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Can somebody get Hepatitis C by eating contaminated food at a restaurant?

No Hepatitis C is NOT transmitted by eating or sharing food nor by other social contacts such as hugging, holding hands, sharing utensils, sneezing, or breastfeeding. Hep C virus is transmitted when an infected person’s blood enters the bloodstream of someone who is not infected.

The common modes of transmission of Hep C virus is during activities such as:

  • sharing needles, syringes or other equipment to prepare or inject drugs.
  • when child is born to a mother living with Hep C

Other not so common modes of transmission include:

  • unprotected sexual contact with a person living with Hep C virus
  • tattooing and body piercing has the potential to transmit Hep C virus if the needles used are not sterile
  • sharing toothbrushes, razors, or other things that could have blood on them

Among the people who are infected with Hep C virus about 20% of people can clear the infection without medications. While there is no vaccine for Hep C, there are treatments available that can clear (or cure) the virus.  For more detailed Hepatitis C info see:  Hepatitis C factsheet from CATIE

Feel free to take any questions you have to your doctor and request screening for hepatitis.