Honey is considered to be one of nature’s best gifts since it is delicious, healthy, and versatile. People from all over the world enjoy using it in baking, as a natural sweetener in tea, and as a sweet delight. However, wIth so many people buying honey these days, we can’t help but wonder whether honey goes bad.
Does Honey Go Bad?
People are often surprised to hear that honey can go bad even though it has high antimicrobial properties. Even though honey can have an impressively long shelf life, it can be spoiled by factors such as bacterial or mold contamination, improper storage, or general degradation over a long period.
Another factor that can make honey go bad is adulteration. This involves the process of adding artificial sweeteners to the honey to make it mature faster, making it possible to sell the honey much quicker than nature might have intended.
Therefore, you can benefit significantly from reading labels when it comes to purchasing honey. Look at the ingredients, and if you see that any artificial ingredients have been added, consider getting honey that is 100% natural.
How Long Does Honey Last?
The truly unique thing about honey is that it could potentially last forever. This is because honey contains very high antibacterial properties, sugar, and acidity, combined with a very low moisture content. All of these elements create the perfect mixture that could last indefinitely if it is stored correctly.
Honey has such lasting qualities that many people believe that it is entirely spoil-proof. However, this isn’t the case. Honey that isn’t stored correctly or isn’t 100% honey can spoil rather quickly. In addition, honey products don’t last forever since they often contain additives that change the dynamic of honey.
If you enjoy having honey on your toast, in your tea, or as a healthy sugary treat, take care to buy only 100% pure honey and store it correctly so that you, too, can enjoy honey that lasts forever. This way, you’ll never need to waste honey ever again.
How Long Does Honey Last?
4 Tips to Tell if Honey has Gone Bad
Although 100% pure honey has the ability to last forever, it can become spoiled if it isn’t stored correctly. In this case, it is beneficial to know how to tell if honey has gone bad. By learning how to know whether your honey is still fresh or not, you can avoid the disappointment of adding spoiled honey to food, baking, or drinks.
There are four ways to tell if honey has gone bad. You can look, smell, touch, and taste the honey to establish whether it is still fit for consumption or not. Here are the four ways that you can tell if your honey is still fresh and delicious:
Examine your honey for signs of contamination
Honey contains great levels of antibacterial properties, making it an unfavorable environment for mold and bacterial contamination. However, if the honey isn’t pure or has come into contact with other ingredients, it can become spoiled.
If you notice that your honey has undergone a color change and is no longer a beautiful amber color, it has probably become spoiled. Likewise, if your honey has become crystalized or shows signs of oxidation, it is best to avoid eating it.
Honey that appears to have separated isn’t 100% and should not be consumed. If you notice any bugs or signs of contamination, it is best to invest in a fresh batch of honey.
Smell your honey
Honey has a very light, sweet aroma. If your honey smells sour or rancid, it has become contaminated or isn’t 100% pure honey. In this case, it is best to throw it out. Never eat honey that doesn’t smell like honey.
If your honey has lost its texture, it isn’t fresh anymore
Honey that has become grainy or has formed crystals is best not to be eaten. Likewise, if you notice that your honey has become quite watery, it isn’t fresh anymore.
Your honey tastes spoiled
If you have examined, smelled, and touched your honey and you are still unsure whether it is fresh or not, you can try a little bit of honey to establish its freshness. If you notice that your honey tastes sour or rancid, it isn’t fresh anymore. It is best to avoid all honey that appears to have gone bad.
If you enjoy honey, it is best to invest in 100% pure honey. If you are unsure whether the honey you are planning to purchase is pure or not, check the labels or ask the farmer. Avoiding honey with added ingredients or artificial sweeteners is always best since it won’t offer all the health benefits and won’t last.
5 Tips to Store Honey
Storing pure honey is a straightforward process, and by keeping these tips in mind, you will be able to enjoy long-lasting fresh honey. Here are the five ways you get the most out of your pure honey:
Never use metal containers
If you don’t want to keep your honey in its original container, you can transfer it to another container that seals properly. However, it is essential that you avoid using a metal container when it comes to storing honey. Metal increases the oxidation process of the honey, shortening the shelf life of your honey dramatically.
A glass jar is perfect for storing honey. However, most people enjoy keeping their honey in mason jars since they can seal and have wide openings for using spoons.
Store your honey away from heat elements
Honey doesn’t do well if kept close to heat elements such as the stove or oven. In addition, honey kept in a spot where it receives direct sunlight daily won’t last well. Therefore, the best place for your honey is a cool, dark cupboard in your pantry.
Keep your honey away from moisture
Moisture shortens your honey’s shelf life dramatically. That is why it is so important to choose a container that seals properly.
Use clean utensils to scoop your honey
It is very important that you never use unclean utensils when you are dealing with your honey. In fact, a dirty spoon can cause your honey to become spoiled since it risks bacterial contamination. Since metal can boost your honey’s oxidation process, it is recommended that you use plastic or wooden utensils with your honey.
Keep your honey in your pantry
Honey lasts best if it is kept in conditions that aren’t too cold or too hot. That means that your pantry is the perfect place for keeping your honey. Although many people are tempted to store their honey in the fridge, doing that would cause it to harden and make working with it difficult and unpleasant. By keeping your honey in your pantry, it will remain fresh and be easy to handle.
The Risk of Consuming Expired Honey
Even when honey has undergone a change in color or becomes crystallized, it isn’t unsafe to enjoy. However, the quality of the honey will probably not be what it was. Although most people will show no symptoms of discomfort after eating expired honey, people who have sensitive digestive systems might feel bloated or gassy.
It is vital to remember that raw honey can carry health risks to infants and pregnant women. Therefore, it should not be consumed by babies younger than two years and women who are expecting.
Can You Freeze Honey?
Even though it is possible to freeze honey, it isn’t recommended. Honey contains various incredible health benefits that decrease when the honey is exposed to the icy temperatures of the freezer. As mentioned before, honey is best kept at room temperature, so your pantry is best.
Since honey has an eternal shelf life if stored correctly, there isn’t much need to keep it in the freezer. Your thawed honey will still be safe for consumption, of course, but it will not have the same quality as honey stored at room temperature.
If you aren’t too concerned about your honey’s health benefits and quality, you can freeze it. In fact, many professional bakers and chefs enjoy freezing their honey to ensure that the odds of contamination are even smaller.
If you choose to freeze your honey, it is best to freeze it in small quantities so that you don’t have to thaw the entire batch and refreeze the unused honey. By doing this, you can remove the amount you need without disturbing the honey that you don’t need right now. It isn’t uncommon for people who use honey in their tea to freeze it in ice trays so that it can easily be removed and used.
Those who enjoy a bit of sweetness in life can enjoy a healthy alternative by adding honey to their diet. By investing in pure honey, you get incredible health benefits while enjoying a natural, tasty treat. In addition, by storing your honey in the right conditions and investing in 100% pure honey, you will never have to wonder whether your honey has gone bad.