STUNNED: Shoppers Shocked to Have Bought Kitniyos Products in Local Supermarkets Across Tri-State

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Matzav.com has learned that shoppers at a number of kosher supermarkets in the tri-state area and beyond have unwittingly purchased – and consumed – kitniyos, not realizing that the items they bought contained ingredients not eaten by Ashkenazim on Pesach.

Kitniyos means legumes, but on Pesach the term takes on a broader meaning to include grains and seeds such as rice, corn, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, soybeans, peas, and lentils, in addition to legumes.

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 453) defines kitniyos as those products that can be cooked and baked in a fashion similar to chometz grains, yet are not halachically considered in the same category as chometz. The Bais Yosef permits kitniyos on Pesach, while the Rama rules that kitniyos are forbidden. Therefore, Sefardim consume kitniyos on Pesach, while Ashkenazim follow the Rama’s p’sak, which does not permit the consumption of kitniyos on Pesach.

In two of the handful of cases investigated by Matzav.com, one shopper in Lakewood, NJ, and another in nearby Jackson, NJ, both purchased large bags containing smaller individual bags of a pizza- and ketchup-flavored snack imported from Israel. The outer bag stated nothing about kitniyos, and the store selling the product had no sign regarding the kitniyos contents of the item. The purchasers were both shocked to find, after consuming bags of the product, that the inner packages stated in Hebrew “parve l’ochlei kitniyos bilvad” (parve for those who consume kitniyos) because it contains corn.

They both had no reason to give the packaging a second look, but happened to find the designation.

A picture of one of those products is shown above.

In another instance, a shopper in Marine Park, Brooklyn, related that they bought an item that they thought was kitniyos-free, only to find out that it contained rice.

“There was no notice in the supermarket – a large Jewish one – where I bought it that they were selling items containing kitniyos,” the shopper told Matzav.

In yet another instance confirmed by Matzav, a shopper out of Lawrence, NY, purchased snack item thought to be kitniyos-free, but that contained corn. No sign or designation in the store it was bought from indicated its kitniyos status.

All shoppers are urged to check the packaging of every single food product they buy all year round, but especially on Pesach, even when purchased in a kosher-only store.

{D. Stein-Matzav.com Newscenter}

49 COMMENTS

  1. it says no less than 4 times on the package ” leochlei kitniyos bilvad ” still the packaging should be clearer when sold in america. the eida as a rule does not give a hechsher ever on processed foods on pesach

  2. I purchased heimeshe soda ( a type that it used strictly on pesach by many people )in a local frum supermarket. It turned out to be kitniyos. It was on the same shelf as the yellow-capped Cokes. I’m not blaming anyone but CHECK everything !

    • Responsible stores have signs that warn you about anything they are aware of and signs warning you to double check and not to rely on their info alone

  3. Baloney. Shoppers have a responsibility to read ALL labels before purchasing. This is not a story. Unless the anti-sephardic Jews aspect of it rates as a story.

  4. Kitniyos is more then a minhag like gebruchtz, it’s a Halacha. Of course it’s not like eating chometz, Chas vsholom, but still a concern that needs to be taken seriously.

  5. Stop the hysteria. I bought a big bag of the ketchup flavor before Pesach from Bingo, here in Boro Park. It was clearly marked kitniyos. I davka bought for my kids so they would have some nosh to eat in the days leading up to Pesach. Just like any food product during the whole year, be responsible, read the packaging yourself, don’t rely on the store being heimish owned. Don’t be a guillibe fool. Be responsible. It’s the same thing with the flu shot/vaccinations.

  6. You make it sound like the stores did something wrong. If you don’t eat kitnyos and for that matter when you buy anything even from a kosher store you should always check the hechser.

  7. You make it sound like the stores did something wrong. If you don’t eat kitnyos and for that matter when you buy anything even from a kosher store you should always check the hechser.

    The picture in the article is of the Bais Yosef hechser a Sefardie hechser and of course they do eat kitneyos.

  8. If you go on a chol Hamoaid trip be aware that the concession stands are also selling kitniyos, gebrokts and sometimes items with hechsherim you wouldn’t find in your local heimishe store. Buyer beware and check the package before you consume.

  9. I’m not understanding what the shock is. Pesach is no different then the rest of the year. Kosher Supermarkets are flooded with foods with all types of hechsheirim, many which are not on the standards most people would hope they are on.

    Just like all year, any Yarei Shomayim must speak to someone he trusts who is knowledgeable in the current kashrus seen, before buying any food item with anything other than the OU.

    Pesach is no different. The foods referenced in this article have certifications which are substanderd even if they wouldn’t be kitniyos. Nobody should have bought them in the first place!

  10. Let`s not make a bigger issue than this really is. Kitniyos is not an issue.
    And why should Sefardim or those with conditions that allow kitniyos not be allowed to have these.
    Every consumer needs to read their own labels.
    Don`t blame the store

  11. The blue band is obvious, the warning is obvious. Hope “shoppers throughout…” were few, but maybe not. Obfuscation was clearly not the intent of the manufacturer or the original distributor. Is not the onus on the shopkeeper? And the Hashgakha (if any)? I don’t know that any embarrassment felt by the shopkeepers and secondary distributors is not sufficient (this year).

