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New York - In Time For Passover: OU Kosher Announces New “Ou Kitniyot” Certification Symbol

Published on: February 28, 2013 10:42 AM
By: OU Press Release
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New York - OU Kosher, the world leader in Passover preparation and kosher certification, today announced a new symbol of authorization for Passover products: OU Kitniyot.

The new symbol of authorization will appear on packaging with the explanatory message: OU Kitniyot: Acceptable for those who consume kitniyot on Passover.

Among the better known customs of Passover is the concept of 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.  The custom of Ashkenazim not eating kitniyot goes back to at least 13th century France and was instituted because kitniyot are often grown in close proximity to the five grains (wheat, oat, spelt, rye and barley); and because kitniyot can be easily confused with leaven (chametz) or the other way around.
Non-Ashkenazic Jews follow the ruling of Rabbi Yosef Karo (1488-1575) who permits the consumption of kitniyot on Passover.  Even then, caution must be taken because the kitniyot may be processed in ways that render them non-permissible to the Sephardic population.

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“Previously, the OU has not issued certification for retail kitniyot products for Passover due to the concern that different symbols of kosher authorization might confuse consumers,” explained Rabbi Moshe Elefant, OU Kosher chief operating officer.  “The OU Kitniyot symbol is presented in such manner so as to avoid any confusion and the packages will not show Kosher for Passover except as indicated.”

The label is currently found on a limited supply of products, including: Hagada Cookies Series, Papachoudo Cookies, Osem Bamba, Neptune Spices and Shkediya Sunflower Seeds. These products are manufactured with similar high supervision standards to those of other OU Passover productions, Rabbi Elefant noted.

“While OU Kosher has for years been approving OU industrial kitniyot products for the benefit of the Sephardic community, this has been in the realm of industrial and institutional ingredients,” stated Rabbi Nachum Rabinowitz, OU Kosher senior rabbinic coordinator. “This decision was taken at the urging of our poskim (decisors of Jewish law), to benefit the many kitniyot consumers who relied on various assumptions—rather than actual certification—for kitniyot Passover products.”

For the most up-to-date information on all OU Kitniyot and OU Kosher for Passover products, go to www.ou.org/passover. OU Kosher certified products for Passover can also be found using the free OU Kosher phone App, for iPhones, iPads, iPod Touch, and Androids.



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Read Comments (23)  —  Post Yours »

2

 Feb 28, 2013 at 11:54 AM proud-mo-israeli Says:

Kitniyot is an outdated Chumra. Most Jews in Israel eat kitnoyot nowdays regardless of their Galut backgrounds. Mainly because we are all marrying each other now & the old distinctions of Ashkenai & Sefardi are only being kept by the Hareidi Jews who enjoy these divisions.
Me..... I gave it up caring about kitniyot years ago & so have most of my Orthodox acquaintances.

3

 Feb 28, 2013 at 12:16 PM yaakov doe Says:

Very interesting. I assume it's partly due to the growth of the frum Sefardic community in America.

4

 Feb 28, 2013 at 01:11 PM DRE53 Says:

This will encourage ashkenazim to eat kitnyot since many don't bother reading what says on the lable and it's enough for them to just see the ou symbol

5

 Feb 28, 2013 at 01:41 PM vbtwo Says:

Reply to #4  
DRE53 Says:

This will encourage ashkenazim to eat kitnyot since many don't bother reading what says on the lable and it's enough for them to just see the ou symbol

No, because if people just looked for OU then they would eat chametz on Pesach. All chametz products in stores do not magically have their OU symbols removed on Pesach.

6

 Feb 28, 2013 at 01:56 PM The_Truth Says:

Reply to #3  
yaakov doe Says:

Very interesting. I assume it's partly due to the growth of the frum Sefardic community in America.

Maybe I'm just a cynic, but I think it has more to do with $$$ than anything else. Not necessarily from the OU but the manufacturers, trying to fill (/ create?) new market opportunities. Nothing wrong with that - I am all for legit business opportunities.

I also think there should simultaneously be more education on the reasons for not eating kitniot, for those who have the minhag, to prevent a general watering down of mesorah.

7

 Feb 28, 2013 at 01:58 PM Yawvous Says:

Reply to #2  
proud-mo-israeli Says:

Kitniyot is an outdated Chumra. Most Jews in Israel eat kitnoyot nowdays regardless of their Galut backgrounds. Mainly because we are all marrying each other now & the old distinctions of Ashkenai & Sefardi are only being kept by the Hareidi Jews who enjoy these divisions.
Me..... I gave it up caring about kitniyot years ago & so have most of my Orthodox acquaintances.

I direct you to look into Shulchan Orech Orech Chayim 453:1 in the Ramoh and Shaarei Teshuva before you statements which have no halachic backing. If there is any time where minhogim are prime, it is Pesach. So let's be tolerent of everyone else's customs and in the same time be steadfast on our own.

