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      The 11th Plague: No Kosher for Passover Coca-Cola in California

      California Jews will have to get through Passover without kosher Coke, while different Pepsi kosher symbols are confusing Illinois Jews.
      By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
      First Publish: 3/27/2012, 6:50 PM

      Kosher for Passover Coca-Cola in Israel
      Kosher for Passover Coca-Cola in Israel
      Israel news photo: Flash 90

      California Jews will have to get through Passover without kosher Coca-Cola due to a quirk in a law, while varied kosher symbols are confusing Illinois Jews, according to the Kosher Today newsletter.

      The reputable industry website reported that Coca-Cola issued a statement saying, “We will not be able to offer Kosher for Passover products in California this year.  We expect to offer Kosher for Passover products in 2013.”

      The company explained, “The new alternative process caramel required to meet the State of California’s guidelines related to Proposition 65 does not meet the Kosher for Passover requirements.  We believe it will in 2013.”

      In Chicago, Jewish Pepsi Cola lovers will have to deal with two different kosher symbols – a Kof-K symbol used by the company and a US Kosher symbol on bottles distributed by independent wholesalers.

      Pepsi also is producing Passover versions of Seven-Up, Sierra Mist, Canada Dry Ginger Ale, Lemon-Lime Seltzer, Mandarin Orange Seltzer and regular seltzer, according to Kosher Today.

      Although the basic Jewish law is not  to eat leavened bread on Passover, it has wide ramifications. Foods that are kosher during the year need a special certification for Passover, when Jewish law prohibits eating or drinking any foods that may contain leavening and also prescribes thorough cleaning or switching of the utensils and machines used to manufacture foods. Anything containing grains or their derivatives must be made so as to avoid the leavening process. All this requires strict supervision.

      Ashkenazi Jews, who are the vast majority of those living in the United States, have an additional restriction from eating or drinking ;legumes, corn and peas as well as rice, all of which swell when cooked and resemble leavened foods. Rabbis have explained that the modern food industry frequently adds ingredients for flavor which may not be Kosher for Passover.