Expiration Date on Honey?

Updated on October 20, 2010
S.C. asks from Beverly Hills, CA
21 answers

Hi everyone...I love this site...I've asked so many questions and now almost depend on you guys for any questions that may pop up for me....anyhoo......I'm just starting to get into making smoothies....just wondering if honey thats in the cupboard has an expiration date or how long does it last for?I've heard it never goes bad to 6 months....oh and if you have any smoothie favorite recipes that would be a bonus!!!Thanks moms....(& dads too!)

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answers from Johnstown on

Honey lasts forever. As a matter of fact, some crystalized honey has been found in the Egyptian pyramids and was noted to still be safe for consumption when tested. Just don't give it to an infant under 12 months because of a possible bout of botulism (I think that's the one).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Eugene on

I heard it reported that archaeologists found 2000 year old jars of honey in Egyptian tombs and they still tasted delicious!

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answers from Seattle on

Honey lasts forever. Like salt, or pickles. (they've found all 3 in tombs in egypt, so by "forever" at least 3000 years). The extremely high density of (either sugar in honey's case or salt) makes it antimicrobial.

((Super brief science: Everything that is soluable -gasses / liquids- tries to make itself "equal". When there is a high concentration of "something" (from nutrients in your blood to sugar to salt) the water naturally gets sucked from the less concentrated area into the higher concentration. Bacteria, fungus, viruses land on pure salt and sugar all the time... and the water gets sucked out of them... killing them instantly. The teensy amount of liquid absorbed by the sugar or salt then almost immediately evaporates. That's why we've salted meats and veggies or sugared meats/fruits -sugar cure- for millennia. Because the high concetration of salt or sugar kills all the germs that make food spoil. A note on jam -aka sugar cured fruit- you may notice that it will grow mold BUT if you're equally observant, it only grows on the liquidy top bit. You can scrape that off and *poof* no more mold. Not like cheese which will "vein" with mold))

Honey + ______ (dairy, for example) does go bad over time... but honey all by itself just crystalizes. When it does, all you have to do is put it in a waterbath and heat it until liquid. As it cools it thickens again. It'll crystalize faster, once it already has, but it stays good essentially forever).

The reason one doesn't give honey to infants is because most honey contains botulinum spores. Just like we're constantly exposed to LOW levels of anthrax and tetnus (it's in almost all soils), the spore that causes botulism poisoning exists in tiny amounts thoughout nature, but is concentrated in all forms of honey (especially raw honey, pasteurizing decreases but does not eradicate all of the spores... but raw honey has 'em all... one more reason why "natural" is not always best). It takes a couple of months to years for our immune system to learn how to cope with it... so we typically avoid giving infants honey. (Many infant's immune systems are just fine with it... but do you really want to find out if yours isn't?... is the reason for waiting)

Say an "round top" can of botulinum infected food = 1000. What's found in honey = 5. What's found walking around breathing air is .01. A healthy immune system can easily fight off 100 without batting an eye. A compromised or underdeveloped -like in infants- immune system can only fight off 1. (These numbers are just descriptive, the real numbers are much higher...can = trillions, etc). The botulinum is gathered by the bees with the pollen, and is one of the rare/ kinda cool types of microbes that survives in "hibernation", like a seed, until the right circumstances present themselves. (In 3,000 year old tombs in Egypt "encapsulated" bacteria and viruses have been found, held in perfect suspension. They're part of the science behind "curses", and why many used to die when a tomb was opened. The microbes had been dormant for thousands of years, but once they found a host, came out of suspension and started to multiply and people died of diseases that hadn't been seen for thousands of years).

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answers from Portland on

Honey lasts forever. If it crystallizes, just dip the whole jar in hot water.

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answers from Austin on

Well, you have already been told that honey doesn't go bad... but my favorite smoothie recipe is cinnamon banana one that I used to make when I worked at Baskin Robbins. (it's more like a milkshake though...) It's just frozen vanilla yogurt, milk, a whole banana, and a TON of cinnamon. Blend it to the right consistency and enjoy! It's pretty good if you add malt to it, or you can add some chocolate instead of cinnamon, but it's not as healthy.

You could also use a fruit concentrate, and blend it with Ice and 2-3 scoops of frozen yogurt to make a blast. I can't remember the amounts, but it wouldn't take much experimentation to get it right... Just use a LOT of ice.

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answers from Philadelphia on

Hello! This is def not scientific but I remember my Nana having old honey that was always "sugary" on top that she kept in a plastic bottle and would warm it up in a pot of water on the stove top when she used it for recipes or tea...so it was absolutely old and she was always reheating the same large container up until her passing away...wow...memories. Well, know one ever got sick...:) And my fav smoothie is cantaloupe, banana, honey, vanilla yogurt...good luck

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answers from Colorado Springs on

I've never seen an expiration date on honey. Honey gets old but it doesn't go bad (that is, become bad to eat). What happens is that it crystallizes. When that happens, you can decrystallize it by placing the container in water on LOW heat and let it heat very gradually until it's in a pouring state again.