8

 Feb 28, 2013 at 03:25 PM Justleftkolel Says:

This is a great idea, but even though I am Makpid on not eating Kitniyos on Peasach, I have made a few mistakes over the years, once in a grocery in Monsey I purchased a selection of spices, came home to find that in tiny print that they were Kitniyos, I purchased them in a Chasidishe store in Monsey, so I assumed everything did not have Kitniyos. I called up the store, and the manager apologized profusely and took them off the shelves.

Recently, I spent Peasach in Miami, where there are lots of Sephardim, there were Kitniyos and Non-Kitniyos products interspersed on the same shelves, once I was aware of that fact, I just looked a bit closer at each product, not a big deal, but unless you expect to see some Kitniyos, you will just grab whatever is on the Kosher For Peasach shelf, especially if you have a few screaming kids with you at the store.

9

 Feb 28, 2013 at 03:38 PM mutti Says:

Reply to #4  
DRE53 Says:

This will encourage ashkenazim to eat kitnyot since many don't bother reading what says on the lable and it's enough for them to just see the ou symbol

i agree there certainly will be some ashkenazim who wont notice or care, but the ou probably feels that the needs of the entire sefardic community overide in this situation.

10

 Feb 28, 2013 at 04:14 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #7  
Yawvous Says:

I direct you to look into Shulchan Orech Orech Chayim 453:1 in the Ramoh and Shaarei Teshuva before you statements which have no halachic backing. If there is any time where minhogim are prime, it is Pesach. So let's be tolerent of everyone else's customs and in the same time be steadfast on our own.

There are many reasons why the Sephardeshe minhagim make considerably more sense than Ashkenaz minhagim. Their nigunim are nice, the food is tastier and healthier and the overall hashkafah is more intuitive and elegant......I expect I will be flamed by the Litvashe mafia who seem to dominate this site but the truth is the truth...

11

 Feb 28, 2013 at 05:19 PM Anon Ibid Opcit Says:

Reply to #10  
Anonymous Says:

There are many reasons why the Sephardeshe minhagim make considerably more sense than Ashkenaz minhagim. Their nigunim are nice, the food is tastier and healthier and the overall hashkafah is more intuitive and elegant......I expect I will be flamed by the Litvashe mafia who seem to dominate this site but the truth is the truth...

You're right. Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews are much better cooks than Ashkenazim. Sad but true. And they didn't fall prey to they "chumra on chumra with chumra drenched in chumra sauce" spiral a lot of Ashkis went towards for historical reasons

12

 Feb 28, 2013 at 06:28 PM ShmuelG Says:

Reply to #2  
proud-mo-israeli Says:

Kitniyot is an outdated Chumra. Most Jews in Israel eat kitnoyot nowdays regardless of their Galut backgrounds. Mainly because we are all marrying each other now & the old distinctions of Ashkenai & Sefardi are only being kept by the Hareidi Jews who enjoy these divisions.
Me..... I gave it up caring about kitniyot years ago & so have most of my Orthodox acquaintances.

You have orthodox acquaintances? I guess they are trying to be mkarev you. I wish them hatzlocho.

13

 Feb 28, 2013 at 06:34 PM ShmuelG Says:

Reply to #10  
Anonymous Says:

There are many reasons why the Sephardeshe minhagim make considerably more sense than Ashkenaz minhagim. Their nigunim are nice, the food is tastier and healthier and the overall hashkafah is more intuitive and elegant......I expect I will be flamed by the Litvashe mafia who seem to dominate this site but the truth is the truth...

To each his own. I find their songs unlistenable. And none of them can cook like my wife.

14

 Feb 28, 2013 at 08:03 PM Passaicguy Says:

Great news. Kol Hakavod

15

 Feb 28, 2013 at 08:41 PM Canadian Says:

Reply to #2  
proud-mo-israeli Says:

Kitniyot is an outdated Chumra. Most Jews in Israel eat kitnoyot nowdays regardless of their Galut backgrounds. Mainly because we are all marrying each other now & the old distinctions of Ashkenai & Sefardi are only being kept by the Hareidi Jews who enjoy these divisions.
Me..... I gave it up caring about kitniyot years ago & so have most of my Orthodox acquaintances.

I guess u & ur other Ashkenazik friends haven't heard the mammar Chazal ( but who r Chazal anyways to u?!)..."Minhag Yisroel Torah He".
I'm also wondering if u find that all Jews in Golah should only keep 1 day yom Tov as we have a calendar.
U can c the minimizing and deflating of tradition from ur grand or great-grandparents etc. so I'm hoping ur children r shomrei Mitzvot at all!!!

16

 Feb 28, 2013 at 09:18 PM The Fifth Question Says:

This is tangential to the main theme of this thread, I know, but can anyone explain why my booba always adamantly insisted that tomatoes (yes, those red fruit with juice and seeds!) were chametz? She refused to serve them at all throughout the chag. FWIW, she and my zaidah came from Biala Podolsk and weresupporters of the Biala Rebbe.

