The most frequent types of viral hepatitis in the United States are A, B, and C. Hepatitis B and C may be acquired by contact with virus-infected body fluids such as blood.
However, hepatitis A may be acquired by ingesting contaminated food.
This article investigates the relationship between hepatitis and what people eat and drink. It also outlines preventative techniques and what to do if someone suspects they have hepatitis.
What Types of Hepatitis May Be Acquired via Food?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the only kind of viral hepatitis that may be transmitted via contaminated food or water is hepatitis A. The virus typically spreads when an unvaccinated individual eats contaminated food and drink.
Hepatitis B and C cannot be acquired by contaminated food or water.
Hepatitis B may be transmitted via the following routes:
- Contact with sperm, blood, and other fluids using equipment with blood on it from someone with hepatitis B
- Sexual contact with someone who has the virus
- Sharing personal care products like razors and toothbrushes
Hepatitis C spreads via the bloodstream. Hepatitis C may be passed from person to person by needle sharing, infected blood transfusions, and the use of filthy medical equipment such as needles or other devices.
Transmission of Hepatitis B and C may also occur during delivery and in healthcare institutions with inadequate infection control.
How May Someone Get Hepatitis From Contaminated Food?
People may get hepatitis A if they consume food or drink water contaminated with the virus. The infection may spread from someone who does not wash their hands after using the restroom and then touches food.
People may develop hepatitis A, for example, if they consume oysters picked from sewage-contaminated water. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), hepatitis A infections are uncommon in the United States.
What Foods May Spread Hepatitis?
Although hepatitis A may be acquired via almost any food or drink, the following are some of the most common sources of outbreaks in the United States: