Guidelines 880-3
Religious Diets

Guidelines

Number: 880-3

In Effect: 2019-06-28

Related links

Policy Bulletin 641

Authorities

Purpose

To provide information to assist in the delivery of religious diets for inmates observing the practices of Canada’s diverse faith communities

Application

Applies to all staff and contractors involved in the provision of food services support to inmates

Contents

Responsibilities

Inmate Religious Diet Request

  1. The Chaplain will:
    1. process all inmate religious diet requests. If a verbal request is made, the Chaplain will assist the inmate in putting the request in writing
    2. obtain from the inmate requesting a religious dietary accommodation:
      1. a description of the required religious dietary accommodation
      2. demonstration of affiliation with the religious tradition for which the dietary accommodation is being requested
      3. contact information for their faith community resource person for confirmation of affiliation, religious care and support and that the requested diet accommodation is a requirement of the faith
    3. facilitate and support the relationship between inmates and their own faith communities or, when available, facilitate an alternative connection with a faith community resource person accepted by the inmate
    4. validate the requested accommodation with the inmate’s identified faith community resource person
    5. submit the Religious Diet Requisition Form (CSC/SCC 0662) to Food Services
    6. inform the inmate that religious diet requests that do not have faith community support can be made to the Institutional Head in accordance with GL 880-4 - Diets of Conscience
    7. notify the inmate of the anticipated timeframe to complete the religious diet request.

Religious Diet Non-Observance Review Process

  1. The Chaplain will:
    1. manage the non-observance review process for inmate religious diets
    2. receive the written Religious Diet Review Request (CSC/SCC 0662-01) from staff. If a verbal request is made, the Chaplain will direct the staff member to complete the form
    3. meet with the inmate and the inmate’s identified faith community resource person to review the non-observance, receive feedback and provide remedial instruction to the inmate as needed
    4. complete the Religious Diet Review Request (CSC/SCC 0662-01) regarding the continuation or suspension of the religious diet and distribute as required.

Holy Day Observances Requiring Dietary Adjustments

  1. The Chaplain will:
    1. manage the communication process for holy day observances requiring dietary adjustments
    2. verify dates for ceremonial/holy day meals, religious fasts and seasonal observances as they relate to inmates requesting to observe holy days
    3. provide Food Services with a list of inmate participants for holy days identifying the required food accommodation. The list should be submitted to Food Services four weeks before the actual holy day(s). Exceptional circumstances to this notification timeframe (e.g., transfers, new arrivals) are to be accommodated
    4. recommend to the Institutional Head authorization for food items faith communities may request to provide for customary celebrations related to religious observances within the institution
    5. maintain ongoing and timely communication with the Food Services Manager when questions concerning religious dietary requirements arise.
  2. Food Services will:
    1. upon receipt of a completed Religious Diet Requisition Form (CSC/SCC 0662), provide a balanced and varied meal plan that meets the inmate’s religious dietary requirements. The national four-week menus for religious diets will match the regular National Menu as closely as possible, adhering to the standards of Canada’s Food Guides. Annexes C and D describe possible religious diet requirements for Halal and Kosher
    2. make every effort to ensure adherence to preparation requirements for all religious diets by complying with standards for food preparation and cleanliness/sanitization of designated cookware, utensils, cutting boards, etc., to prevent cross-contamination with food that is not allowed in the religious diet meals. Careful cleaning and sanitization of cookware and utensils is normally sufficient to comply with the requirements of most (but not all) faith community practice
    3. consult with Chaplaincy Services on any concerns with a religious diet requisition
    4. consult with the Regional Dietitian in cases where a therapeutic diet is prescribed for an inmate who is already receiving a religious diet, or where a religious diet is authorized for an inmate already receiving a therapeutic diet
    5. submit a Religious Diet Review Request (CSC/SCC 0662-01) to Chaplaincy Services within 24 hours of noticing an inmate’s non-observance of their authorized religious diet
    6. not suspend an authorized religious diet without the written authorization of Chaplaincy Services
    7. prepare, on timely notification, holy day ritual foods and for fasting as outlined in Annexes C and D
    8. record the religious diet in the Food Services Information Management System (FSIMS), in the inmate cardex.
  3. The Regional Dietitian will:
    1. assess the nutritional needs and recommend the best nutritional care plan for the inmate based on both therapeutic nutritional needs and religious dietary requirements
    2. consult with Chaplaincy Services if the religious diet interferes with the nutritional care plan.
  4. The inmate will:
    1. submit a religious diet request to Chaplaincy Services by:
      1. describing the accommodation in detail
      2. identifying the religious tradition they are affiliated with
      3. demonstrating affiliation with that religious tradition
      4. providing contact information of their faith community resource person to confirm the accommodation and affiliation
    2. be responsible for consistent observance of religious practice that supports the approved religious accommodation
    3. be responsible for communicating with Chaplaincy Services should they choose to:
      1. discontinue, interrupt or alter an approved religious diet
      2. observe a holy day that requires a dietary adjustment. This should be communicated six weeks prior to the observance
    4. be responsible for participation in any religious diet review processes
    5. understand that the accommodation will meet the requirements of the faith community, be consistent with what is accessible in the local community to adherents of the same religion, and be comparable, whenever possible, to the menu provided to the general inmate population.

