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OU: Summer Road Trip Halachos: Kashering Grills / Rest Stop Coffee / Kosher Slurpees

The summer season is always a popular travel time for families. Aside from planning the itinerary, hotel stays and travel arrangements, there are many halachic considerations that one must be aware of while traveling, and these considerations apply to all travel whether by plane, car or boat and whether on winter break or over the summer.

The OU recently published a set of questions and answers for common halachic issues that arise while traveling. Below are some excerpts from the article.

Slurpees

“The OU certifies a number of Coca-Cola syrups used in Slurpees.  Irrespective of store claims, the only way to be sure that the syrup is kosher is by checking the label on the syrup box. However, Coca-Cola labels on syrup boxes do not bear an OU symbol.”

Click here for a comprehensive list of kosher slurpee flavors from all brands in the U.S and Canada.

Cooking on a Non-Kosher Grill / Kashering Grills

“Since food is roasted directly on the grill, the grate must be heated until it glows (libun gomur) to be properly kashered. This can be done either with a blowtorch (which should only be used by qualified and experienced individuals) or by sandwiching the grates between charcoal briquettes and setting them on fire.

In addition, if the grill has a hood, the empty gas grill cavity must be kashered by cleaning, closing the hood and setting it to the highest setting for one hour (libun kal).  Alternatively, one may replace the grates and kasher only the grill cavity as explained above.”

Coffee at Rest Stops

“In contrast to the response given regarding coffee prepared in a non-certified restaurant, it is permissible to purchase a cup of unflavored coffee from a convenience store, rest stop or kiosk. This is because these types of establishments generally do not prepare non-kosher food, or, even if they do, dishes and utensils are washed by hand in a sink and not in a dishwasher.”

Click here for the full list of guidelines from the OU.