A friend of mine runs a catering company that does do business with a sizable group of Jewish people. Around this time of year she gets requests to be 100% Passover Kosher of course. This often leads her into doing research about "borderline" products (for example are Tortillas Passover Safe? Are Granola Bars?) but often she gets answers that work don't 100% of the time (Granola Bars for example may or may not be) from sources such as Google.

In short, what is the best method for determining Kosher For Passover status of a borderline food (or any for that matter)? Are Rabbis open to answering such questions (I'd imagine they get pretty bombarded during passover)? Did someone build a website www.isthiskosherforpassover.com Perhaps?

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    Are you asking about packaged goods, or ingredients for things she's making herself? (For example, is she making or buying those granola bars?) – Monica Cellio Mar 27 '13 at 18:21
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    Who is her mashgiach (representative of a certifying authority or Rabbi) - she should ask the mashgiach about each item. If she doesn't have a mashgiach, then how does she know in general if her food is kosher? I hope she is not deciding this herself. She should talk to the Rabbi she works with. – Ariel Mar 28 '13 at 1:11
  • We had actually gotten the answer to whether or not the granola bar was Kosher (it wasn't) which is why I'm not asking that question... – tekiegreg Mar 28 '13 at 1:11
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    As Dan mentions in his answer, there are many things that are not actually chametz but also not permitted for Passover. Generally, advertising something as 100% Kosher for Passover without a supervising mashgiach (a person who watches the process and knows what rules to enforce) is not 100% honest. – Charles Koppelman Mar 28 '13 at 2:49

The easiest thing to do would be to contact a kashrut supervising agency and they would be able to answer, item by item. They may, though, not want to give rulings on individual products if the overall storefront is not kosher for passover or using their general supervision services. Some groups, like the OU had a hotline available in the days before passover but I don't know if it is open now.

Here is a solution -- go to a Judaica store and buy the Laws of Passover by a Rabbi named Blumenkrantz. The issue is the complexity of the laws (I can't imagine anyone reputable saying that regular granola is acceptable on passover) and he explains everything and goes through many, many items one at a time. He just happens to be a very strict authority.

Providing proper catering for customers who observe passover laws requires separate dishes, different ingredients, and a completely cleaned (to religious standards) kitchen and cooking area. This is more than just about looking up specific ingredients.

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