how does honey stay fresh and not go bad in the cupboard?


It seems like you can store honey indefinitely outside of the refrigerator. You’d think with the sugar content, moisture, and lack of acidity, mold would develop quickly but it doesn’t. What gives?

In: 2


Honey is naturally extremely acidic. It has a pH that falls between 3 and 4.5, approximately, and that acid will kill off almost anything that wants to grow there. So bacteria and spoil-ready organisms must look elsewhere for a home–the life expectancy inside of honey is just too low.

Trivia info from a science magazine: Honey is the only food that never spoils. As long as it’s pure that is.

Another little fact: If you have yeast infection in your system and you’d need to reduce/cut off sugar consumption as it feeds the yeast, you can actually still eat honey despite it being sweet. As other answers in this thread have answered – the bacteria or fungi can’t consume it.


That’s the thing; honey has very little moisture in it, as low as 15%. At that concentration it’s hard for microorganisms to grow because the osmotic pressure crushes them into little raisins. They can often survive by retracting into an endospore, which is why botulism can be a concern with honey, but since they can’t grow the honey doesn’t go bad the same way other foods do.