Guide To Selling “Real” Chometz Before Pesach


bread-challahAlthough, l’halacha, any chometz may be sold before Pesach, there are pious individuals who do not sell “real chometz,” but rather give it away, burn it, or eat it before Pesach. How does one define “real chometz?” A food for which there is an issur of bal ya’raeh u’bal yimatze (there is a Torah prohibition of ownership on Pesach), is “real chometz.” This includes all items that are chometz gamur, real chometz (bread, cake, pretzels, pasta, etc.).

However, ta’arooves chometz where the chiyuv biur, obligation to burn, is only mid’rabonon, or at least according to some opinions only mid’rabonon, is not chometz gamur. In addition, safek chometz, medications and non-edible items, and products processed on chometz equipment, are not chometz gamur. These products are sold before Pesach even by individuals who are stringent not to sell chometz gamur. Many individuals who do not sell chometz gamur will sell alcoholic beverages before Pesach. Each family should follow their custom.

The following chart offers guidelines as to which products are considered “real chometz.” “Yes” next to a product indicates the product is “real chometz.” Pious individuals customarily do not sell these products before Pesach. Rather, they either consume it, burn it, or give it away as a gift to a gentile before Pesach. “No” indicates the product is not “real chometz.” Even pious individuals will generally sell such products to a gentile before Pesach. (Where indicated, some products may even remain in one’s possession on Pesach and a sale is not required.)


Barley (if pearled, raw and packaged) No
Beer Follow Family Custom1
Bread Yes
Cake Yes
Cake mixes (dry) No
Cereal with primary ingredient of wheat, oats, or barley Yes
Chometz content is more than a k’zayis. The chometz can be eaten in a time span of kdai achilas pras2 (e.g. box of Froot Loops cereal) Yes
Chometz content is more than a k’zayis. The chometz can not be eaten b’kdai achilas pras2 (e.g. box of Cap ‘N Crunch cereal) No
Chometz content in entire package is less than a k’zayis but is greater than 1/60 of the product (e.g. Corn Flakes cereal) No
Chometz content is less than 1/60 of the product Not chometz 4
Chometz Nokshe (e.g. chometz glue) No
Condiments containing vinegar (e.g. ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, pickles) No
Cookies Yes
Detergents Not chometz4
Extracts No
Flour (without malted barley) No
Food Coloring No
Ketchup No
Kitniyos Not chometz3
Malt flavoring (in product) No
Maltodextrin No
Maltose (in product) No
Mayonnaise No
Medicine containing chometz No
Modified food starch (from unknown sources) No
Mustard No
Pasta Yes
Pickles No
Pretzels Yes
Products non-edible even for canine consumption Not chometz3
Rolled Oats Yes
Vanillin and Ethyl vanillin No
Vinegar (from unknown sources) No
Vitamin tablets containing chometz No
Wheat gluten (unknown amount in product) Yes
Wheat protein (unknown amount in product) Yes
Whiskey Follow Family Custom1
Yeast (Baker’s) Not chometz3
Yeast extract No

 {Star-K/ Newscenter}