A question by a friend on FB concerning coffee that is kosher for Pesach prompted more questions on my part and made me do a bit of homework.
I checked How to Keep Kosher by Lisë Stern for a Conservative/Masorti perspective – although Conservative, the author is quite strict in her level of kashrut. Here is what she writes:
According to the “Rabbinical Assembly Pesah Guide”, published by the Conservative movement, certain foods may be purchased before Pesach and do not require a kosher-for-Pesach hechsher. These include the following: “Unopened packages or containers of natural coffee without cereal additives (however, be aware that coffees produced by General Foods are not kosher for Passover unless marked KP); sugar; pure tea (not herbal tea); salt (not iodized); pepper; natural spices; frozen fruit juices with no additives; frozen (uncooked) vegetables; milk; butter; cottage cheese; ripened cheeses such as cheddar (hard), muenster (semi-soft) and Camembert (soft); frozen (uncooked) fruit (with no additives); baking soda.”
As for the Orthodox Union, they have a downlodable Pesach Guide which contains, among other things, a list of items which are OU certified for year-round use and are kosher for Passover even without special passover certification .
Concerning the type of items mentioned above, I follow the list isued by the French rabbinate for two main reasons: commodity (products with a hechsher are rare here and I only ask a friend to get me the more obvious kosher-for-Pesach products) and finances (these items are usually dearer). What is your practice? Do you follow such lists or would you rather purchase only products with hashgakha for Pesach?