Procedures

Interim Diet

  1. To ensure an inmate is able to eat a balanced diet without compromising their faith or personal belief, institutional staff responsible for intake or transfer may authorize in writing (including electronic mail) an interim vegetarian or vegan diet upon intake or transfer, including transfer by air. No other types of diets can be authorized for the interim period. The interim diet will be provided for up to 14 days while the religious diet request is being processed by Chaplaincy Services. If additional time is required for the process of the request, the institutional Chaplain will inform Food Services.

Required Self-Preparation

  1. Some religious traditions require adherents to prepare food themselves. The Institutional Head will determine the operational routine for this accommodation.

Inmate Transfer

  1. When transferring inmates who have a current religious diet recorded in FSIMS, the receiving institution will provide, without performing a review, the same religious diet as the one provided at the sending institution unless the inmate requests a change to their religious diet.

Menus for Holy Day Requirements

  1. Some religious holy day observances require specific food items for religious rites or traditional reasons. Food Services are required and will make every effort to provide food items that are recognized by the faith community as a mandatory ritual food for regular observance without cost to the inmate. Upon request, ritual foods for holy days will be provided following approval by Chaplaincy Services.

Menus for Religious Feast Day Celebrations

  1. Some faith traditions consist of eating together to celebrate holy days. These celebratory meals are connected with, but are not required, religious practice. Chaplaincy Services often support these celebrations, especially when the faith community is involved in planning them. Food Services and Chaplaincy Services may collaborate to adjust menu items in response to these celebratory customs and practices.

Fasting

  1. Fasting in various forms is a common devotional practice in many religions. Chaplains, in consultation with inmates’ identified faith community resource persons, will confirm the dates for religious fasts and the participants. Food Services will make adjustments as requisitioned by the Chaplain.

Variance in Practice

  1. Within all religious groups, there are adherents who observe the stated beliefs and practices of their faith to differing degrees. As a result, inmates belonging to the same religion may have different requirements when it comes to their religious diets.

Non-Observance

  1. It is the inmate’s responsibility to follow their authorized religious diet. Non-observance can be reported by any Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) staff on a Religious Diet Review Request (CSC/SCC 0662-01). Whenever possible, all staff witnessing the incident should be identified on the form, which should be submitted to the institutional Chaplaincy Services within 24 hours of witnessing the non-observance. When an incident of non-observance is reported to Chaplaincy Services, a Chaplain will meet with the inmate, consult with the inmate’s faith community resource person and provide remedial instruction to the inmate, if necessary.
  2. If the inmate denies the report of non-observance, they can dispute the claim through the inmate complaint process.

Denial of a Religious Diet Request

  1. When the religious diet requested is denied partially or in its entirety, Chaplaincy Services will provide notification of the decision and supporting information to the Institutional Head. As well, Chaplaincy Services will notify the inmate in writing of the decision to deny the religious diet request with supporting information as appropriate.

Diet of Conscience

  1. When the diet being requested is not a supported practice of the inmate’s faith community, the inmate may submit a request for a diet of conscience pursuant to GL 880-4 - Diets of Conscience.
  2. Any special accommodation requests that are not specific to diets and are not traditionally supported by a faith community should be submitted to the Institutional Head as an accommodation request based on freedom of conscience pursuant to GL 750-1 - Inmate Religious Accommodations.

