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Whether you are a beginning beekeeper or you have purchased raw honey from a farmer's market or other source, you may want to know how to pasteurize honey to kill any bacteria in the liquid before eating. Pasteurizing honey can also help to reduce crystallization when the honey sits on the shelf for a long period of time.
Pour the raw honey into a saucepan.
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Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan, making sure the tip of the thermometer is fully immersed in the honey.
Slowly bring the temperature of the honey to 145 degrees F.
Maintain the 145-degree temperature for 30 minutes. You may have to turn the heat down in order to keep the temperature steady.
Pour the pasteurized honey into a clean container after the process is complete. Place the lid on the jar or container to keep out any unwanted contaminants.
If you plan to reuse the container that the honey came in, be sure to thoroughly wash and rinse the container before pouring the pasteurized honey back into it. Unless the label reads "raw honey," most store-bought honey has already been pasteurized. Pasteurized honey can sit on the shelf for years, provided it is in a closed container. Heat honey slowly in a double boiler if it has crystallized in the jar. The heat process will return the honey to its liquid form.
While raw, or unpasteurized, honey is safe for most people to eat, it should not be given to infants or those who have weaken immune systems. Botulism and other bacteria can grow in raw honey.