« Go Back

Blood on food with scratches in mouth


Hello, just had a question, it is not theoretical due to the fact it actually happened. Me and the missus ordered take out from a place, just simple burgers and fries. When we picked it up (assuming it was sitting there for 5-10 minutes) and the drive home took 20 minutes. We started eating, seemed normal until I, for some reason, checked all around the burger (no idea I just do that once and awhile) and saw a small blood mark on the bun, now I do not know how much in general there was (basically I have no idea if I ate any blood or not) and the fact that I have a scratch/scab on the side of my lip (do not know if it was open at the time)and a wisdom tooth bleeds once and awhile from growing in, got me overthinking and that is due to anxiety, is it possible to contract HIV that way? I read from other answers your organization gave that explains once it touches air it is in-transmissible (sorry if that’s not the right word), and if so what would be an educated guess of how long? If it helps it is hot here where I am, and plus I do not know if the cook that made the burgers even has HIV, but that part is theoretical (maybe) and I just want to know. Thank you in advance.



Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question, you were asking about acquiring HIV from contaminated food. From the information given, this scenario is determined to be No Risk (transmission of HIV is not possible in the given scenario).

HIV transmission occurs when bodily fluid containing HIV has direct access to the bloodstream of an individual through a high risk activity.

In the scenario you state finding a mark on your burger bun. It is important to know that you can’t get HIV from consuming food handled by someone with HIV (1). If the food contained small amounts of HIV-infected blood or semen, exposure to the air, heat from cooking, and stomach acid would stop HIV transmission from occurring (1).

HIV quickly becomes inactive when exposed to the environment. The cooking temperature and the time it took from cooking to delivery would be sufficient in exposure for no HIV transmission risk.

Recommendation: No need for HIV test with the scenario provided, refer to a physician for other health related questions.


AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online, Danielle