Sorry not to have any smoothie recipes - I've never tried making one. Guess I'm behind the times!



answers from Los Angeles on

Honey is the only thing in the world that doesn't go bad...it might crystallize, but all ya gotta do is run it under some very hot tap water or sit it in a cup of hot water for a few minutes...
I wouldn't recommend nuking it cuz its can easily get 2 runny that way.



answers from Los Angeles on

honey never expires. ever. It is the only food that lasts forever.



answers from Chicago on

Honey has no expiration date. Just do as Mary suggests. It keeps forever!


answers from Houston on

it doesnt go bad, if it crystalizes you can warm it up to return it to normal



answers from Los Angeles on

Make sure there is nothing added, and it won't go bad. It does get darker and eventually crystalizes, which is my favorite way to eat honey!

I use peaches, vanilla yogurt, peanut butter, chia seeds and blackberries. That is one of my favorite smoothies! But any fruit added to yogurt is so yummy!
Good drinking!



answers from Dallas on

Have you seen the website stilltasty.com?? So great for checking the real shelf life of foods. It says that honey lasts indefinitely if stored properly.



answers from Mobile on

Yeah, it's also my understanding that it never goes bad--like honey they've found in the pyramids is still edible.

For smoothies, I always start with frozen bananas (peel and freeze the ones that are brown enough that you'd throw them out the next day). I add whatever ever other fruit I have on hand (berries, peaches, pineapple, mango . . .), mostly plain yoghurt with a few big spoonfuls of vanilla, and a little juice (apple is the most anonymous, but orange, mango, and pineapple are all good) or milk. I actually don't add honey. :)




answers from Phoenix on

Honey never goes bad; it just crystalizes over time. If your honey is crystalized you can heat it up with some water to rehydrate it. It is also Hygroscopic (the ability to attract water molecules from the surrounding environment) which makes anything it is baked with last longer as well. As for recipes just check a recipe website:




answers from Houston on

People dont think this but, honey DOES go "bad". It starts a bacteria process that you do not want in your body. Its multituded, (yes, I just made up my own word!) that is the same reason why you dont give it to infants.
Seriously, honey is cheap...throw it out and buy new....not just that, you want fresh stuff anyway, right?




answers from Los Angeles on

I believe it doesn't expire, it's a natural preservative. The Egyptians used it to preserve their mummies!



answers from Los Angeles on

Looks like you got some god responses regarding honey....

One of my favorite smoothies is banana, orange juice, kale, and pineapple. I usually add a spoonful of coconut oil as well, or flax seed oil.

Another one that we love is OJ, banana, pineapple, and mango.

Make sure that some of the fruit is frozen so it's nice and cold :)

My daughter's favorite is OJ, strawberries, and banana with coconut oil. Really, with smoothies, the sky's the limit. Have fun with it.


answers from Washington DC on

just make sure water doesn't get into it (if it crystallizes bathe it in hot water, don't pour it over the lid where some might get in) and you're good to go for years!
but seriously....honey is so wonderful why should it ever last that long?
i have 2 staple smoothies, dairy and green. the green smoothie is very healthy, although not as much of a 'treat' as the dairy. i use greens (which i buy in large quantities and freeze for these.....frozen greens are icky to just eat but work wonderfully in green smoothies), maybe a carrot or a turnip or an apple, some frozen fruit (half a banana, handful of berries), a scoop of protein powder and coconut water (you can use fruit juice if you like, or go really wacky and try chocolate almond milk). if you want you can add a squeeze of agave or that honey you've crystallizing in your cupboard! gives you incredible energy to get through a busy day. but if i want a treat i use frozen fruit, raw milk, a raw egg, some chocolate malt and mmmmmmmmmmm......
when i have leftover coffee i freeze it in ice cube trays and use that in the dairy smoothies sometimes. or i'll blend it up with some cooled coffee, milk, sugar and some ghirardelli chocolate powder.
i should add i've got a blend-tec. so i'm all about the blended treats.
:) khairete



answers from Los Angeles on

honey does not expire. if it gets old enough, though, it might crystalize. if that happens, put the jar into a simmering pan of water until it is liquid again.


answers from Philadelphia on

I'm pretty sure it never goes bad, but if it crystalizes it might taste funny or have a different texture than fresh honey. It's still safe to eat when it gets like that, but I'd just get some new honey at that point lol It's never safe to give honey to an infant though!

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