What is the shelf life of honey? How long can you keep it before it goes bad?
2 years is the commonly accepted answer, but if it's kept in a sealed container at room temperature, it could literally keep for decades.
Don't throw it away just because it's crystallized, either. Just put the jar in a bowl of hot water and remove the lid. Stir the crystals back into the honey and it should be as good as new.
Raw honey (honey) is the only food that does not spoil. Jars of honey have been found in ancient tombs that are still edible after hundreds of years.
rmr is correct about the cystallization of honey. One reason that honey crystallizes is because it is unadulterated. If the honey does not crystallize there has been processing and additives done to keep it in its liquid form.
Personally, I use only raw, unpasteurized, unadulterated, organic honey. The taste is amazing, the health benefits are amazing. I did a blog on raw honey - you can find it at:
The first two answers are fairly comprehensive! I just thought that I would add that honey is bacteria static and has been used in the past to help keep wounds clean and to help with healing. We keep bees at Les Trois Chenes B&B and serve our raw, unadulterated wild-flower honey for breakfast. The guests love it.
As others have said, it doesn't go bad . I would add that you can heat the crystallized or "sugared" honey to return it to normal honey, or if you have a wheat grinder or similar type of grinder you can make creamed honey. Creamed honey has a little bit different flavor than regular honey, and has the consistency of room-temperature cream cheese. It's awesome on bagels or graham crackers, or anything where something spreadable is desired.
I raised bees for most of my life (can't wait to get out of town and raise them again!) and we always sold our honey raw. We put a certain amount in jars, and whatever was left over was stored in sealed 5G buckets, and they often sugared. We'd cream enough to keep up with demands, and heat the rest enough to de-sugar it.
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