Is “Unfiltered Honey” Still Kosher?
Shailah of the Week by Rabbi Zvi Nussbaum
Rabbinic Coordinator, Kosher Hotline Administrator for the Orthodox Union
The exact definition of unfiltered honey is vague. It generally refers to honey that retains its beneficial properties, such as pollen or propolis, which would be removed if filtered. However, unfiltered honey can still undergo cleaning processes—skimming off the top and pouring through a mesh. A typical such process would involve pouring honey through a series of 600 micron-wide meshes. Even if a bee’s leg or antenna could hypothetically pass through these screens, the honey would still be permitted. Tosfot (Avoda Zara 69a s.v. ha’hu) write that the legs of bees are like dried out bones, which are permitted.