Short answer: Honey will never go bad on its own. It is true that jars of sealed honey buried in ancient Egyptian tombs are still perfectly safe to eat.
Long answer: Honey will go bad if handled poorly by the beekeeper or by the consumer. The bees turn flower nectar into honey inside of the hive, removing moisture in the nectar by flapping their wings. Bees remove so much water from the nectar it becomes thick and naturally acidic which will kill nearly anything that wants to grow in it. Because nearly all bacteria are unable to grow and multiply in it, your jar of delicious honey will never spoil.
Here is the biggest thing you can do to keep your honey from going bad:
Keep your honey sealed. Honey will actually absorb water from the air and into the jar, creating a more hospitable environment for bacteria to grow. Close your lid completely to keep this from happening. Snap the lid shut like the Egyptians, and you, too, can leave fresh tasting honey for your family in 2,000 years.
Adam Hickman works in the Cooking Light Test Kitchen and as a beekeeper in Birmingham, founding Foxhound Bee Company in 2014.
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