Does Manuka Honey expire or go bad? Can it be eaten unopened?

Manuka honey
Manuka honey

Manuka honey is a “souvenir” that many people often buy when they visit New Zealand. “Black Widow” Scarlett Johansson (Scarlett Johansson) also said that she used it to maintain the skin, known as “New Zealand National Treasure”, “the price of the highest grade is more than a hundred times that of ordinary honey.

Manuka honey is made from the nectar of the Manuka tree, which is unique to New Zealand and very rare. Manuka honey only accounts for about 1% of the world’s honey and the harvest takes only 2 to 6 weeks. New Zealand is also prone to strong winds and heavy rain, so the success of the harvest depends on God’s help. Some beekeepers go several years without a harvest and even have to use helicopters to collect honey.

Hollywood actresses’ secret weapon

Scarlett Johansson, a Hollywood actress who played the Marvel character ‘Black Widow’, once said that Manuka was her secret weapon to shine on the red carpet. Gwyneth Paltrow also loves Manuka and the Hollywood craze has seen demand explode over the past decade.

manuka honey(Gwyneth Paltrow)
(Gwyneth Paltrow)

What’s so great about Manuka? Even the beauty industry loves it

Manuka’s antibacterial properties are the most praised. In fact, most honeys are thought to have antibacterial function because they contain a chemical substance that can produce hydrogen peroxide (hydrogen peroxide). However, a 1991 study showed that after removing the hydrogen peroxide, Manuka’s antibacterial power still exists, the key is the aforementioned methylglyoxal which makes Manuka’s status different from the past.

In addition to its sterilising and anti-inflammatory properties, cosmetics and skincare companies also claim that Manuka has soothing and nourishing properties and are used in products claiming to help with pimples and acne, further increasing demand and driving up the price of Manuka.

In addition, studies have shown that Manuka can soothe and improve intestinal inflammation, indigestion, skin ulcers, sore throats and even reduce dental plaque and gum disease.

What is the shelf life of Manuka Honey?

Honey doesn’t really age. It is said to remain as good as the day it was extracted. As long as it’s stored properly (out of direct sunlight, away from direct heat and not frozen) it will keep well beyond its sell-by date. For health and safety reasons we recommend that you consume your honey within three years of opening.

The UMFᵀᴹ rating and activity levels in honey will decrease over time. Our UMFᵀᴹ Manuka Honey is guaranteed to retain its certified activity levels at least until the expiry date shown on the jar.

Does Manuka Honey expire or go bad? Is it safe to eat unopened?

Manuka Honey can expire or go bad, but it has a very long shelf life compared to other types of honey. The shelf life of Manuka Honey depends on several factors including the processing, storage and packaging of the honey.

Manuka honey has a high concentration of antibacterial properties which makes it less susceptible to spoilage. However, like all honey, Manuka honey can crystallise over time. This is a natural process and does not affect the quality or safety of the honey.

When properly stored, unopened Manuka Honey can be kept for many years without spoiling. It is best stored in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. Once opened, Manuka Honey should be consumed within one year to ensure optimum quality.

If you notice any signs of spoilage, such as a strange smell, off colour or mould, it is best to discard the honey. In addition, if you are allergic to honey or have a medical condition that restricts your sugar intake, you should consult your healthcare provider before consuming Manuka Honey.

Manuka Honey FAQs

Q: What is the meaning of UMFᵀᴹ?
UMFᵀᴹ stands for Unique Manuka Factor and is a standard of measurement set by the Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association (UMFHA). The UMFᵀᴹ grading system measures the natural markers present in Manuka Honey and guarantees its quality, purity and authenticity. This system also complies with the Ministry of Primary Industries labelling guidelines for Manuka Honey. Only Manuka Honey that is UMFᵀᴹ Graded and has undergone independent testing by the UMFHA is awarded a UMFᵀᴹ Grade. For further information please visit

Question: Is it safe to use Manuka Honey during pregnancy?

Answer: Many pregnant women have been consuming Manuka Honey for years with no reported problems. However, it is always advisable to consult a health professional if in doubt.

Question: Can babies drink Manuka Honey?

Answer: No, it is not safe for babies under the age of 18 months to consume Manuka Honey. This is because Manuka Honey contains live enzymes and bacteria that can grow in an infant’s intestines and cause infant botulism. As babies’ intestines are not fully developed they are unable to fight off the harmful bacteria.

Question: How long can you store Manuka Honey?

Answer: Honey does not really deteriorate and can remain as good as it was when extracted. As long as it is stored properly, away from direct sunlight, direct heat and freezing, it can last well beyond its sell-by date. For health and safety reasons it is recommended that honey is consumed within three years of opening. The UMFᵀᴹ rating and activity levels in Manuka Honey may decrease over time. However, UMFᵀᴹ Manuka Honey is guaranteed to retain its certified activity levels at least until the expiry date shown on the jar.

Question: What should I do if my honey has become grainy?

Answer: If your honey has become grainy and sugary, do not worry. It is still safe to eat and does not mean it is of poor quality or adulterated. Honey can naturally crystallise, especially in cooler weather. To soften the honey and turn the crystals back into smooth, runny honey, place the jar in a warm place or apply gentle heat.