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  • Shabbat and Holidays
  • Chametz and Pesach Products

Feeding Chametz to the ill on Pesach


Rabbi Yoel Lieberman

Adar 24, 5770
My father has home nursing care because of his advanced dementia. He doesn’t eat properly and is healing from bed sores. For almost 6 months now, the doctors have him on a regimen of 2 cans of Ensure every day aside from whatever else he happens to eat that day. I don’t know how to handle this on Pesah. My mom lives in the same apt. The kitchen has to be pesadig for her. (My family and I DON’T eat there at all) Is Dad entitled to the Ensure even though it’s chametz? If so, how do I keep it from contaminating the kitchen? It needs to be refrigerated once opened and Dad can’t finish one can all at once...I really want to do the right thing, but I don’t know what that is. Thanking you in advance,
First you should check with the doctors if there is an alternative to Ensure which possibly is kosher for Pesach. In lack of an alternative, I was told by the OU which certifies the kashrut of Ensure during the year, that the Ensure can be used for the ill on Pesach. The reasons being that the ingredients which renders Ensure not kosher for Pesach for healthy people are kitniyot =legumes either as an additive or as the primary ingredient, but not actual Chametz. In the event that there are chametz based ingredients, they are a minute amount which is annulled by more than 60 parts of kosher lepesach ingredients before Pesach. The following food supplements of Ensure are listed by the OU as being acceptable FOR THE ILL on Pesach (based on the guidelines which I described above) Ensure [not Ensure Fiber with FOS] Ensure High Protein Ensure Glucerna OS Ensure High Calcium In short, due your father's condition you may give him Ensure. In order to prevent confusion with your Pesach foods and dishes you should use special dishes, cups or spoons for the Ensure. You may place it in the refrigerator once opened. A refu'ah shleima to your father and Chag Same'ach.
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