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Living the Pesach dream – The Australian Jewish News

Preparing for Pesach is always stressful – the cleaning, kashering and trying to run out those pretzels in the pantry that no one really likes but are good for having around as a late night snack.

And then there is the researching and costing of imported specialty foods aside from the quintessential matzah and wine.

This is where Kosher Australia comes in.

Each year we spend hundreds of hours preparing our Pesach guide, which aims to make keeping the Yom Tov just a little easier. This year, the guide runs for 76 pages and includes thousands of locally-made and available products.

When our kosher factory auditors check factories during the year, one of their briefs is to see which products could be suitable for Pesach. And those that meet our Pesach standards are logged and listed in the Pesach guide. These products attract no Pesach premium and are available widely.

In addition, we check hundreds of medicines, toiletries, cleaning products and even paper goods, since the minutest amount of chametz is prohibited on Pesach.

A little out of the ordinary

Did I just say “paper goods”?

Well paper is made using starch and starch can be sourced from any starchy plant like wheat (chametz) or corn (kitniyot). It would be a little challenging eating off paper plates made from wheat starch during Pesach.

Another interesting item is soda water. Why are only a couple of brands listed? How could soda water could be wrong for Pesach?

Industrial carbonation can come from mineral sources or plant sources. One of the major carbonation companies in Australia sources their carbonation from fermented wheat which is, of course, chametz.

Another area that consumers are passionate about is pet food. I admit that it isn’t something that excites me, but we get many calls about specific pet food that their beloved Fido or Kitty must have.

But the pets aren’t (really) people so why should they care about Pesach?

Because Pesach is a time when something that is normally permitted is now prohibited (chametz) – the Torah is stricter to prohibit even benefiting from chametz during Pesach; which includes your pets. Not to worry, we spend hours checking hundreds of pet foods to have your dog, cat, budgie, chook, rabbit, and even piranha covered.

Pesach may only be eight days, but at Kosher Australia we have been eating and sleeping Pesach for the past few months.

Wishing all a Joyous and Kosher Pesach!

Yankel Wajsbort is the general manager at Kosher Australia

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