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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Lake County Ill
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    378

    Default Lab Testing of Honey

    I hope someone can provide some advice. I am about to start selling my honey and some honey from 2 other bee keepers at farmers markets and perhaps on the internet. My lawyer asked if I had the honey tested by a Lab. Quite frankly it never occurred to me but he suggested that my liability insurance would not be of much help if I did not take proper precaution such as testing before selling. Has anyone used a lab and what should I test for. Also would appreciate the name of a reputable lab. I contacted a lab that does food testing and they have tested a lot of honey but indicated that I needed to know what I wanted them to test for as there are numerous tests for various chemicals and bacteria. They said it could deb inexpensive unless I needed numerous tests for chemicals and suggested I do some research with the FDA. I would appreciate any suggestions because quite frankly does make sense to test foods products that will behold to the public.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    moravia,ny
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    1,188

    Default Re: Lab Testing of Honey

    the lawyer is going to make a lot more than you. just put the honey in a jar and sell it. your first mistake was the lawyer. lol

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Glen Allen, VA
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Lab Testing of Honey

    I did a quick seach and got this...it's dated 1985, maybe something there.

    http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getf...STELDEV3011895

    I purchased a refractometer to check moisture content..only so I would know what it is. (not planning on selling any at this time)...and I think it is used in a process to determine the grade (A,B or C).

    There may be additional information in the other forums here.

    I also believe there is specific information that is required to be on the label if you plan on selling.

    I hav not seen anything on having it tested in a lab in the research I did.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Lake County Ill
    Posts
    378

    Default Re: Lab Testing of Honey

    I realize many folks don't like lawyers, however, I have run a company for over 40 years and that is the part of a corporate necessity. Its a lot easier to check than to be sued for millions especially if you don't have liability insurance. All it takes is one lawsuit. So I have learned from experience to check. By the way it didn't cost anything to check.a
    Quote Originally Posted by beeware10 View Post
    the lawyer is going to make a lot more than you. just put the honey in a jar and sell it. your first mistake was the lawyer. lol

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,460

    Default Re: Lab Testing of Honey

    Your lawyer obviously knows about litigation (and how to take your money) but knows nothing about honey. lol
    Check the labeling requirements for your state.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,234

    Default Re: Lab Testing of Honey

    There are labs that do that testing, but like you found out you have to specify what you want the honey sample tested for. Dr. Maryanne Frazier ran a study testing wax and honey samples for a cpl hundred different pesticides. I believe that study is no longer running.

    What does your lawyer think you should be testing for? Presence of something? Or what?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Athens, OH
    Posts
    2,651

    Default Re: Lab Testing of Honey

    I'm more worried about glass chips from the container.
    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. -Frank Zappa

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Lab Testing of Honey

    Put it in plastic.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
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    1,614

    Default Re: Lab Testing of Honey

    I think Mark makes a very valid point. What is the lawyer afraid of as far as law suit? If grocers were concerned about having honey tested by a labm they would require you do it and provide them the results prior to you placing your product in their stores as well as providing a copy of your liability insurance policy to them with their name on your policy so they are covered. I do NOT know of any grocers requiring lab testing of honey.

    Mark do you?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
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    1,834

    Default Re: Lab Testing of Honey

    Quote Originally Posted by BMAC View Post
    I do NOT know of any grocers requiring lab testing of honey.

    Mark do you?
    wixon packs for wegmans and if my memory is correct they also require it to be tested.
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    syracuse n.y.
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    Default Re: Lab Testing of Honey

    the poster also said " I am about to start selling my honey and some honey from 2 other bee keepers at farmers markets"
    maybe the lawyer is worried about what could be in the honey he bought, most reputable packers test the honey they turn around and sell? maybe he should check with a packer in his area.
    I would think(and sometimes this is hard for me to do) that at the least you should test for High Fructose and antibiotics as these would be under the control of the beek.
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Rockford, MI
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    Default Re: Lab Testing of Honey

    You would have to have every single batch of bottled honey tested as nectar comes from different areas and can change composition within seconds.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    syracuse n.y.
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    Default Re: Lab Testing of Honey

