File No. 36147

This rule was published in the June 1, 2012, issue (Vol. 2012, No. 11) of the Utah State Bulletin.

Agriculture and Food, Regulatory Services

Rule R70-520

Standard of Identity and Labeling Requirements for Honey

Notice of Proposed Rule

(New Rule)

DAR File No.: 36147
Filed: 05/03/2012 02:09:32 PM


Purpose of the rule or reason for the change:

The purpose of this new rule is to implement raw honey definition and labeling provisions made into law by the 2011 General Session of the Legislature under H.B. 148. The rule also replaces Rule R68-21, Standard of Identity for Honey. (DAR NOTE: The proposed repeal of Rule R68-21 was published in the January 15, 2012, issue of the Bulletin and was effective 03/07/2012.)

Summary of the rule or change:

This rule defines raw honey, provides criteria for labeling raw honey, requires non-floral honey to be labeled non-floral, and provides a standard of identity for honey.

State statutory or constitutional authorization for this rule:

  • Subsection 4-5-8(5)
  • Subsection 4-2-2(1)(g)
  • Section 4-5-16
  • Subsection 4-5-6(1)(b)
  • Section 4-5-20
  • Subsection 4-5-15(1)

Anticipated cost or savings to:

the state budget:

The Legislature allocated $8,000 for the enforcement of the new law. Thus, any enforcement has, to this degree, been covered in the UDAF budget.

local governments:

The rule places no responsibilities on local government. There should be no cost or savings to them.

small businesses:

Honey producers will be the only impacted group. The Department's research indicates that Utah honey producers already follow these requirements. Honey producers from other states and nations may incur costs. This was not able to be determined.

persons other than small businesses, businesses, or local governmental entities:

The proposed rule only applies to producers of honey. No other persons will be impacted.

Compliance costs for affected persons:

There could be compliance costs for honey producers not in Utah. In our discussions with the industry thus far, no costs have been identified.

Comments by the department head on the fiscal impact the rule may have on businesses:

This rule is required by legislative amendments to the Utah Wholesome Food Act. The Department has not identified any costs to Utah producers. A public hearing was held on 02/13/2012. This rule was reviewed and approved by the Agriculture Advisory Board on 05/01/2012.

Leonard M. Blackham, Commissioner

The full text of this rule may be inspected, during regular business hours, at the Division of Administrative Rules, or at:

Agriculture and Food
Regulatory Services
SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84116-3034

Direct questions regarding this rule to:

  • Kyle Stephens at the above address, by phone at 801-538-7102, by FAX at 801-538-7126, or by Internet E-mail at
  • Kathleen Mathews at the above address, by phone at 801-538-7103, by FAX at 801-538-7126, or by Internet E-mail at
  • Richard Clark at the above address, by phone at 801-538-7150, by FAX at 801-538-7126, or by Internet E-mail at

Interested persons may present their views on this rule by submitting written comments to the address above no later than 5:00 p.m. on:


This rule may become effective on:


Authorized by:

Leonard Blackham, Commissioner


R70. Agriculture and Food, Regulatory Services.

R70-520. Standard of Identity and Labeling Requirements for Honey.

R70-520-1. Purpose.

The purpose of this rule is to establish a standard of identity and labeling requirements for honey that is produced, packed, repacked, distributed and sold in Utah. Codification of this standard is meant to reduce economic fraud by controlling the pervasive, illegal practices of blending or diluting pure honey with low-cost syrups such as sugar, cane and corn, and representing highly processed honey as raw honey.


R70-520-2. Authority.

This rule is promulgated under the authority of Subsections 4-2-2(1)(g), 4-5-8(5), 4-5-6(1)(b), 4-5-15(1) and Sections 4-5-16 and 4-5-20 of the UCA.


R70-520-3. Definitions.

(1) "Honey" means the natural sweet substance produced by honeybees from nectar of plants or from secretions of living parts of plants which the bees collect, transform by combining with specific substances of their own, then deposit, dehydrate, store, and leave in the honeycomb to ripen and mature.

(2) "Blossom Honey" or "Nectar Honey" means honey that comes from the nectar of plants.

