Does Honey Go Bad? 7 Things I Wish I’d Known Earlier

Everything about the history of raw honey and its peculiarities

Written by Elisa Chan. Updated on Does Honey Go Bad

Honey is one of the most ancient products that exist on Earth. This natural sweet foodstuff is a true miracle being a source of healthy components and benefits one gets from consuming it!

Naturally, everyone would like to know: can honey go bad?

And today, we will share everything we know about the history of raw honey and its peculiarities.

Honey. History And Interesting Facts

Today we have honey on the shelves of every shop. Liquid and crystallized, portioned and in big jars, it’s so easy to get lost among this variety!

But what do we know about this product?

To begin with, honey is as old as our history itself, can you imagine that?! This foodstuff has been known by humans for at least eight thousand years!

Even ancient Egyptian kings knew this product since honeycombs were found in their tombs.

This bees’ product is indeed versatile since it can be intaken, used for healing wounds since it’s a great antiseptic, and for cooking, and for external use, too (they say honey makes our skin softer and healthier). People even used to take bath with it!

Even today this product is widely used in making cosmetics, in pharmaceuticals, and it was proved to be a great energy booster!

What Are The Benefits Of Raw Honey?

So what makes this 100% organic foodstuff so healthy and beneficial?

Let’s go through the list!

  • Honey gives us energy better than any energy bar or drink
  • It’s rich in antioxidants and lowers the blood sugar level 
  • Honey is a perfect sugar replacement for diabetics
  • Consuming honey makes our heart stronger and balances the cholesterol level
  • It possesses antiseptic qualities and can be used for external wounds, cuts, and scratches
  • Honey is good for moisturizing and softening the skin
  • It is able to remove parasites
  • Honey is known for healing soar throat
  • It helps to get sober faster
  • They say this product removes fizziness from the hair tips
  • As a preservative, use it for making fruit jams

Naturally, such a beneficial product must be kept edible to its longest! 

Shelf Life Of Honey. How Long Can You Keep Honey At Home?

can honey go bad
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This is probably the question most of us ask ourselves when we decide to preserve some honey for future use.

It is indeed important to know about the raw honey shelf life if we want the product to remain usable longer. 

To briefly explain the case, check the table.

Pantry/Counter Fridge
Raw honey Since it has natural impurities, the product will keep its qualities for a year or so and will start spoiling gradually afterward. Even refrigerated, raw honey tends to get off with time due to its content specifics.
Store-bought honey Properly sealed in the airtight tank, it will stay edible for many years safely. Refrigerated honey lasts the same long as its counterpart but it may harden faster.
Honeycomb With the wax or without, this natural sweet will stay consumable for almost endlessly. Refrigerated honeycomb is also very durable though it may harden sooner than expected.

So what interests people most of all?

The Benefits Of Raw Honey
Photo by Amelia Bartlett on Unsplash
  • How long does raw honey last? 

Well, the main distinction between the raw and processed honey is that raw product still has its natural impurities which makes it more predisposed to spoiling. So basically, unfiltered honey will remain best of all for a year or so after it was collected. Afterward, it starts spoiling.

As for the filtered counterpart, since its impurities were deleted, the lifespan of such a product is almost indefinite if it’s kept correctly.

  • Does honey ever expire?

In fact, it doesn’t but that’s if we are talking about the filtered product. 

As long as honey itself contains almost no water and has a very low pH and a high amount of sugar, it prevents bacteria from spreading and growing. 

raw honey shelf life
Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash

That is the reason why honey works as antiseptic, by the way.

To store honey at home, just keep it on the counter in the original tank tightly closed. If put to the dark place, it may look older after a while so consider this.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Honey Expiration

Of course, an issue of expiration is the most essential ones about any foodstuff including honey. They say that honey never expires but is it really so?

Let’s clarify that.

Does honey ever expire
Photo by Meggyn Pomerleau on Unsplash

First of all, does honey have an expiration date? Of course, it does but only if it’s an unfiltered product. Its natural impurities will cause such honey spoil after one year of storage even if we keep it properly.

Does store-bought one will expire, too, you may wonder in this case? No, this sort of product is far more durable! In fact, it can be called eternally-lasting since its lifespan is unlimited and will last much past the honey expiration date.

Only note that when aging, honey will crystallize which isn’t a sign of spoilage!

How to Define Expired Honey

Honey Expiration
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As long as honey does tend to get worse when being raw, it would be useful to know how we can define whether it is off or not. 

As you know, old honey tends to darken and harden with time becoming somewhat cloudy and that’s normal. But if you have a jar of raw product and you’re unsure whether it’s still fine, check it for any traces of fungi floating on the surface. 

If noticing any, we’d advise discarding the foodstuff since it may be harmful to people with the weak immune system.

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐Can honey give you diarrhea?

Since people are not good at digesting fructose in large amounts, its overdose may lead to diarrhea. As long as honey is very high in fructose, excess intake of it may lead to such an unpleasant aftermath.

⭐Does raw honey go bad?

Yes, the raw product tends to spoil with time. Be sure to consume it within a year after it was picked, otherwise, it will have to be discarded.

⭐Is raw unfiltered honey safe to consume?

Absolutely! The raw product may even be more useful than its processed counterpart since the latter one often has added sugar.

⭐How do you know if honey is raw or processed?

Simply by looking at it. The raw one looks cloudy and somewhat opaque because it contents the extra element whereas the processed one will be clear and bright.

⭐How long will honey last refrigerated?

If it’s a filtered kind of product, it will remain edible almost forever no matter what.

Written by
Elisa is a passionate cook who will advise you on healthy and delicious food topics! With her help, you will discover how to properly store and freeze food, as well as learn important nuances about preserving vitamins in your meals to make them stay nutritious.
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