Small Group Meal Preparation (SGMP)

  1. The National SGMP Grocery List outlines the required food items to be carried in inventory in the settings with a SGMP Program. This will ensure that the religious dietary requirements for inmates in this program are met and that the food items available to these inmates compare in quality, variety and quantity to the regular institutional meal plan.
  2. For institutions operating a grocery store on site, food items needed to adhere to the religious dietary requirements (e.g., halal or kosher foods) will be stored in a separate area of the store and will only be provided to those inmates with an approved religious diet. The quantity of these items that are purchased by an inmate will be limited to the quantity that can be consumed within the time period for which the groceries are issued.
  3. The institution will ensure access to cleaning and sanitization processes to all inmates in a SGMP Program. Some faith traditions may require separate designated cookware and utensils (see Annex D). Separate designated cookware and utensils will be accessible in the living unit as required and may be shared by inmates having the same requirement.

Additional Costs

  1. Some of the food products required to adhere to the dietary requirements of various religions may be costlier than the same type of food products for the inmate population in general. CSC is not required to incur inordinate costs in the provision of religious diets as long as the tenets of the faith are adhered to. Inmates are not to be charged for required ritual food items. In a SGMP setting, it is important that no additional cost be charged to an inmate who requires these food products for their religious diet.

Assistant Commissioner,
Corporate Services/
Chief Financial Officer

 

Original signed by:

Tony Matson


Annex A - Cross-references and Definitions

Cross-references

CD 702 - Aboriginal Offenders
GL 750-1 - Inmate Religious Accommodations
CD 880 - Food Services
GL 880-1 - Food Services Program
GL 880-2 - Nutrition Management Program
GL 880-4 - Diets of Conscience

Canada’s Food Guide
Canada’s Food Guide - First Nations, Inuit and Métis
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 18

Definitions

Chometz: Hebrew word from the Jewish tradition that refers to all leavened food and drinks and ingredients that are made from or contain wheat, barley, rye, oat or spelt. Examples are bread, cake, cookies, cereal, macaroni, spaghetti and noodles.

Cleaning and sanitization: cleaning processes for reusable cookware and utensils must include cleaning (removal of all food residues and dirt), rinsing and sanitization by heat (dishwasher) or by chemical means (chlorine solution). The process, whether done manually or mechanically must include all three steps.

Contractor: a person providing services of a prescribed class to CSC under a contract.

Designated cookware and utensils: cookware and utensils specifically identified (i.e. color-coded, tagged, labelled) for specific uses.

Halal: Arabic word in the Muslim tradition that means “that which is allowed”. Halal meat comes from a healthy animal sacrificed in the name of Allah and slaughtered according to Islamic practice. A halal diet is composed of halal meats and poultry, fish, eggs, fruits and vegetables, milk and dairy products free of animal by-products, i.e. rennet in cheese, gelatine in yogurt. Grain and bread products must be animal by-products free and cooking fats should be 100% vegetable or butter.

Haraam: Arabic word in the Muslim tradition that means “forbidden”.

Interim diet: a vegetarian or vegan diet authorized by institutional staff or management upon intake or transfer of an inmate to allow the institutional Chaplain time to confirm faith affiliation and corresponding dietary requirements without compromising the inmate’s faith or personal beliefs.

Kosher: Hebrew word in the Jewish tradition that means “fit or allowed to be eaten or used”. The kosher diet provided by CSC meets strict orthodox standards.

Parve: Hebrew word in the Jewish tradition that refers to foods containing neither meat nor milk, such as eggs, fish with fins and scales, coffee, tea, fruits, grains and vegetables.

Pork and pork by-products free diet: excludes all pork meats and pork by-products such as lard, shortening, pepsin, rennet, gelatine used in commercial food transformation and manufacturing.

Annex B - Semi-vegetarian, vegetarian and pork-free diets

CSC's obligation is to provide balanced and varied meal plans according to the dietary requirements of religions. The national four-week menu for religious diets will match the regular menu as closely as possible, adhering to the standards of Canada’s Food Guides.

If the food provided meets the requirements of a varied, balanced diet and the religious tradition, the inmate has no basis on which to claim that they must have specific vegetables, fruits, or any other specific food.

