There are many types of honey on the market today but as a general rule will honey ever go bad?
There are indeed many varieties of honey on the market to day but they can be either pasteurised or unpasteurised. Most honey available on supermarket shelves today will have been pasteurised, whereas honey bought locally from a beekeeper will be unpasteurised. Both pasteurised and unpasteurised honey will not go bad provided they are kept properly.
Pasteurised honey has been heat treated to a temperature of 71°C (160°F) and then quickly cooled. The process is designed to kill bacteria, moulds and yeasts that come from the honeybees and their environment. Honey which has been pasteurised will last for much longer in the liquid state than unpasteurised honey, but does not guarantee that it will ever go off.
Unpasteurised honey will eventually crystallize but this particular variety is just as safe to eat as liquid honey and can even be more easily spread on toast or used in baking recipes. Crystallization does not affect the edibility of honey because the sugar that makes honey sweet has already been converted into crystals.
So in conclusion pasteurised honey bought in a shop or raw honey bought from a beekeeper does not spoil and does not go bad. As long as the jar has an airtight seal, it can be stored for years without losing its taste, aroma, or quality. It’s safe to store it in a pantry, cupboard, or even your refrigerator for an extended period of time.
It is important to note however, that honey will ferment if it has been contaminated with water. This can occur if the honey is left open to the atmosphere for any length of time. Honey is hygroscopic and will absorb moisture present in the air if left open. If you notice any signs of fermentation such as a sour smell or a bubbling effect, do not consume it and throw it away.