  12. This only happens because people in America have no clue about hashgachos in Israel. Ask any reputable rav in Israel and they will tell you that bedatz bait yosef is a terrible hechsher. Even many sefardim won’t use it. I personally know one chashuva safari family that told me that if they accidentally use products from bedatz bait yosef they would kasher their dishes (depending on the product of course) this is not only with this hechsher but it applies to many more. On top of this things in Israel change often and restaurants and hotels that used to be good 10 years ago can become so bad that if people knew they would stay far away from them. Two examples of places that if people knew what really is going on they wouldn’t go there is the Waldorf hotel and the Plaza hotel. For information on where one can eat in Eretz Yisroel and what hechsheirim are reliable one can email rabbi shmuel Weiner at weinersr@gmail.com

  13. Caveat Emptor: I do not know why people blame the store or even expect the store to state if it is selling kitniyos products or not. Stores are under no obligation to tell you what is pesachdig or chometz. You are your own mashgiach. It is the responsibility of the consumer to check all labels.

  14. The problem is that in America we are spoiled since there is basically no kitniyos products being sold as kosher lepesach. Only sometimes you may find raw rice or beans but never a mixture. Even coke changes their ingredients to accommodate us.
    The problem begins with Israeli products.

    I also bought in boro park. One of the new big supermarkets thought it was fine to write a big sign kosher lpesach over candies section where half of them were in fact kitniyos.

  15. Nesivos 234:3 that issur derabanan beshogeg does not need kapara. And this is less than an issur derabanan.
    True, some argue. But at least it wasn’t gebroks!

  16. GUESS WHAT?
    not all ashkenazim have minhag for kitniyos and not all Sephardim eat all types of kitniyos!! I guess that’s a news flash to a news website!!
    Everybody has to check labels before they buy anything and be familiar with hechsherim that you are comfortable with. And if you’re not familiar, ask a shaila to your Rav. Do we really expect the supermarkets to be our Rav? Or should people WHO DO eat kitniyos, not be able to buy things that are mutar to them? If that’s the case, maybe we should ban all meat that isn’t beis yosef since most Sephardim should be eating only beis Yosef shehita?! How ridiculous! A person has to know what he eats and only buy that!

  17. NOT STUNNED: articke with no content turned breaking news on charedi media.

    There are people called sefardim. Matzav you can look it up on wikipedia. They eat kitniyos and are also allowed in our stores The outcome… Stores sell kitniyos

  18. If your kid was allergic to nuts, would you just buy what was on the shelf and rely on the store stocker – or would you check it out with a little more digging into reading the small print? Hamaivin Yovin.

  19. This us stunning, otherwise functional people can be this stupid?
    How were they capable of fighting out how to enter the storm using a door takes more know how than knowing to check what you buy

  20. > Lipa April 24, 2019 at 9:46 am
    > Kitniyos is more then a minhag like gebruchtz, it’s a Halacha. Of course it’s not like eating chometz, Chas vsholom, but still a concern that needs to be taken seriously.

    Exactly where do you find this alleged “more then a minhag”? It is a minhag that comes about 1000 years after the close of the Talmud. Even the OU web site calls it explicitly a minhag.

  21. The ISRAELI pesach- kashrut labeling is notoriously UNCLEAR. With so many different minhagim, hashgachas , and labels. Very often one of the hashgachas on the product is only for year round, very often a hashgacha will give on 2 very similar products- one kitniyus, one not etc.
    I am not surprised AT ALL. Any American coming to Israel for pesach for the first time is LIKELY to have such a mistake.

    Ps. The Eida Chareidus DOES give a hashgacha on a handful of manufactured pesach products

  22. There are also many products & snacks that are gebrocks, but you didnt mention that in this article either. And I can assure you most people eating them dont know that either.
    You go to Israel & most products at the supermarket are kitnios. There will be more & more kitnios products in America now that OU also hechsher kitnios products nowadays.
    People have become far too reliant on some “Jewish symbol” and dont actually look and think at anything anymore before putting it in their mouth. (or what comes out their mouth)

  23. Mm
    I am spharadic and I find all of u ashkénazes crazy about kitniyont
    I only one person from your community made a mistake and eat some kitniyots now u start judging Beth Yosef blaming spharadim and almost implying we eat non kosher products the problem is you and only you you

  24. In Israel it is not very easy to find non-kitniyot products and the label is not necessarily self evident. But this one says clearly kitniyot. If an Askhenazi bought this mistakenly, this is no problem either, they should not eat it and that’s all. It can be kept, it can be offered to Sefardim, it can be eaten after Pesach. What is the big deal? Why should it be STUNNING that kitniyot products certified for Pesach are for sale?

  25. sorry salem:But we are not crazy. It is a chumra going back hundreds of years. we understand that it was not accepted by many sphardim but we do not imply that you are eating not kosher.But for ashkenazim, on pesach it is almost as severe as chometz.

  26. The only thing stunning about this is the headline. Why should shoppers be shocked when the label clearly says kitniyos?

    If you buy something on Pesach with a bunch of Hebrew writing on it, it’s your responsibility to read it, especially when it says very clearly on the bag in big letters that it’s only for those who consume kitniyos.

    And yes, while it’s true that far fewer people buy more than very basic processed food even with the Eidah hechsher, the Eidah does indeed give a hechsher for a limited number of products, each year a bit more.

  27. The packaging says KITNIYOT clearly and in large letters. What else should the manufacturer do? What would you suggest?

  28. OU would never put the D (dairy) designation in a different place from ou symbol. So why is kitniyos designation not together with the words kosher lepesach?
    It should be go together and be just as big.

  29. Re georgeg
    April 24, 2019 at 4:11 pm
    It is brought down in Shulchan Aruch, which is a Halacha Sefer. It’s not dependent on the “shtetl” your family “Shtams” from, but rather it’s a machlokos between The Bais Yosef and The Rama. No one eats Kitniyos on the last day of pesach. It may be a minhug, but a “shtarka” minhug, if we can call it that.
    For more reference, see The Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 453

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