I am writing in response to your post yesterday (here) about a woman in Israel who mistakenly bought a chometzdike item that she thought was Pesachdik. I’d like to let your readers know that this is more commonplace than you might think, and maybe it is time for something to be done. Just this Yom Tov, a Yid in Chicago purchased chometzdike vinegar in a frum store. For such a thing to happen in a vibrant frum community is unbelievable. Everyone must remember to check their product labels even if the items were bought in a frum grocery store in the Pesachdike aisles.
There was another story in which a person went to buy a chometzdike item in a bakery in Chicago because it had the certification of one of the largest kashrus agencies in the United States. “Where was the Pesachdike certification?” the person asked afterwards. It said that the store was kosher, but there was no indication that it was kosher only, and not kosher for Pesach. Basically, the chometz was kosher! The kashrus certificate was still up on the wall, and while most people would realize that bread is bread and chometz is chometz, there are many who do not realize everything and simply rely on the certificate hanging in the store window.
I myself found the same thing in Flatbush, where at least two Dunkin Donut stores – for those who eat cholov stam – have a certification as being kosher, yet are open on Pesach and are selling chometzdike items. Nowhere does it say that the store is kosher but not kosher for Passover. I have no idea how many unwitting Jews, who might otherwise not have gone in there, have purchased real chometz there on Pesach.
It is time for us to demand more oversight in this matter. In my opinion, if a store is going to be rendered kosher and acceptable, there is no way it should be allowed to remain open on Pesach. I don’t care if it is not owned by a Yid or if there is a sign stating as much. Too many michsholim can come from it.
Just this year we’ve heard too many stories. How many more do we have to hear about before action is taken?
A Concerned Matzav Reader