My aunts and my father (her children) used to argue this with her every Pesach for as long as I can remember, but she stuck stubbornly to her guns.

What remains of my aunts and their families will doubtless bring the matter up again at the Seder and - for once - I would like to have some sort of rational explanation. Come to think of it, an irrational one might do - at a pinch!

17

 Feb 28, 2013 at 09:46 PM esther Says:

Reply to #10  
Anonymous Says:

There are many reasons why the Sephardeshe minhagim make considerably more sense than Ashkenaz minhagim. Their nigunim are nice, the food is tastier and healthier and the overall hashkafah is more intuitive and elegant......I expect I will be flamed by the Litvashe mafia who seem to dominate this site but the truth is the truth...

please explain what makes a hashkafa more intuitive or elegant. whatever,it's all good as long as the food is yummier.

18

 Feb 28, 2013 at 10:43 PM Y1234 Says:

Reply to #16  
The Fifth Question Says:

This is tangential to the main theme of this thread, I know, but can anyone explain why my booba always adamantly insisted that tomatoes (yes, those red fruit with juice and seeds!) were chametz? She refused to serve them at all throughout the chag. FWIW, she and my zaidah came from Biala Podolsk and weresupporters of the Biala Rebbe.

My aunts and my father (her children) used to argue this with her every Pesach for as long as I can remember, but she stuck stubbornly to her guns.

What remains of my aunts and their families will doubtless bring the matter up again at the Seder and - for once - I would like to have some sort of rational explanation. Come to think of it, an irrational one might do - at a pinch!

There is a chumra not to eat any fruit or vegetable that can't be peeled on Pesach. The fear is that it may have come in contact with chometz and you will unwittingly eat chometz.

19

 Feb 28, 2013 at 11:17 PM ChachoMoe Says:

Reply to #2  
proud-mo-israeli Says:

Kitniyot is an outdated Chumra. Most Jews in Israel eat kitnoyot nowdays regardless of their Galut backgrounds. Mainly because we are all marrying each other now & the old distinctions of Ashkenai & Sefardi are only being kept by the Hareidi Jews who enjoy these divisions.
Me..... I gave it up caring about kitniyot years ago & so have most of my Orthodox acquaintances.

By your logic; you might as well let go of the entire Passover seder, it is mostly based on "outdated" customs!

FYI, Kitniyot has been accepted by ALL Ashkenazim for over thousand years, and even in some Sephardi communities. Some uphold that it wasn't accepted in Israel when the ban was initiated.
Regardless, in Chu"L every Ashkenazi is obliged to the Ban of the Risohnim and is indeed included as well in 'Al Titosh Torat Imacha'

20

 Mar 01, 2013 at 01:25 AM esther Says:

Reply to #18  
Y1234 Says:

There is a chumra not to eat any fruit or vegetable that can't be peeled on Pesach. The fear is that it may have come in contact with chometz and you will unwittingly eat chometz.

there is also a minhag ,although i think more obscure,not to eat any fruits or vegetables with seeds in them on pesach.

21

 Mar 01, 2013 at 01:36 AM Norden Says:

Reply to #18  
Y1234 Says:

There is a chumra not to eat any fruit or vegetable that can't be peeled on Pesach. The fear is that it may have come in contact with chometz and you will unwittingly eat chometz.

Thank you, Y1234 for a v e r y prompt response and for one with at least a degree of credibility. I am by no means trying "to rain on your parade" with that remark but Boobah always scalded and then peeled her tomatoes at any time of the year.

But, as I have already said, thanks for making the effort!

22

 Mar 01, 2013 at 07:26 AM verbatim Says:

Reply to #20  
esther Says:

there is also a minhag ,although i think more obscure,not to eat any fruits or vegetables with seeds in them on pesach.

Biologically speaking, vegetables don't have seeds, they ARE seeds.

And the minhag has nothing to do with having seeds, it has to do with not eating anything that can't be easily peeled, because it might have come in contact with chametz.

23

 Mar 01, 2013 at 10:48 AM Norden Says:

Reply to #20  
esther Says:

there is also a minhag ,although i think more obscure,not to eat any fruits or vegetables with seeds in them on pesach.

That could also be it. Thank you, esther, for taking the time and the trouble to respond. However, where does that leave apples (dried or fresh), bananas, cucumbers and so forth?

A 110-year old family mystery could well have been solved thanks to you and to Y1234. Thanks also to verbatim #22 for his/her "minority opinion"! Thanks to you all the Norden family's 'sedarim' will be greatly enhanced this year.

24

 Mar 03, 2013 at 01:30 AM Valley Shlepper Says:

Reply to #20  
esther Says:

there is also a minhag ,although i think more obscure,not to eat any fruits or vegetables with seeds in them on pesach.

From were does this minhag derive? Where is it written and what parts of the world kept it?

25

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