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Do Tablets, Cosmetics, Soaps, Shampoos and Detergents Require “Kosher for Pesah” Certification?

Pills, such as pain relievers, may be swallowed in Pesah. Even if they have Hametz ingredients, these ingredients do not impart a taste, and the pills are swallowed, not chewed or sucked, and they are therefore permissible on Pesah. Moreover, the vast majority of medications nowadays do not contain Hametz. Therefore, even if one does not have a serious medical condition, he may swallow pills which he requires during Pesah. One who is prescribed such medication by a doctor must take the medication during Pesah and should not refrain from doing so out of the concern of Hametz. It goes without saying that one must continue taking medication if his health would otherwise be endangered.

However, medications that have a flavor, which the patient drinks, chews or sucks, require certification for use on Pesah.

Some cosmetics include ingredients made from Hametz. However, these ingredients are inedible, and are not even "Ra’ui La’achilat Keleb" – suitable as food for dogs. The Shulhan Aruch (Orah Haim 442) rules that any Hametz product which is not suitable as food for a dog already before Pesah is entirely permissible, and may be kept and used on Pesah. Therefore, all cosmetic products may be used on Pesah.

Hacham Yitzhak Yosef (contemporary) writes in Yalkut Yosef that all housecleaning products, soaps and shampoos may be used on Pesah, and do not require certification for use on Pesah, since these products are not "Ra’ui La’achilat Keleb." Although some required these products to be certified kosher for Pesah, Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (Jerusalem, 1910-1995) considered it a "joke" to certify such products kosher for Pesah, since they are inedible even for dogs, and thus are entirely permissible for use on Pesah.

Summary: All pills and tablets which have no taste, and are swallowed whole, may be used on Pesah, even if one’s condition is not serious, and they do not require certification for use on Pesah. Medications that have a flavor, which the patient drinks, chews or sucks, require certification for use on Pesah. All cosmetic products, soaps, shampoos, detergents and housecleaning products may be used on Pesah, and do not require "kosher for Pesah" certification.


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