Honey is a food with its own regulations.

  • EC Directive 2001/110 relating to honey
  • The Miscellaneous Food Additives Regulations 1995 (as amended by
  • The Official Feed and Food Controls (Scotland) Regulations 2005)
  • The Honey (Scotland) Regulations 2003
  • The Honey Amendment (Scotland) Regulations 2005

Honey must also be labeled in accordance with the Food Labelling Regulations 1996 and meet with the general requirements of the Food Safety Act 1990.

The Honey (Scotland) Regulations 2003 and the 2005 amendments prescribe definitions and reserved descriptions for certain specified honey products, restrict the use of reserved descriptions, prescribe labelling requirements for honey and specify those provisions of the Food Labelling Regulations 1996 that apply.

Reserved descriptions

  • blossom honey or nectar honey is honey obtained from the nectar of plants
  • honeydew honey is honey obtained mainly from excretions of plant sucking insects (Hemiptera) on the living part of plants or secretions of living parts of plants
  • comb honey is honey stored by bees in the cells of freshly built broodless combs or thin comb foundation sheets made solely of beeswax and sold in sealed whole combs or sections of such combs
  • chunk honey or cut comb in honey is honey which contains one or more pieces of comb honey
  • drained honey is honey obtained by draining de-capped broodless combs
  • extracted honey is honey obtained by centrifuging de-capped broodless combs
  • pressed honey is honey obtained by pressing broodless combs with or without the application of moderate heat not exceeding 45C
  • filtered honey is honey obtained by removing foreign inorganic or organic matters in such a way as to result in the significant removal of pollen
  • baker's honey is a honey which is suitable for industrial uses or as an ingredient in other foodstuffs which are then processed and
    may produce a foreign taste or odour or have begun to ferment or have fermented, or may have been overheated.

Guidance on honey is available from the Food Standards Agency website.

View the honey guidance document