(3) "Comb" or "Comb honey" means honey stored by bees in the cells of freshly built broodless combs and sold in sealed whole combs or sections of such combs.

(4) "Raw honey" means honey:

(a) as it exists in the beehive or as obtained by extraction, settling, or straining;

(b) that is minimally processed; and

(c) that is not pasteurized.

(5) "Straining" means the process of removing particulate matter from honey by passing it through a metal or fabric screen or cloth with mesh large enough to pass pollen grains, enzymes and minerals.


R70-520-4. Standard of Identification for Honey.

(1) Honey shall meet the following standards:

(a) honey may not be heated or processed to such an extent that its essential composition is changed or its quality is impaired ;

(b) chemical or biochemical treatments may not be used to influence honey crystallizations;

(c) honey may not contain more that 20 percent moisture content and for heather honey not more that 23 percent;

(d) honey may be not less that 60 percent fructose and glucose, combined; the ratio of fructose to glucose shall not be greater than 0.9;

(e) honey may not contain oligaosaccharides indicative of invert syrup;

(f) honey, except for honeycomb and cut comb style honey, may not contain more than 0.5g/1000g water insoluble solids.


R70-520-5. Standard of Identification for Blossom Honey.

(1) Blossom honey shall meet the standards for honey in R70-520-4;

(2) Blossom honey shall not contain more than 5 percent sucrose, except for the following:

(a) alfalfa (Medicago sativa), citrus spp, false acacia (Robinia pseudoacacia), French Honeysuckle (Hedysarum), Menzies banksias (Banksia menziesii), red gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis), leatherwood (Eucalyptus lucida), and Eucryphia milligani may contain up to 10 percent sucrose.

(b) lavender (Lavandula spp) and borage (Borago officinalis) may contain up to 15 percent sucrose.


R70-520-6. Food Labeled as Honey or Raw Honey.

(1) Food meeting the standards set forth in R70-520-4 and R70-520-5 may be designated "honey".

(a) The food may be labeled as "raw honey" if it additionally meets R70-520-3(4).

(2) Food containing honey plus flavoring, spice or food additive shall be distinguished in the food name from honey by declaration of all of the added ingredients.

(3) Food containing honey may be designated according to floral or plant source if the honey comes predominately from that particular source and has the organoleptic, physicochemical and microscopic properties corresponding with that origin.

(a) Food designated according to the honey's floral source plant shall have the common name or the botanical name of the floral source in close proximity on the label to the word "honey".

(4) Honey may be designated according to the following styles:

(a) honey in liquid or crystalline state or a mixture of the two may be designated as "liquid" or "crystalline";

(b) honey meeting the definition of "comb" or "comb honey"; or

(c) honey containing one or more pieces of comb honey may be designated as "honey with comb" or "chunk honey".

(5) Labels shall meet the requirements of Chapter 4-5-15 UCU.


R70-520-7. Misbranded Food.

Food labeled as a honey or raw honey, but not meeting the standard of identification or a labeling requirement in Sections four through six of this rule shall be deemed to be misbranded.


R70-520-8. False Food Advertisement.

Food advertised as honey or raw honey shall be considered falsely advertised if it does not meet the standard of identification or a labeling requirement in Sections four through six of this rule.


R70-520-9. Embargo and Destruction of Misbranded Food.

When an authorized agent of the department finds or has cause to believe a honey product is misbranded, the agent may follow the tagging, embargo and destruction procedures found in Title 4-5-5 UCA.


KEY: food safety, honey

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment: 2012

Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted Law: 4-2-2(1)(g); 4-5-8(5); 4-5-6(1)(b); 4-5-16; 4-5-15(1); 4-5-20


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For questions regarding the content or application of this rule, please contact Kyle Stephens at the above address, by phone at 801-538-7102, by FAX at 801-538-7126, or by Internet E-mail at; Kathleen Mathews at the above address, by phone at 801-538-7103, by FAX at 801-538-7126, or by Internet E-mail at; Richard Clark at the above address, by phone at 801-538-7150, by FAX at 801-538-7126, or by Internet E-mail at