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Guide To Selling "Real" Chometz Before Pesach

Although, 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'aruves 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 considered to be 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.

"rea"l 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 during Pesach and a sale is not required.)

PRODUCT
"REAL" CHOMETZ?
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
Cooked on chometz equipment (not during Pesach) but contains no chometz in the product. Not chometz3
Cookies Yes
Detergents Not chometz4
Extracts No
Farfel Mix Yes
Flour No
Food Coloring No
Ketchup No
Kitniyos Not chometz3
Licorice Yes
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 (nifsal mayachilas kelev) 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

For a more detailed discussion of this topic see
Purchasing Chometz After Pesach & Defining Real Chometz

For a discussion regarding Chometz after Pesach see:
Guide To Purchasing Chometz After Pesach


1. Some individuals sell this chometz, others do not. One should follow his family custom.

2. Kdai achilas pras is the amount of time it takes to eat the volume of buttered bread equaling 3-4 eggs (approximately 2-4 minutes). For example, if one eats a bowl of Foot Loops cereal, he will eat a k’zayis of chometz within 2-4 minutes. However, if one eats Cap'N Crunch cereal, he will not eat a k’zayis of chometz fast enough as the amount of chometz in Cap'N Crunch cereal is relatively minimal.

3. These products are not chometz. One may even retain possession on Pesach. Sale is not necessary (mutar b'hana'ah b'Pesach). The product may not be eaten on Pesach.

4. These products are not chometz. One may even retain possession on Pesach. Sale is not necessary (mutar b'hana'ah b'Pesach).




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