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Surface that Can’t be Kashered

If you move into a house that has been previously lived in by goyim, and the bench tops in the kitchen are made of finished wood with some thin plastic type material covering it so that it can’t be kashered, are you allowed to place hot foods directly on those benches? If no, are you allowed to put a hot aluminim tray on the benches and use the food in the tray and/or use the tray again in the oven?

Answer:

According to many authorities plastic can be kashered, though some are stringent about this.

Therefore, if possible you should kasher the tops with boiling water (hag’alah), and according to most authorities this is sufficient to use the top as usual.

If the top cannot be kashered, there is no problem of placing pots and trays on the surface (the surface should by dry; beliyos do not transfer from one utensil to another if there is no liquid between them), but food should not be placed directly on the surface.

Best wishes.

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