Kosher for Passover: Questions and Answers
- Is bottled water that contains minerals acceptable for Pesach without special certification?
Yes, as long as it is not flavored and does not contain vitamins.
- Does brown sugar need to be certified for Pesach?
Although genuine brown sugar does not require special Pesach certification, nowadays much of the brown sugar sold in the market is actually white sugar which is colored brown with molasses or caramel color. Those two ingredients are potentially not acceptable for Pesach and therefore brown sugar should be certified for Pesach.
- Are there any kitnios or chametz issues regarding the coatings put on fruits and vegetables?
No, with the exception of dried fruit such as raisins which are often have a kitnios coating to keep them from sticking to one another and should only be used with Pesach certification.
- Why do frozen vegetables require Pesach certification?
Frozen vegetables sold as “raw” are in fact cooked for a few minutes, in a process known as “blanching”. Many of the factories which blanch vegetables also blanch pasta/chametz, and therefore frozen vegetables should only be used with Pesach hashgachah to guarantee that the vegetables were not cooked on equipment which had been previously used for chametz.
- Does vegetable wash require hashgachah for Pesach?
Although there are a few kosher vegetable washes on the market, to the best of our knowledge none of them are acceptable for Pesach. If consumers wish, they could substitute a small amount of dish liquid (any are acceptable) which will do the same job, if not better.
- Can unflavored vodka made from potatoes be consumed on Pesach without special supervision?
No. The process of producing alcohol for vodka (or any other item) involves enzymes which may be chametz (e.g. malted barley) and involves the use of hot equipment which may have been previously used for chametz alcohol. Therefore, we cannot recommend it without special Pesach certification.
- Why is one permitted to serve kitnios to a pet on Pesach?
Ashkenazim have a custom to not eat kitnios, but are permitted to own and benefit from kitnios.
- Is dental tape the same as dental floss?
Yes, as with dental floss, all dental tape is acceptable whether it is or isn’t waxed, as long as it isn’t flavored.
- Can a barbeque grill be kashered for Pesach? What if the grates are new?
The grates of a barbeque grill must be kashered with libun gamur, which is not recommended for the average consumer. If a person purchases separate grates for Pesach, the rest of the grill can be kashered with libun kal, which can be accomplished relatively easily, as follows: If the grill comes with a cover, light the grill with coals or gas, and allow it to burn on its highest setting (or filled with a considerable amount of coal) for an hour. If the grill does not have a cover, follow the same procedure, but make sure that all surfaces of the grill are covered with coals. As with all items being kashered, it is crucial that the grill be cleaned thoroughly of all food residue, which is often a particular difficulty in a barbeque grill. In fact, if the grill has too many holes, cracks, and crevices where food may get trapped, one should refrain from kashering the grill at all.
- I have a free-standing paper towel dispenser on my kitchen counter all year round. Can I use it for Pesach?
Yes, just clean it thoroughly and put on a new roll of paper towels.
- If ethanol may be made from chametz and one is not allowed to own or benefit from chametz, does that mean that I shouldn’t use ethanol to fuel my car on Pesach?
You may use ethanol to fuel your car on Pesach because In the United States, the overwhelming majority of that type of ethanol is produced from corn, which is kitnios (and one is permitted to own and benefit from kitnios on Pesach). Also, ethanol is rarely used as a fuel in a pure state. Rather, it is mixed with 15-90% gasoline, and the gasoline mixed in renders the fuel completely inedible such that it is permissible to own and benefit from it on Pesach.