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Why does honey in plastic container cause plastic to expand?

Hi, i was transferring some honey I purchased to a small plastic container to be used for the next couple of days. Did that this morning, just now i noticed that the container (which had a lid on) has expanded both around the sides and underneath. Its very strange and i’m not sure if the honey is safe to consume now.

Has this happened to anyone else/or know why this has happened?


Welcome to the forum, lots of nice folk happy to pass on advice and heaps of reading as well.
I’m suspecting the honey has a high water content and is fermenting in the container causing a build up of pressure in the container, so the expansion.
Needless to say it shouldn’t happen. Transferring it from one container to another didn’t cause it to happen. Are you seeing any foam/froth on top of the honey?

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I agree with @Peter48, it is probably fermenting. Not your fault, the person who collected it likely harvested unripe honey.

It is safe to eat, but it may not taste very good. People use fermenting honey to make mead, so you certainly can consume it. You may notice a slight fizziness and even a faint whiff of alcohol. :blush:


Thank you!! Really appreciate the responses. :slight_smile: I haven’t noticed any foam on top. Happy to know it can still be consumed.

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I personally dislike the taste of fermented honey. I had a store bought plastic jar that fermented, and really puzzled me because I always assumed the commercial ones are less likely to ferment.

When you transfer honey, make sure the container is bone dry.


I agree that the honey is probably starting to ferment, however it maybe early days. I think a good idea would be to freeze the bulk of the honey in the hopes that freezing would stop the fermentation process. It doesn’t freeze solid like water, therefore you can spoon it out as you consume it. Or take out enough to last a few days & keep that refrigerated. That’s my strategy for using unripe honey.


Thank you for the suggestion. I’ll give that a go.