Semi-Vegetarian and Vegetarian Diets
Type Foods Allowed Foods Not Allowed
Semi-vegetarian Grain products, legumes, vegetables, fruits, tofu, nuts, seeds, milk and milk products (Poultry, fish and eggs may or may not be allowed according to religious practice.) Beef, pork, lamb and animal by products such as gelatin, rennet, etc.
Lacto-ovo vegetarian Grain products, legumes, vegetables, fruits, tofu, nuts, seeds, milk, milk products and eggs Meat, poultry, fish, seafood, animal fats and animal by-products such as gelatin, rennet, etc.
Lacto-vegetarian Grain products, legumes, vegetables, fruits, tofu, nuts, seeds, milk and milk products Meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, animal fats and animal by-products such as gelatin, rennet, etc.
Vegan Grain products, legumes, vegetables, fruits, tofu, nuts, and seeds Meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, milk, milk products, honey, animal fats and animal by-products such as gelatin, rennet, etc.

Other Variations

This table outlines some typical dietary variations that particular faith traditions may adhere to. Consult with Chaplaincy Services when questions arise with regard to faith community requirements.

Type Foods Not Allowed Additional Information
Semi-vegetarian Red meats, processed cheeses and seafood Fish with fins and scales, poultry and eggs may be allowed depending on the individual’s conviction and practice.
Canada’s Food Guides Beef, pork and eggs Beef or pork may be allowed depending on sect.
Lacto-vegetarian   Do not mix vegetarian food with non-vegetarian food during preparation.
Pork-Free Diet
Diet Foods Not Allowed Additional Information
Canada’s Food Guides Pork and pork by-products See definition in Annex A.

Annex C - Kosher Diet

Diet Foods Not Allowed Additional Information
Halal Pork, pork by-products, lard, gelatine, non-halal meats, animal fats and alcohol See definitions in Annex A.

Diet Practice

The laws of the Qur’an, a sacred book of Islam, set out the rules and obligations for a halal diet. The dietary prohibitions and requirements outlined in the Qur’an concern meat and alcohol. There is no prohibition of, or requirement for, other natural foods, such as fish, vegetables and fruit. There is no prohibition concerning milk and dairy products; however, it is important to ensure that dairy products, such as cheese, yogurt and margarine, do not contain forbidden (haraam) substances (e.g., pork by-products).

The dietary restrictions outlined in the Qur’an are as follows:

Only halal meat is allowed to be eaten (see halal definition in Annex A).

Any ingredient that is based on or contains alcohol, pork, or non-halal meats and animal fat (e.g., stocks or soup bases from chicken or beef that has not been certified as halal) must not be used. All candies, desserts and pastries containing animal fat and alcohol must not be served. If a food product contains alcohol, it cannot be used (e.g., vinegar, wine sauces, pastries and candies containing alcohol). It is best to use 100% vegetable oil/fat or butter and to use lemon juice instead of vinegar in the preparation of meals.

Small Group Meal Preparation

The institution will ensure access to cleaning and sanitization processes to those inmates who need them. See Small Group Meal Preparation section for further information.

Special Observances

As indicated in the Responsibilities section, all Muslim inmates, including those receiving a halal diet, intending to observe any of the holy days requiring ritual foods or fasting must inform Chaplaincy Services of their intention to participate in an Islamic holy day at least six weeks in advance. Chaplaincy Services will provide a list of inmates intending to observe the holy days and/or fasting to Food Services four weeks prior to the date of observance, so that Food Services can be prepared to provide and schedule the required ritual meals and/or period of fasting. Muslims may also decide to observe days of voluntary fasting supported by the faith community. Muslim inmates intending to observe this type of fasting must inform Chaplaincy Services at least six weeks in advance. Chaplaincy Services will inform Food Services four weeks prior to the date of observance, so that Food Services can be prepared for the period of fasting.


Ramadan

Ramadan is the Muslim holy month that is celebrated by daily fasting for a full lunar month once a year. The daily period of fasting begins at the break of dawn and ends at sunset. After having fasted the entire day, Muslims must break the fast at dusk by eating something light before beginning their prayer. They then have the evening meal.

Arrangements must be made by Food Services to provide sufficient food and drink to those Muslim inmates observing the Ramadan fast in order for the inmates to be able to eat prior to sunrise and after sunset. These arrangements may include the delivery of cold breakfast items the evening before or a weekly supply of cold breakfast items, the provision of a light snack such as dates to break the fast (this can be sent the evening before), an adjustment to the Halal menu for the period of Ramadan such as providing a more substantial meal at dinner and other arrangements necessary to help these inmates adhere to the requirements of Ramadan. Food Services will ensure that daily caloric intake and nutritional value are consistent with the standards of Canada’s Food Guides.

