The questions below are answered by Rabbi Tzvi Nussbaum, the voice of OU Kosher’s Consumer Hotline; the Webbe Rebbe; and Rabbi Eli Eleff, rabbinic coordinator and consumer relations administrator. Rabbi Moshe Zywica, OU Kosher executive rabbinic coordinator, supervises the OU Consumer Relations Department.
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 regarding peanuts that different communities have different customs. Some hold them to be kitniyot; while others eat peanuts on Passover.
Q: What coffees are acceptable for Passover?
A: All regular ground 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 chometz. Therefore, decaffeinated coffees are not acceptable for Passover unless specifically marked for Passover or found in our Passover Guide and 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 (chometz). Therefore, all instant coffees require special Passover certification unless explicitly mentioned in our Passover Guide and on oupassover.org under the heading of products certified for year round use and Passover.
Q: How do I kasher a Keurig machine?
A: A Keurig machine may be kashered by way of Hagalah or Iruy (please refer to pages 14-16 in the OU’s 2014 Passover Guide which can be viewed on, or downloaded from, oupassover.org. Alternatively one can find this information in ‘The Kashering Primer – Passover 2014’ article located on the homepage of oupassover.org).
First remove the K-cup holder and clean very well. Perform Hagalah or Iruy on the K-cup holder, and then brew a Kosher for Passover K-cup.
Q: If Splenda is not available for Passover how can it be listed as an ingredient in OU-P certified products?
A: Kosher for Passover certified Splenda is available only at the industrial level. This is what is being sourced for products bearing OU-P certification. For alternative Passover certified sweeteners please refer to page 72 of the OU’s 2014 Passover Guide.
Q: Are chia and flax seeds considered kitniyot?
A: Flax seeds are in fact kitniyot. Chia seeds are not kitniyot.
Q: Is parchment paper acceptable for use on Passover?
A: Parchment paper requires Passover certification unless the brand appears on page 60 or 61 of the OU’s 2014 Passover Guide, which can be viewed on, or downloaded from, oupassover.org.
Q: Which Coca-Cola sodas are acceptable for Passover?
A: Classic Coke and Diet Coke will be available with an OU-P designation. Aside from the New York Metropolitan area, Coke for Passover will also be available, inter alia, in Boston, Baltimore, Washington, Miami, Atlanta, Houston, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles. This year, in New York, Coca-Cola items will be made with an OU-P in 2 liter bottles. All these items, of course, require the ‘P’ designation next to the OU symbol. Most of the bottling plants servicing these markets will designate the Passover Coke items with a distinctive yellow cap in addition to the OU-P symbol on the cap or shoulder of the bottle.
Q: Can coconut flour be used on Passover?
A: OU policy is that grain-alternative flours of any kind, in order to be approved for Passover use, would require an OU-P designation due to the stringency of the laws of Kashrut on Passover.
Q: Does orange juice require Passover certification?
A: Pure frozen orange juice concentrate does not require certification. Other forms of orange juice do.
Q: When one is away, how can fish be fed over Passover?
A: An automatic fish feeder can be used to dispense non-chometz food [i.e. fish food that does not contain wheat, barley, oats, spelt and rye]. If one is still unsure whether a product contains chometz the OU recommends contacting your local Orthodox Rabbi.
Q: Do latex gloves require Passover certification?
A: The OU recommends using latex gloves without powder during Passover.
Q: Does extra virgin olive oil need to be certified kosher for Passover?
A: All extra virgin olive oils are Kosher for Passover, as long as it bears the OU symbol. All other oils (including olive oil) require a reliable Kosher for Passover certification to be consumed on Passover.
Q: 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/. 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.
Q: May I use frozen Kirkland Salmon?
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 is acceptable after washing it off, while the Kirkland Atlantic (Farm Raised) Salmon is acceptable as is for Passover.