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Beeman View Post
    You would have to have every single batch of bottled honey tested as nectar comes from different areas and can change composition within seconds.
    I asked this question once and was told most commercial beeks take a sample from each barrel and mix the samples together to send a sample to the packers when they are trying to sell there honey, would seem like a plan to me. I take multiple samples each time I extract and merge them and keep the sample for a few years just in case someone comes looking.
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
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    1,614

    Default Re: Lab Testing of Honey

    Quote Originally Posted by wildbranch2007 View Post
    wixon packs for wegmans and if my memory is correct they also require it to be tested.
    I just spoke with Jerry a couple weeks ago about Wegmans. He never mentioned anything about having it tested at a lab. He did however go thru a rigorous 3 or 4 day inspection/certification to provide honey for Wegmans. Also he is on a completely different level of providing honey as a packer rather than a beekeeper providing honey.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Montgomery County, NY
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    1,614

    Default Re: Lab Testing of Honey

    Quote Originally Posted by wildbranch2007 View Post
    maybe he should check with a packer in his area.
    I would think(and sometimes this is hard for me to do) that at the least you should test for High Fructose and antibiotics as these would be under the control of the beek.
    Valid point Mike. He would be prudent to check with local packers and see what they do. We understand what we would want tested for top quality honey, so of course we would want to have it sampled for antibiotics, HF, and probably chemical make ups of our mite treatments. With all that said what does a lawyer know about it? Most likely nothing to the minimal not much.

  16. #16
    Join Date
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Lab Testing of Honey

    Quote Originally Posted by BMAC View Post
    Mark do you?
    No, I don't. But all of the grocery stores I sell to require proof of product liability insurance.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  17. #17
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Lab Testing of Honey

    Quote Originally Posted by wildbranch2007 View Post
    I asked this question once and was told most commercial beeks take a sample from each barrel and mix the samples together to send a sample to the packers when they are trying to sell there honey, would seem like a plan to me. I take multiple samples each time I extract and merge them and keep the sample for a few years just in case someone comes looking.
    Mike, the honey producers that I know who sell barrels of honey to packers sample each barrel and send the individual samples to the packer along w/ the barrels of honey. I don't think that mixing would be a good idea. Were there something in one tank that would cause rejection then the whole load would be rejected.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Lab Testing of Honey

    Quote Originally Posted by BMAC View Post
    Valid point Mike. He would be prudent to check with local packers and see what they do. We understand what we would want tested for top quality honey, so of course we would want to have it sampled for antibiotics, HF, and probably chemical make ups of our mite treatments. With all that said what does a lawyer know about it? Most likely nothing to the minimal not much.
    And then the OPer gets to decide whether the exposure is worth the risk when traces of certain chemicals are present. I bet his lawyer will advise against selling honey period when traces of chumophos show up in the tested honey.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Worcester County, Massachusetts
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    Default Re: Lab Testing of Honey

    That makes it unlikely (or impossible if there are a number of samples pooled) for a problematic barrel to be noticed. Unless the same honey is going to be pooled for bottling, this is a great way to not find problems that you are supposedly trying find.

    Deknow

    Quote Originally Posted by wildbranch2007 View Post
    I asked this question once and was told most commercial beeks take a sample from each barrel and mix the samples together to send a sample to the packers when they are trying to sell there honey, would seem like a plan to me. I take multiple samples each time I extract and merge them and keep the sample for a few years just in case someone comes looking.
    The irony is free. It's the sarcasm you are paying for....ironically.
    -Felicity Jones in "Chalet Girl"

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Worcester County, Massachusetts
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    3,543

    Default Re: Lab Testing of Honey

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Mike, the honey producers that I know who sell barrels of honey to packers sample each barrel and send the individual samples to the packer along w/ the barrels of honey. I don't think that mixing would be a good idea. Were there something in one tank that would cause rejection then the whole load would be rejected.
    or worse... a contaminated barrel that isn't noticed because the sample was diluted with honey from a bunch of clean barrels. ....or contamination that is assumed to be at safe levels because the sample is diluted.
    It would be like averaging the grades in a class and if the average was passing, assuming all students are passing.

    Deknow
    The irony is free. It's the sarcasm you are paying for....ironically.
    -Felicity Jones in "Chalet Girl"

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