Eid

Muslims around the world celebrate two major religious celebrations yearly, called Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha. Eid is normally celebrated over a period of one to three days, consisting of special prayers, family gatherings and gift exchange.

While not a religious requirement, special and unique meat items such as lamb and goat are defined as traditional and commonly associated with both holidays.

Annex D - Kosher Diet

In the Jewish tradition, “kosher’” means “fit or allowed to be eaten or used” according to Jewish dietary laws. These laws give instruction as to what foods can be consumed and how they are to be prepared and processed so they are “fit or allowed” for consumption. For example, these laws indicate which animals cannot be consumed (e.g., pork or pork by-products are the most common animal proteins that are not fit or allowed).

For meat and any foods requiring processing (chopping, cooking, combining with other foods) that are fit and allowed to be eaten, there are specific slaughtering and preparation instructions which can only be carried out by trained personnel in facilities that meet the requirements of Jewish dietary laws. A facility where kosher food and meals can be prepared must:

Since CSC kitchens are typically not kosher certified, in order to meet the faith community requirement for the preparation and service of kosher meals, the following principles and practices are to be adhered to:

Symbol Certifying Body
The symbol is an oval drawn around the letters COR. Kashruth Council of Canada; packaged products; valid products will always be followed by a number
The symbol is a circle drawn around the letters MK. Jewish Community Council of Montréal, Montréal, Quebec
The symbol is a circle drawn around the letter K. The Organized Kashrut Laboratories (OK)
The symbol is a circle drawn around the letter U. The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations (OU)
The symbol is a square drawn around the letter KSA with KOSHER written underneath, and the letter P to the right of the square, with Kosher For Passover written below the square, and Hebrew lettering above the square. Kosher for Passover (can also be used at other times of the year)
The symbol is a circle drawn around the letter K, with the letter D appearing to the right of the circle. Any kosher symbol with the letter “D” next to it indicates that this product is dairy and should not be served with a meal that contains meat.

Sealed frozen kosher entrées are to be supplemented in order to reflect the same portion size and variety for each food group as outlined in Canada’s Food Guides for the regular National Menu.

The following are some of the processed/packaged items that can be used without a kosher certification:

The standard kosher menu plan for CSC non-kosher facilities is as follow:

To maintain kosher, all food must be handled and served only using disposable dishes and utensils. No utensils, large or small, used for any other food preparation and serving can be used for food that will be considered kosher.

Dairy products and meat products are not to be prepared or served together.

Neutral foods (categorized as neither meat nor dairy) are a necessary part of a balanced, healthy and nutritional kosher diet and can be served with either meat or dairy foods. Neutral foods include:

While these foods are neutral in terms of being neither meat nor dairy, once they are served with meat or dairy, they are categorized according to that with which they are served (if served with meat they become part of the meat meal, if served with dairy they become part of the dairy meal) and therefore can only be consumed in association with the type of meal they are served with.

Table A - Kosher Frozen Meal Supplementation
Canada’s Food Guides Groups National Menu Kosher Diet Menu Supplementation
  Standard meal (lunch and supper) Frozen Kosher meal  
Meat and alternatives 75-90 g meat or 150 g (175 ml) meat alternative 1 serving Beef, tofu, chicken or legumes 1 serving No supplementation required.
Milk and alternatives 250 ml milk 1 serving   0 serving Milk served as part of the regular National Menu is acceptable, but cannot be served at mealtime if meal contains meat. 250 ml of milk is required every day, three times a day.
Grain products 125-250 ml pasta/rice 1-2 slices of whole wheat bread 2-3 servings Rice or pasta 0-1* serving 2-3 servings* required for both lunch and dinner, e.g., kosher bagel (½ bagel is one serving), kosher bread or matzah, kosher crackers, etc.
Vegetables and fruits 125-250 ml cooked vegetables/salad 1 fruit 2-3 servings Vegetables 1-2 servings 1 serving of whole uncut fruit plus 1 serving of whole uncut vegetable for both lunch and dinner, e.g., 1 tomato, 1 small cucumber, 1 carrot, 1 apple, 1 banana, 1 pear, etc.
*Depending on frozen dinner selection.

