April 11, 2022
In recent weeks, we have noticed an unusually high level of infestation in different types of produce, and this specifically affects the preparation of romaine lettuce for the Seder. In our efforts to help consumers find reliable insect-free romaine lettuce this Pesach season, we have done extensive testing and research. Based on our testing, the following are the cRc’s recommendations in descending order of preference:
- Purchase romaine lettuce certified kosher by a reliable hechsher. (Please note that “triple washed lettuce” without a reliable hechsher has been proven many times over to be infested.)
- Use only the stalks (i.e., not the leafy parts) after rubbing each stalk with a soapy sponge followed by a rinse with fresh water.
- The following is for non-organic romaine hearts (not romaine heads which are too infested at this time even with this method): Separate the leaves from the heart, put them in a bowl of soapy water and agitate for a full minute. Remove leaves from soapy water and gently rub all areas of each side with a sponge. This includes flattening the curled-up edges so they can be scrubbed. Then rinse each leaf under running water while rubbing the leaves with your fingers. Start again, by putting the leaves back into a fresh bowl of soapy water and agitate the leaves. Then rinse each leaf (front and back) under running water while running your fingers across the entire leaf to undo the folds. To see a video of this method, please click here. [The “alternate method” listed on the cRc website is not effective for lettuce infested to this degree and should not be used at this time.]
- The “thrip cloth method” listed on our website. This method is only suitable for those who are trained and experienced.
For current product information, visit www.ASKcRc.org where kosher consumers can check the kosher status of hechsherim, beverages, liquors, foods, fruits & vegetables, Slurpees, medicines, and more.
Chicago Rabbinical Council
2701 W Howard Street