Does Honey Expire? The Surprising Truth About Honey’s Shelf Life

When properly stored, honey does not expire.

Answering Common Questions About Honey

People have a lot of questions about honey, which makes sense, given its unique status as an animal product used primarily as a sweetener. So I thought I’d do some research and put together this post with answers to common questions about honey, like does honey go bad, how long does it last, how to store it, and more.

So let’s dive right in!

Does Honey Expire?

The short answer is no, honey doesn’t expire — in fact, I read somewhere that archaeologists found a pot of honey in a Pharaoh’s tomb and it was still edible! Honey is one of several foods that never expire, meaning that as long as you store them correctly, they’ll stay usable more or less indefinitely.

More FAQs About Honey

Crystallized honey has not gone bad, and you can get rid of honey crystals by gently heating the honey.

Is Crystallized Honey Bad?

Honey may change in texture or crystallize, but that doesn’t mean it’s spoiled. Honey crystallizes when the glucose inside it solidifies, a process that doesn’t affect the safety or quality of the honey at all.

One reason why honey is so resistant to spoilage is because of its low water content — only about 17% of its structure is water, which is too low for most bacteria and fungi to survive. Honey actually dehydrates bacteria, so it is essentially its own preservative!

How To Fix Crystallized Honey

To restore crystallized honey to a liquid state, gently warm it up in a warm water bath. (You can also microwave honey in short bursts until it liquifies, but be careful not to get it too hot, or you risk destroying its nutritional qualities.

(Note: Crystallized honey is perfectly fine to eat and use as is, but if you prefer it in a liquid state, now you’ll know how to get it there!)

Even though honey does not expire, stores use expiration dates so they sell the older stock first.

Why Does Honey Have An Expiration Date?

Expiration dates on honey are mainly for the benefit for the stores that sell it — it helps them rotate their stock and sell older products before the newer ones. So don’t worry about the expiration date on your honey bottle — it will last for ages all the same!

Old honey can be used just like new honey -- as a sweetener or in a variety of other ways.

What Can I Do With Old Honey?

Even if your honey has past its expiration date, you can use it just like you would any other honey! Stored in a sealed jar or bottles in a cool, dry, and dark place, it will last darn near forever. (And if you’re one who enjoys peanut butter and honey sandwiches, your peanut butter stays good long after the date on the jar as well. As long as it doesn’t smell rancid, go ahead and make that sandwich!)

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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