How long does honey last?

In this short article, we will answer the question “How long does honey last?” we will also discuss the best way to store honey and what properties of honey are responsible for its shelf life.

Honey is a natural food that offers a variety of health benefits. Due to its high sugar concentration, low pH and low moisture content, its chemical composition is responsible for its long shelf life.

How long does honey last?

Honey is self-preserving and can last for decades.

What is the best place to store honey?

Honey shouldn’t be kept in the refrigerator. Although it can be kept in the fridge, it is recommended to keep it outside.

By doing this, it is kept from crystallising and hardening. Although it is more difficult to use in recipes when refrigerated, it does not spoil more quickly. So, make sure you store this sweetening agent at room temperature.

For practical reasons, the typical shelf life of honey sold in markets is two years. After this time, variations in texture, colour, scent, and flavour are possible.

To maintain its qualities and shelf life, honey must be kept in a cool, dark location out of direct sunlight. Glass and plastic jars or jars are acceptable, though it is best to use the packaging in which it is sold.

Avoid using metal containers in this situation since they can cause the honey to oxidise and change in composition. Additionally, honey should not be kept in the refrigerator since it will congeal there.

As a result, the liquid form is not always available. Containers that are well sealed to keep air out are ideal.

When does honey become stale?

Despite having antibacterial characteristics, honey can deteriorate or even make people sick in some situations. These include tampering, infection, poor storage, and gradual degradation.

Mould, yeast, and bacteria are all naturally occurring microorganisms in honey. These can be found in flowers, dust, air, dirt, bees’ digestive tracts, and pollen. 

These microorganisms are frequently found in extremely small quantities and can’t grow because of the antibacterial qualities of honey, so they shouldn’t be a health concern. 

However, 5–15% of samples of honey contain very trace levels of C. botulinum neurotoxin spores.

Why does the honey not spoil for such a long time?

Due to its low water content (only approximately 20 per cent of it is edible) and high sugar content, honey has a shelf life of two years when kept out of the refrigerator.

Honey may have higher acid levels than orange since it also includes hydrogen peroxide, also known as hydrogen peroxide in an aqueous solution. All of this extends the shelf life of the items by preventing the development of bacteria that cause the food to ferment.

Honey’s purity must be constantly checked, though, as the presence of contaminants or the addition of water to the completed product might change how well it preserves food. So you should hunt for an additive-free source of honey if you want to reap the full benefits honey.

What causes honey to crystallise and how can it be prevented?

Honey has a high sugar content, which can cause crystallisation. When that occurs, there is no justification for dismissing it. In actuality, less chemically complex honey crystallises more quickly than other honey.

The flora from which the honey is produced and the storage temperature both affect how quickly it crystallises.

To prevent crystallisation, honey can be cooked in a pan or skillet until it is mushy. But take care not to overcook it because the flavour may alter. Honey can heat up quite quickly in a microwave. So when heating it, go for a less forceful technique.

Conclusions regarding honey preservation.

  • Extreme heat can damage honey’s ability to be preserved. Pick a spot away from heat sources like the stove and direct sunlight.
  • The optimal temperature is room temperature.
  • Additionally, it’s a good idea to keep the honeypot tidy. For this, use a pot with a solid seal.
  • Every time, take a separate spoon to remove the honey from the store. It can become contaminated and have a shorter shelf life if you use the same spoon that you use for the pan and honey.


In this short article, we answered the question “How long does honey last?” we have also discussed the best way to store honey and what properties of honey are responsible for its shelf life.