed to eat items made with Matza Meal on Erev Pesach?
It is prohibited to eat matza from dawn on Erev Pesach until Seder. This prohibition includes items made with matza meal such as cakes or biscuits but items cooked or deep-fried such as knaidlech or fried fish balls are fine. 

Is one allowed to eat Egg Matza on Pesach?
Ashkenazim do not allow Matza Ashira on Pesach except for the old and infirm but it is ideal to eat before Pesach in areas which have been cleared of chametz, but only until the last time for eating chametz. 

Is there a problem with ink on eggs coming from alcohol which could possibly be chametz?
The ink used to stamp eggs is made from two components; a colouring agent and a solvent. The colouring agent is purely synthetic and therefore does not present a problem. The solvents most commonly employed are isopropanol, which is not a problem for Pesach, or ethanol, which could potentially be derived from wheat and therefore be chametz. However, even if wheat derived ethanol was used, the solvent completely evaporates within a fraction of a second after applying the stamp and it is no longer part of the ink. In any case, one does not eat the shell! 

Does a non-Jew really own my chametz on Pesach?
Yes! The sale of chametz carried out today is a legally binding sale using a contract. The sale is usually carried out by a rabbi on behalf of his community. Various methods of transaction are used including the buyer making a down payment; exchange of properties; handing over of keys; various legal documents, and in some cases a guarantor on behalf of the buyer.

The buyer purchases outright all the products listed on the sale forms. After Pesach, the rabbi and the non-Jew meet up again at which point the rabbi demands payment in full or alternatively he will offer to buy back chametz. When the non-Jew chooses the latter, the chametz reverts to the possession of the original owner.

Date Uploaded: 
Thursday 31st March 2016