Q. I have seen OU honey that is advertised as “unfiltered.” How can that be permitted? If the honey was not filtered, wouldn’t that mean that there may be pieces of the bee left in the honey?
A. “Unfiltered honey” generally means that healthy elements, such as pollen and propolis, have not been removed. Nonetheless, OU certified unfiltered honey will have undergone a cleaning process which removes undesirable elements. Impurities often float to the top and the top layer of honey is removed and discarded. Additionally, honey is typically filtered through a fine mesh which removes almost all bee parts. In the unlikely event that a leg or antenna would pass through the mesh, the honey would be permissible, as per Tosfos (Avoda Zara 69a s.v. ha’hu) that bee legs are treated as dried out bones, which are permissible.
This column comes from OU Kosher’s Halacha Yomis dedicated in memory of Rav Chaim Yisroel ben Reb Dov HaLevy Belsky, zt’l, Senior OU Kosher Halachic Consultant (1987-2016). Subscribers can also ask their own questions on Kashrus issues and send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. These questions and their answers may be selected to become one of the Q and A’s on OU Kosher Halacha Yomis.