I would not assume anything. Even if they were clean from the factory (and they most certainly are not) through shipping and storage they will get dirty. Best practice is to wash them right before use. I would feel real uncomfortable distributing honey in jars that I did not wash.
Although it is ultimately your call, I run all my jars/lids on a sanitary dishwasher rinse before use. I do not use any detergent. I do this to take care of any debris (glass & packing particles) or fingerprints.
I remember a few heated discussions about this years back, with many professional beeks saying that it was unnecessary, especially since honey is such an inhospitable environment for bacteria. And for professionals who probably go through jars quickly, that makes sense. But for me, who stores them in my basement until I need them (which can be many months), I think a sanitary wash is appropriate. Also, given the current pandemic, it's probably best to be a little overcautious - so wash your jars, tools and implements, and your hands.
I would wash jars and bottles that were shipped sans lids. I purchase Ball mason jars with lids attached for my honey and they are ready to use straight from the box. The little 4oz mason jars are not shipped with lids installed and they get a sanitizing rinse in the same solution I use for my mead bottles, which I think is sodium percarbonate.
Walmart is about as good as it gets for plain ol mason jars when you consider freight. Supermarkets and hardware stores charge up to $4 more per dozen for the same jar. Selection is better at the website I posted on the other thread, and all prices are better than what the bee supply houses charge. I generally just figure that jar, lid, and label add a dollar to the cost of the finished product.
Of course you could always go dumpster diving at a recycle collection point. Wide variety of glass jars there and they are free. Just don't tell anyone that is where the jar came from.:lookout:
we buy the anchor hocking quart jars from wally world. The plain jars with no markings on the sides and the lids run $8.94 per dozen. Always get the funny looks when you come out of the store with 10 to 15 cases.
A forum community dedicated to beekeeping, bee owners and enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about breeding, honey production, health, behavior, hives, housing, adopting, care, classifieds, and more!