Chief Rabbinate: Room Service Only on Plastic Plates During Pesach


rabbi-metzgerPesach is fast approaching, and with it, a slew of unique kosher stipulations. After ordering that products containing chometz be blocked from sale at supermarkets through barcode identification, Chief Rabbi Rav Yona Metzger has ruled that kosher hotels must serve room service meals only on disposable plates during the Yom Tov.

The reasoning behind this move is that guests who do not observe the Yom Tov might place non-kosher items on the plates, thus halachically rendering them and all the dishes in the hotel non-kosher for Pesach.

In a circular distributed by the Chief Rabbinate’s National Kashrus Department, municipal rabbonim and kosher division managers throughout the country listed how hotels are to be made kosher for Pesach. One of the guidelines initiated by Rav Metzger stipulated that hotels start using only disposable plates and flatware in their room service starting a week before the chag.

Rav Metzger’s office explained that secular guests or non-Jewish tourists are likely to use regular plates for food that it is not kosher for Pesach. Subsequently, upon being returned to the kitchen, the said plates would disqualify for use all other plates in the kitchen being washed along with them. In order to prevent such unnecessary mishaps, Rav Metzger issued the directive t use disposable dishes only.

Some two weeks ago, Rav Metzger announced that the Chief Rabbinate would demand that supermarkets install a dedicated program in their cashiers that would identify chametzdike items prohibited from sale during the chag.

The technological innovation, which was developed and donated by a young man who cares about the issue, allows the products that are not kosher for Pesach to be removed from the list of products for sale by cataloguing and identifying them according to their barcode. This would effectively prevent products containing chametz from being sold accidentally.

The program was already successfully tested last year, but Rav etzger, who at first asked that supermarket kosher certification be conditioned on the installation of such a program during Pesach, reconsidered his decision after supermarkets claimed they could not make sufficient arrangements for the new barcode in time for Pesach.

Rav Metzger said, however, that an agreement has already been reached with all the supermarkets on the matter ahead of this year’s Yom Tov, and “whoever won’t manage, we will arrange for him a yeshiva student to volunteer to install the new barcode.”

{Ynet/Yair Israel}


  1. “The reasoning behind this move is that guests who do not observe the Yom Tov might place non-kosher items on the plates” – Why is this not a concern all year round? To the contrary, it IS a concern, and the disposable plates and cutlery should be instituted all year round.