Rabbi Shlomo Sobol
Former Rosh Kollel in Detroit
All keilim that pertain to food, such as pots, plates, and silverware, that were manufactured in the factory of a non-Jew, or that were purchased form a store owned by a non-Jew must be immersed in a mikveh or a natural spring before a Jew is permitted to use them.
The requirement to immerse the utensils does not stem from a fear that the non-Jew may have eaten non-kosher food items on them. Rather, even if it is known beyond a shadow of a doubt that the utensils are completely new, they must be immersed simply because they once belonged to a non-Jew.
The reason has to do with the holiness of a Jew eating. A Jew must not eat simply to satisfy his appetite. Rather, a Jew eats in order to lead a spiritual life and to draw strength from the worship of Hashem. Immersing the utensils in the mikveh gives expression to the transition of the utensils from the level of being opened by a non-Jew to the level of being owned b a Jew.