There is no pre-prepared, sealed, kosher breakfast meal available. Jewish inmates on a kosher diet may eat from the following suggested items:

Table B - Breakfast Menu Pattern
Canada’s Food Guides Groups National Breakfast Menu Kosher Breakfast Menu
Meat and alternatives 2 eggs or 30 ml peanut butter or 50 g cheese 1 serving 2 eggs in shell or 30 ml peanut butter or 50 g kosher cheese 1 serving
Milk and alternatives 250 ml milk 1 serving 250 ml milk 1 serving
Grain products 2 slices of whole wheat toast or equivalent plus 30 g cold cereal or 175 ml hot cereal 2 kosher buns or 2 pieces of matzah plus 30 g cold kosher cereal or 175 ml kosher hot cereal 1 serving
Vegetables and fruits 125 ml canned fruit or 1 piece fresh fruit 1 serving 1 whole fresh fruit uncut1 whole fresh fruit uncut 1 serving
Condiments Margarine and jam Margarine and jam
Note: Peanut butter, margarine and jam must have a kosher symbol on their package.

Utensils

Utensils used for the preparation and serving of non-kosher food may not be used for kosher food or vegetables. This includes small wares and cutting boards. Separate utensils are required for the preparation and serving of meat and dairy products.

Small Group Meal Preparation

Jewish inmates observing a kosher diet will need two completely separate sets of utensils, pots and dishes, as required for cutting, cooking and eating dairy products and meat dishes. To ensure the required separation of these items, it is necessary to store them separately in rubberized storage bins when not in use. If there is more than one inmate of the Jewish faith living in the same unit and both are observing the Jewish dietary laws, they can prepare their meals with the same sets of utensils, pots and dishes.

In order to offer a good variety, the institution’s store should stock food items according to the National SGMP Grocery List.

Special Observances

As indicated above, all Jewish inmates, including those receiving a kosher diet, intending to observe a holy day requiring dietary adjustments (ritual foods or fasting) must inform Chaplaincy Services of their intention to participate in a Jewish holy day at least six weeks in advance. Chaplaincy Services will provide a list of inmates intending to observe the holy days to Food Services four weeks prior to the date of observance, so that Food Services can be prepared to provide the required ritual foods or fasting arrangements. Required weekly ritual food items are to be provided without cost to the inmate.

Shabbat

The Jewish Sabbath (Shabbat) is observed every week from sundown on Friday until nightfall on Saturday. Customary practice at Shabbat meals in Jewish homes (Friday evening meal and the Saturday mid-day meal) includes foods of religious significance, i.e. gefilte fish, chicken, challah bread and kosher grape juice. Given the modifications to this practice imposed by meal provision in a federal penitentiary facility, access to challah bread and grape juice in the following amounts is considered sufficient to fulfill the ritual requirements of the Shabbat and should be provided for each meal:

The companies that supply kosher meals to the institution are equipped to supply the items required for the weekly Shabbat observances. Challah may be frozen, if necessary, to ensure regular availability. The kosher grape juice and challah are to be served together with the inmate’s regular sealed kosher dinner on Friday and lunch meal on Saturday.

The institutional Chaplain will provide Food Services with a list of inmates intending to observe Shabbat weekly. The list will be updated as required (transfers, new arrivals, inmates choosing to change their Shabbat observance practice).

Passover

Passover is known in the Jewish faith as The Festival of Freedom. Passover lasts for eight days and during this period, Passover observers are not to consume leavened foods (chometz). Chaplaincy Services will provide Food Services with a list of inmates intending to observe Passover. Inmates on this list will have agreed to receive and eat only foods certified “Kosher for Passover” for the entire eight days of the festival due to the fact that ordering is done in advance for Passover and the food would go to waste if not used.

During Passover, any prepared packaged food needs to have “Kosher for Passover” rabbinical certification clearly marked on the package. It should be noted that regular kosher frozen meals are unacceptable for Passover observance. Milk must be certified “Kosher for Passover.” Fresh fruits and fresh vegetables do not require rabbinical certification as they are kosher. Fresh fruits and vegetables must be served whole (not cut). Eggs do not require rabbinical certification as long as they are produced prior to Passover.

