A yeshiva bochur at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City early this morning thought his eyes were deceiving him when he came upon a basket of chometzdike kosher pastries for sale at a snack shop right past the customes counter. Then the bochur – who hails from Monsey, NY, and is currently learning in Yerushalayim but returned home for Yom Tov – looked again at the labels on the black-and-white cookies and saw that they stated, “Gebaken noch Pesach tof shin ayin hey,” meaning that these items were baked after Pesach 5775. That is obviously impossible, since we are currently in the midst of celebrating the joyous Yom Tov of Pesach 5775.
The item in question is under the kashrus supervision of the Hisachdus Harabbonim (CRC), the Orthodox Union (OU) and the Debreciner Rov.
“Gebaken noch Pesach” is a popular and effective way for companies – sometimes by writing it on their food labels and sometimes by affixing a sticker to their good packages – let consumers know that their baked items were made after Pesach, so that they need not be worried about purchasing chometz she’avar alav haPesach, chometz that remained in the possession of a Jew over the Yom Tov of Pesach, which is forbidden to consume.
The aforementioned “Gebaken noch Pesach tof shin ayin hey” statement on the black-and-white cookie is, therefore, less of a problem right now, on Pesach, when, obviously, no G-d-fearing Jew would purchase the chometz items, but is a concern for after Pesach, when unwitting frum consumers may think that the item was baked after Pesach, when, in fact, it wasn’t.
It is not yet clear exactly how the error occurred, though it is being looked into.
Consumers are urged to be vigilant and to not only carefully examine food packages, but to be in touch with rabbonim machshirim in order to stay abreast of kashrus developments such as this one.
Update: Matzav.com received the following explanation from Reisman’s Bakery:
Firstly, we have no chometz left in our bakery over Pesach, as has been verified by our kashrus agencies.
A vendor at JFK airport placed an order a few days before Pesach for 24 pieces of Jumbo Black & White Cookies. The labels that were meant to be used after Pesach were mistakenly put onto these cookies.
We have the highest standard of kashrus, with supervision by the best Kashrus Agencies.
We regret the error, but please be assured that, other than those 24 Black & White cookies, all of our product that you will see with the “after Pesach” label will indeed be baked after Pesach.
Thank you for your understanding. If you have any questions you are welcome to contact our Kashrus agencies, or our office after Pesach when we reopen.