March 4, 2013

Kashrus Agencies Step Up Effort for Passover

NEW YORK — A leading kashrus official joked that in his agency “Passover comes before Purim and even before Chanukah in some cases.” He was referring to the intense activity that simply consumes the kashrus agencies for weeks and months before Passover, which accounts for nearly 40% of annual kosher food sales. 

This year in an unprecedented move, the Orthodox Union (OU) added a new OU Kitniyot certification for those who consume kitniyot (legumes such as beans, corn, lentils, millet, mustard, peas, poppy seeds, rice, sesame seeds, soybeans and sunflowers), which are avoided by Ashkenazic custom, yet are consumed by those of Sephardic descent. 

OU Kosher certified products for Passover can also be found using the free OU Kosher phone App, for iPhones, iPads, iPod Touch, and Androids. Other kashrus agencies such as the Star-K, Kof-K and OK also offer special Passover listings and apps. The cRc Passover page includes a Late Breaking News & Alert page in addition to its traditional Passover guide. The OU Pre-Passover program also included a webcast (March 12 at 2:30 p.m., EDT). 

In Los Angeles, the Orthodox Union West Coast Region conducted its annual Kosher for Passover Supermarket Tours at Ralphs.