Leavened products and foods containing starch are not eaten. This includes items such as bread, cake, cookies, cereal, macaroni, spaghetti and noodles that are not “Kosher for Passover”. Products such as grain vinegar, yeast and malt are also not allowed. Foods such as rice, beans, corn, peas, green beans, peanuts, mustard seeds and their derivatives are not usually consumed during Passover.

During Passover, all meals must be served on paper or plastic disposable plates and the inmates must be provided with disposable utensils. It is not acceptable to serve the food on regular dishes and provide disposable dishes for the inmate to transfer the food onto. Institutions should ensure that companies supplying “Kosher for Passover” meals provide them on disposable plates.

All “Kosher for Passover” food should be stored unopened in their original containers. Food items which are not in original packaging must be stored in a way that they do not become contaminated with chometz.

Passover Ceremonial Meal (the Seder)

About four pounds of matzo is required by each inmate for the duration of the holy days. One small jar of horseradish “Kosher for Passover” is required for each household for the duration of the festival. In the Small Group Meal Preparation Program, one jar per household with Jewish inmates is sufficient. In all other settings, if inmates cannot share the same jar because they are served separately or in isolation from one another, they should each have access to one jar. Inmates are allowed “Kosher for Passover” gefilte fish, if the faith community is able to make it available. This is a traditional food for Passover, but is not a requirement. Arrangements should be made by the institutional Chaplain to coordinate the authorization to have the food brought into the institution and determine where it will be consumed.

On the morning of the day Passover begins, inmates are allowed to eat regular kosher food for breakfast until 9:15 a.m. The Passover provisions begin with the lunch meal on the first day of Passover (see the Passover menu below).

The menu during Passover is as follows:

Breakfast

Lunch and Supper

For the special communal meal on the first two nights of Passover, in addition to the regular kosher menu plan, the following special foods will be served:

On each of the last two nights of Passover, in addition to the regular kosher menu plan, 200 ml of kosher grape juice is required.

Other Holy Days

There are five other “seasons” of the year in which Jewish holy days require daily provision of ritual food:

Rosh Hashanah

Meals affected are supper the night before the holy days and lunch and supper the following two days.

Sukkoth

Meals affected are supper the night before the holy days and lunch and supper the following two days.

Shemini Atzeret

Meals affected are dinner the night before the holy day and lunch and dinner of the holy day.

Simchat Torah

Meals affected are lunch and supper of the holy day.

Shavuot

Meals affected are dinner the night before the holy days and lunch and supper the following two days.

There are no special ritual foods on Chanukah, Purim, Yom HaAtzmaut or Yom Yerushalayim.

Days of Fasting

There are six days of fasting in Judaism. Inmates observing days of fasting will need substantial meals served prior to the commencement of the fast and immediately upon its conclusion. Arrangements need to be made ahead of time for kosher meals to be sent in advance to the inmate for consumption prior to the beginning of the fast and immediately upon its conclusion.

Minor fasts include:

These fasts begin at daybreak and conclude after nightfall. Prior to daybreak on the day of the fast, Jewish inmates who will be fasting are to receive a substantial breakfast as per the following meal pattern based on Canada’s Food Guides serving sizes:

Inmates observant of the fast days are to receive a substantial dinner immediately upon the conclusion of the fast. A substantial dinner consists of a hot meal, a beverage, a dessert and supplementary items as per the Kosher Frozen Meal Supplementation (see Table A above). If a hot meal cannot be provided, a substantial kosher cold meal will be served as per the following meal pattern based on Canada’s Food Guides serving sizes:

Major fasts include:

These fasts begin at sundown on the day before the fast is indicated on the calendar and conclude after nightfall approximately 25 hours later. Prior to sundown on the day before the fast is listed on the calendar and after nightfall the day the fast ends, Jewish inmates should receive a hot meal, a beverage, a dessert and supplementary items as per the Kosher Frozen Meal Supplementation (see Table A above). If a hot meal cannot be provided, a substantial kosher cold meal will be served as per the following meal pattern based on Canada’s Food Guides serving sizes:

During Yom Kippur and the 9th day of Av, the inmate who chooses to observe the fast will not eat or drink from sundown on the previous day until nightfall on the day of fasting. The other four fasting days are shorter; the observant Jewish inmate will only abstain from food and drink from dawn until nightfall on the designated day.

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