Raw Kosher Meat and Poultry for Passover

Rabbi Moshe Klarberg

Whilst meat and poultry in their pristine raw state are inherently chametz-free year-round, and should not require any additional special supervision for Passover, contemporary production methods could invalidate the Passover status of even the plainest cut of butchered raw meat.

In some meat packing plants, meat and poultry might be packed on equipment that had previously processed chametz products. While cold equipment used with raw product will not have absorbed any chametz (kosher law assumes that equipment will absorb only via hot processes), there may be residual chametz on the machinery, which could then chametz-contaminate the surface of the meat.

In reality, cuts of raw meat can be remedied for Pesach by an effective rinsing of their surface under cold water. Ground meat, though, cannot be sufficiently “cleansed” by rinsing as the meat is often processed in grinders that also process chametz-containing products such as kishke. Without a thorough sanitation of the machinery between different products, the ground meat can potentially contain actual kishke particles – nullifying its use for Pesach.

Products from local butcher stores and supermarkets, with the plethora of products (including Chametz ones) being processed nearby, cannot be recommended without a there being a special Passover program in place – even for raw meat and poultry products.

Please see the OU’s 2014 Passover Guide for up to date information on Meat and Poultry.