Since the Torah prohibits the eating of hametz during Pesach, and since many common foods contain some mixture of hametz, guidance is necessary when shopping and preparing for Pesach. Prohibited foods include: leavened bread, cakes, biscuits, crackers, cereal, coffees with cereal derivatives in them, wheat, barley, oats, spelt, rye, and all liquids containing ingredients or flavors made from grain alcohol.
Most Ashkenazic authorities have added the following foods to the above list: rice, corn, millet, legumes (beans, peas and soy; however, string beans are permitted). The consumption of legumes (kitniyot) and rice – which are not actually chametz - have been prohibited by most Ashkenazic authorities for centuries. Our movement’s Committee on Jewish Law and Standards has now issued a ruling which permits one to eat kitniyot and rice on Pesach. Additional details can be found on the Rabbinical Assembly’s website: www.rabbinicalassembly.org/jewish-law/Kashrut/pesah-guide
A. These foods DO NOT require a kosher le-Pesach label IF purchased BEFORE to Pesach:
Unopened packages or containers of pure white sugar; non-iodized salt; pepper; natural spices; fruit juices with no additives (frozen, canned or bottled); frozen (uncooked) vegetables (for legumes see above); white milk; unsalted grade A butter; fish filets; frozen (uncooked) fruit (with no additives); and quinoa.
B. The following foods DO NOT require a kosher le-Pesach label if purchased BEFORE OR DURING Pesach:
Fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, fresh fish and fresh meat, baking soda, bicarbonate of soda, unflavored teabags, unflavored regular coffee, ol ive oil (extra virgin only), whole (unground) spices & nuts.
C. The following foods DO require a kosher le-Pesach label IF purchased BEFORE OR DURING Pesach:
All baked products (matzah, cakes, matzah flour, farfel, matzah meal, any products containing matzah) wine, vinegar, liquor, oils, dried fruits, candy, cho colate milk, ice cream, yogurt, canned tuna, processed foods (canned, frozen or bottled), cheeses, chocolate, decaf coffee, tea (including herbal tea) and soda.
KASHERING OF THE KITCHEN:
The general principle used in kashering is that the way the utensils, absorbs food is the way it can be purged of that food, ke-volo kach pol’to. This principle operates on the basis of the quality or intensity of how the items absorb food. Things used for cold food can be kashered by rinsing since no substance has been absorbed by the dish or glass. Items used on a stove absorb the food and thus need a stronger level of action namely expelling the food into boiling water, called hag’alah. The most intense form of usage is directly on a fire or in an oven, and these utensils' require the most intense method of kashering, namely libbun, which burns away absorbed food.
A. Ceramic Dishes (earthenware, stone, china, pottery, etc.):
These may not be kashered. However, fine china that has not been used for over a year may be used if scoured and cleaned in hot water.
To kasher pots, silverware, and utensils wholly of metal not used for baking, thoroughly clean the item with soap and water, then, following a strict 24-hour waiting period during which they are not used, immerse the items in water that is at a rolling boil. If the handle can be removed, do so for an even more thorough cleaning. Pots and pans are either immersed in a larger pot of boiling water (may be done one section at a time) or filled with water brought to a rolling boil and then a heated stone is dropped into the pot such that the boiling water overflows the sides of the pot. Following this process, each utensil is rinsed in cold water.
C. Oven, Ranges and Microwaves:
Every part that comes in contact with food must be
thoroughly scrubbed and cleaned. Then, the oven and range should be heated as hot as possible for ½ hour. If there is a broil setting, use it. Self-cleaning ovens should be scrubbed and cleaned, then put through the self-cleaning cycle. Continuous-cleaning ovens must be kashered in the same manner as regular ovens. A microwave oven should be cleaned and an 8oz cup of water should be placed in it. The oven should then be turned on until water almost disappears. A microwave oven that has a browning element cannot be kashered for Pesach. Smooth glasstop range can be koshered by pouring boiling water over the surface.
Glassware which has had contact with hot food requires cleaning and immersion in boiling water. That which has only had contact with cold liquids or solid food can be kashered by a) soaking in water for 3 days, changing water every 24 hours
or b) a thorough scrubbing.
Heavy-duty plastics including dishes, cutlery or serving items can be kashered by immersing in boiling water if they will withstand such.
Porcelain and enamel interior cannot be kashered. These need to be cleaned thoroughly, then run a full cycle empty with detergent. Wait 24 hours and run empty again on highest heat setting.
F. Electrical Appliances:
If the parts that come into contact with hametz are removable, they can be kashered I n the appropriate way (if metal, follow th e rules for metal utensils). All exposed parts should be thoroughly cleaned. If the parts are not removable, the appliance cannot be kashered.
G. Tables, closets and counters:
If used with hametz, they should be thoroughly cleaned and covered, and then they may be used. Many countertop surfaces can be kashered simply by a thorough cleaning, a 24 hour wait and then pouring boiling water over them (iruy). To have iruy be effective for kashering, the surface must have no hairline cracks, nicks or scratches that can be seen with the naked eye.
Plastic laminates, limestone, soapsto ne, granite, marble, glass, wood without scratches, Corian, Staron, Ceasarstone, Swanstone, Surell & Avonite surfaces can be kashered by a thorough cleaning followed by boiling water being poured over them.
Ceramic, cement or porcelain countertops cannot be kashered and must be covered.
If there are places where food can be stuck (e.g. cracks or difficult corners to reach), these areas should be covered.
H. Kitchen sink:
A metal sink can be kashered by a thorough cleaning and by pouring boiling water over it. A porcelain sink should be cleaned and a sink rack used. If, however, dishes are to be soaked in a porcelain sink, a dish basin must be used.
I. Hametz and non-Passover utensils:
Non-Passover dishes, pots and hametz whose ownership has been transferred, should be separated, locked up or covered, and marked so as to prevent accidental use.