[Question #3309] HIV/HEPB/C in Ice Cream

38 months ago
Good afternoon

I have 13 y.o. who asked for ice cream. I bought it to her and as she was finishing it she showed there was a red speck inside of it (ice cream was vanilla). OK, I know it is very far fetched, but my mommy mind is worried: if she eat some of it can she get any blood  pathogen infection from it? I know stomach acid kills infections, but she is on inhibitors to lower her stomach acid. Would HIV survive in vanilla ice cream? Thank you and good luck. 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
38 months ago
Welcome to our Forum.  I'll be glad to comment.  This was a no risk event.  First you do not know that the red speck was blood.  Second and more importantly, there are no documented cases of persons ever acquiring HIV or hepatitis from ingestion of material contaminated with the virus.  Finally, the temperature of the ice cream would have likely killed the virus and made it non-infectious.  this was a no risk event.  No need for concern, no need to even consider testing.  I hope this comment is helpful. EWH
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38 months ago
Dear Dr Hook

Thank you so much. You put my mind at ease. May I also ask, for the purpose of educating myself and maybe those around me: yopu stated temperature of ice cream would kill the virus, howwever, on  the CDC websiute they say freezing hwlps to preserve it. Or is the temp in ice cream not low enough to do so? Thank you and have a great day
38 months ago
I am so sorry for the typos. Was writing from phone
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
38 months ago
Good question.  Freezing can both harm and preserve microorganisms.  For ice-cream the temperature of the ice-cream is between 25 and 32 degrees Fahrenheit while for preserving micro-organisms we use temperatures of closer to -100 degrees Fahrenheit.   With the ice-cream making process a number of events and conditions would make viruses non-infectious.  I hope this clarifies things.  EWH 
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38 months ago
It does. Thank you very much again!