Top FAQs of Passover 2017: A Compilation of Consumer hotline, live chat and e-mailed questions

April 5, 2017

Q: Do raw nuts require certification for Passover?

A:  Raw nuts in their shell do not require Passover certification. Shelled nuts that list BHA or BHT (preservatives) in the ingredients require special Passover certification. Please note that regarding peanuts different communities have different customs. Some consider them to be kitniyot; while others eat peanuts on Passover. Pecans are only acceptable with special Passover certification.

Q: What coffees are acceptable for Passover?

A:  All regular ground unflavored non-decaffeinated coffees are acceptable for Passover use when bearing an OU.

      Decaffeinated coffee: Coffee is often decaffeinated by means of ethyl acetate, which is derived from either kitniyot or chametz. Therefore, decaffeinated coffees are not acceptable for Passover unless specifically marked for Passover or found in either our Passover Guide or on oupassover.org under the heading of products certified for year round use and Passover.

      Instant coffees often contain maltodextrin, which is derived from either from corn (kitniyot) or wheat (chametz). Therefore, all instant coffees require special Passover certification unless    explicitly mentioned in our Passover Guide or on oupassover.org under the heading of products certified for year-round use and Passover.

      K-cups – Unflavored, not decaffeinated only. The OU symbol often appears on the box and not on the individual cup. Please refer to page 63 of the OU Passover Guide for a listing of brands or  utilize OU Kosher’s product search feature at oupassover.org

 

Use of nutritional and dietary supplements on Passover for infants and the infirm:

   Q1: Which baby formula can I use for my infant on Passover?

     A: Most infant formulas are made from soy products which are kitniyot. Since kitniyot does not apply to infants most formulas may be used on Passover.  For a list of acceptable formulas  please visit:  http://oukosher.org/passover/articles/baby-formula/ or see page 100 of the OU Passover Guide.  Please note that care should be taken to keep bottles, nipples and formula away  from the general kitchen area. Any mixing or washing should be done elsewhere, such as in the bathroom sink.

  Q2: Which supplements are acceptable for the infirm?

   A:

  •  Many of the products contain kitniyot, some as the primary ingredient.
  • Some of the products may contain minor ingredients that are possibly, though unlikely, produced from chametz-based raw materials. All such ingredients are used at a less than 1:60 ratio.
  • Liquid versions of these products are preferable to their powdered counterparts.
  • Products that contain flavors should only be provided when no unflavored alternative exists.
  • Products should be purchased before Passover and be maintained segregated from Kosher for Passover foods.

A list of medical nutritional supplements identified by the OU as acceptable for use on Passover can be found at https://oukosher.org/passover/guidelines/medicine-guidlines/nutritionals-and-dietary-supplements/.

 

Fruit & Vegetables

Fresh – These are acceptable without Passover certification.  The coating on these items is neither chametz nor kitniyot.

Frozen Vegetables – These are washed in water that often contains anti-foaming agents, which are not appropriate for Passover use. Moreover, some companies also pack pasta products on shared packing machinery. Therefore, frozen vegetables require Passover certification.

Frozen Fruit – The issues noted above as relevant to frozen vegetables are not a concern at facilities that process frozen fruit, which does not require Passover certification. One must be careful though, that no additives e.g. corn syrup are used.

Dried Fruit – These are usually treated with oils derived from kitniyot and therefore require special Passover certification.

 

Q: Is bottled water acceptable for use without Passover certification?

A:  All unflavored bottled water, seltzer and sparkling water without added minerals is Kosher for Passover, even without any Kosher supervision.

Q: Do canned products such as salmon and potatoes require Passover certification?

A: Yes.

Q: Are Eggs acceptable for use without Passover certification?

A:  Whole eggs in their shell may be used without special Passover certification.  Egg whites and pasteurized eggs are available with an OU-P. Please refer page 81 of the OU Passover Guide or to https://oukosher.org/passover/guidelines/food-items/eggs/  for a complete list.

Q: Is almond or soy milk acceptable for Passover?

A: Almond and soy milk may be problematic and are not recommended for use on Passover. If a situation arises and it is needed by an infant or an infirmed person please see pages 100 & 101 of our guide or at https://oukosher.org/passover/guidelines/food-items/almond-milk/ & https://oukosher.org/passover/guidelines/food-items/soy-milk/ respectively.

Q: What should I feed my pet?

A: Ashkenazim have a custom not to eat kitniyot. However they may benefit from and own kitniyot (M.B. 453:10). It should be noted that it is forbidden, even during the year, to feed any mixture of milk and meat.

Q: May I use frozen fish without Passover certification?

A: Due to the frequent application of glazes to raw fish, it should be purchased only with reliable kosher certification. However, Kirkland Frozen Wild Salmon bearing the standard OU symbol is acceptable after rinsing, while the Kirkland Atlantic (Farm Raised) Salmon bearing the standard OU symbol is acceptable as is for Passover.  Kirkland’s Frozen Tilapia when bearing the standard OU symbol is also acceptable for Passover after rinsing.

Q: Are chia seeds, flaxseed and teff considered kitniyot?

A: Chia seeds are not considered kitniyot, but may require special checking. Flaxseed and teff are considered kitniyot.

Q: Can I buy Lactaid for Passover?

A: Lactaid production is likely to involve chametz. This renders chewable lactaid tablets problematic. However, our Rabbinical authorities have decided that Lactaid milk is permissible if purchased before Passover since any chametz contained within Lactaid milk would be nullified (batel).

Lactaid non-chewable tablets are more complicated. Many rabbinical authorities permit non-chewable vitamins and supplements without regard to their kashruth status. According to such opinions, one may take these tablets just like any other non-chewable pill.

Other rabbinical authorities believe that vitamins and supplements are akin to food even when swallowed. According to this opinion one may take the lactaid tablet when wrapped in tissue paper. However, one who is unable to do so may swallow the tablet without wrapping it, and rely on the lenient authorities, since milk is such an important health need.
We suggest that you consult with your local rabbi as to which of these opinions you should follow.

Wishing you a chag kasher v’sameach.

-OU Kosher

To contact the OU Kosher certification agency with your Passover questions:

OU Kosher Hotline: 212-613-8241

Hours Daily: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm EST

Sunday, April 2, 2017: 10:00 am – 12 noon

Monday – Thursday, April 3 – 6, 2017: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm [Extended Hours]

Sunday, April 9, 2017: 10:00 am – 12 noon

Questions can be sent via email to:

OU Kosher’s Webbe Rebbe: kosherq@ou.org

Twitter:  @OUKosher

Facebook:  OU Kosher

Download the OU Kosher for Passover Guide: https://oukosher.org/passover/download-passover-guide-signup/

Download OU Kosher App for Iphone and Android: https://www.ou.org/apps/