100% of UK Honey Samples Have Been Adulterated in EU Tests

An investigation by the EU named From the Hives has found that all of the British honey samples it tested have failed authenticity tests.

A total of 320 honey consignments – imported from 20 countries, including the UK – were randomly sampled between November 2021 and February 2022, and all 10 samples from the UK failed the authenticity tests. The honeys tested were likely to have been produced abroad then blended in the UK before being exported to the EU, officials said.

The report confirmed the initial assumption that a significant part of honey imported into the EU is suspicious of not complying with the provisions of the “Honey Directive”.

“The highest number of suspicious consignments originated from China (74%), although honey originating from Turkey had the highest relative proportion of suspicious samples (93%). Honey imported from the United Kingdom had an even higher suspicion rate (100%).

More than half (57%) of the operators had exported honey consignments suspicious of being adulterated with extraneous sugars and more than 60% (66) of the operators imported at least one suspicious consignment. To date, 44 EU operators have been investigated and seven have been sanctioned.

The Commission will discuss an appropriate follow-up to this coordinated action with the relevant stakeholders and Member States authorities. The following course of action is being considered.

Food business operators (including importers) operating in the honey sector at all stages of production, processing and distribution must:

  • (a) Ensure that food placed on the EU market satisfies the requirements of the EU and national Food Law, which are relevant to their activities and ensure that the honey they are trading must comply with the EU marketing standards
  • (b) Verify that such requirements are met (primary responsibility); and
  • (c) Correctly identify the nature, composition, place, or country of origin of the honey, business operators are placing onto the EU market or exporting outside the EU.”


Randox Food offer multiple honey testing products to help exporters/importer to comply with the above commission recommendations and screen for honey adulteration.

Drug residue screening for honey is available on the Evidence Investigator analyser which can test up to 48 samples in under 2 hours 30 minutes using our revolutionary Biochip Array Technology. Randox Food Diagnostics provide an extensive range of antibiotic screening solutions including our most recent Pesticides Array which ensure your products meet international standards and regulations regarding food safety.

Enzymatic screening is also available on the RX misano for diastase, glucose/fructose, hydroxymethylfurfural, total sugars and colouration to assess the quality of honey. Our Honey ELISA kits can screen for drug residues including chloramphenicol, oxytetracycline and tetracycline.

For more information on our honey screening products, please contact us at:

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