Color-Coded Scouring Pads and Jewish Dietary Laws

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This package of three scouring pads from the United States promises “No more ‘kitchen confusion!’” Jewish dietary law (kashrut in Hebrew) distinguishes between permitted and forbidden foods. Foods that may be eaten are called “kosher.”


Most of the kashrut rules are contained in the Torah, or the Hebrew Bible, and one of the most important forbids Jews to eat meat and milk products at the same time. In a traditional religious household, meat is therefore never served in a cream sauce, and butter may not be used to fry meat.

Color-Coded System for Separating Dishes

Jews are also required to separate the utensils that come into contact with food. This means that they must always have two sets of dishes, pots, silverware, frying pans, towels, and scouring pads. To ensure that nothing gets mixed up, the utensils are usually color-coded or marked with stickers or tags. The blue pad is meant for dishes used for milk, the red for utensils for meat, and the green for dishes that come into contact with food containing neither meat nor milk. These neutral types of food – fruit, vegetables, and also certain types of fish – are called “pareve.”

Convenient Aids from the US and Israel

If religious Jews in Germany want to buy products for a kosher household, they must order them from stores in the United States and Israel, which ship all the necessary items worldwide.

Three color-coded scrubbing brushes in their packaging.

Scrubbing brushes by Mark-It International, New Jersey; Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Jens Ziehe

What does “kosher” mean?

The term “kosher” is usually used in connection with Jewish dietary laws, which are also called kashrut. A kosher food is permitted, while a treif food is forbidden.

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Title Scouring Pads
Manufacturer Mark-It International, New Jersey
Collection Judaica
Location and year of origin USA, 1986–2000
Medium Plastic
Dimensions 25 x 12,6 x 6 cm

Selected Objects: Judaica Collection (9)

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