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herpes sharing food

Can You Get Herpes from Sharing Food?

Oct 04, 2022

I recently had a nerve-racking encounter while grabbing lunch with a friend. We shared plates, as is common for us.

I didn’t notice until after we had chowed down most of our meal that he had a cold sore on his lip. Fear instantly struck me, and I wondered, can you get herpes from sharing food?

sharing food herpes

If you’ve had this thought before - you aren’t alone!

Fret not, I did some fervent research to find out just how risky it is to share food with someone who might have herpes. What I discovered might help quell your fears on this.

What Causes Oral Herpes? 

Is it a pimple, an ingrown hair, or is it herpes? The fear of the little bump on your lip is no good place to be in. Trust me, I get it!

As far as what causes oral herpes and herpes flare ups, it’s important to note there is more than just one type of herpes virus out there. It’s not uncommon for people to confuse the two, so let’s get into it.

Two Types of Herpes Virus

Herpes is also known as herpes simplex virus (HSV), and there are two types out there. HSV type 1 (HSV-1) is the most common of the herpes viruses and what I’ll be referencing here.

The other herpes virus is known as HSV type 2 (HSV-2) which is primarily spread through sexual encounters – which is different than type 1!


I know, I know – “oral herpes” has a bad ring to it. I imagine you wouldn’t feel comfortable walking around knowing you have a cold sore on your mouth.

I’ve had it happen, and I instantly want it to go away. Sure, some of you can cover it up with makeup, but that only goes so far.

Herpes is… Normal?

I received some peace of mind when I found out that up to 80 percent of adults in the United States have oral herpes! Who knew?

Realizing it is more common than I thought made me feel a little less insecure about catching it, knowing that I probably already did.

If you are an adult, the chances are incredibly high that you have the herpes virus lingering somewhere in your body. That may sound scary, but there’s not much to fear!

Is Oral Herpes (HSV-1) Serious?

The good news is that if you find out you do have HSV-1, you will probably not suffer many – if any – severe side effects. Oral herpes is asymptomatic most of the time, so no worries if you have it hiding out in your body somewhere!

The most common side effects occur as cold sores, which we will get into a little later.

Primary Causes of Oral Herpes 

So, what causes oral herpes, this common infection that affects up to almost 70 percent of the world’s population by the time they reach 50?

Innocently enough, you probably picked up oral herpes when you were a child through nonsexual exposure to saliva.

herpes saliva


Anyone can get a cold sore if they come in contact with saliva from an infected person. Considering how many people have experienced oral herpes, your odds of innocently coming in contact with infected saliva are pretty high.

But if you haven’t experienced any issues with it this far in life, you may not ever show outward symptoms. 


Oral herpes can also be picked up from skin-to-skin contact. So, if your skin is exposed to someone with a cold sore, there’s a good probability you’ll pick up the virus if you haven’t already.

It’s probably good to be mindful of any blisters coming into contact with your skin, the threat of herpes or not!

Can You Get Herpes from Sharing Food?

Even with knowing what causes oral herpes, I still had the burning question of can you get herpes from sharing food. We know now that oral herpes (HSV-1) is caused by contact with saliva or skin-to-skin, so this leaves the water a bit muddy if this can be transferred over to sharing food. 

Threat Level

If you look at the possibility of getting oral herpes from sharing food, it seems plausible. Considering sharing food often means using the same utensils and possibly sharing the same drinks, you’re likely to come into direct contact with some herpes-infected saliva.

Err on the Side of Caution When Sharing Food

The good news is that the herpes virus doesn’t live long outside the body! It makes me feel a bit better knowing it isn’t easily transferred unless you come into direct contact with it.

I still keep in mind to be cautious, though. The next time I am sharing food with a friend and notice a cold sore, I’ll opt to use separate utensils – just to be on the safe side.

How Soon After Kissing Someone With a Cold Sore Will You Get One?  

herpes kiss

One of the easiest ways to get a cold sore is through kissing someone who has one. How soon after kissing someone with a cold sore will you get one depends on a few factors, and you may not get a cold sore at all. (Phew!)

What is a Cold Sore

Cold sores are often caused by the HSV-1 virus, and they appear as raised, usually painful blisters on or near your mouth.

cold sore

You may not notice that who you are kissing has a cold sore until AFTER your kissing session is over. Or perhaps you were too involved in the moment to pay much attention to it.

Either way, you may be panicking about when a cold sore of your very own will pop up. Hopefully you don’t regret the kiss, at least at it relates to getting a cold sore!

It May Take Some Time…

How soon after kissing someone with a cold sore will you get one depends a lot on your history with the HSV-1 virus. It can take up to 20 days for you to get a cold sore after kissing someone with a cold sore.  If you are experiencing your first outbreak, it tends to take longer to manifest into blisters.

But on Average…

On average, you are more likely to develop a cold sore just a few days after coming into contact with one, if at all.

Typically, if it is your first time being exposed to oral herpes, it will take awhile for a cold sore to appear. However, as we now know, you’ve most likely been exposed to the virus before you were even out of grade school. Talk about cooties…

Cold Sores without Cold Sores

It is certainly the safest route to avoid smooching on somebody who has an active cold sore. However, you could still get oral herpes from kissing even if they do NOT have an active cold sore.

This is because there are a lot of fortunate people out there who carry the virus but don’t get those uncomfortable cold sores. (Lucky!)

Cold Sores? Clear Probiotics Lip and Skin Probiotic Can Help 

You may wonder if there’s anything you can do to treat cold sores/herpes. The good news is that clear probiotics lip and skin probiotic can help you out, most likely!

How Clear Probiotics Lip and Skin Probiotics Work

There are a few vital reasons that Clear Probiotics Lip and Skin Probiotics can help you manage your cold sore flare ups. It all has to do with the causes of your cold sore’s reactivity in the first place!

HSV-1 lays dormant in your body most of the time, so what causes it to come out of hiding onto your face before a fancy date or big meeting?

Amino Acid Troublemaker

Arginine is an important amino acid when it comes to your unenjoyable, dreaded cold sore breakouts. This surreptitious amino acid plays a big role in the frequency of cold sore breakouts.

That’s because arginine is a necessity when it comes to the herpes virus replicating and prospering in your body.

Clear Probiotics has the powerful ingredient Lysine which fights against this amino acid, breakout trigger.

Healthy Gut, Healthy Life

The power of a healthy gut is not one to take lightly when it comes to helping with cold sore breakouts. A healthy gut equates to a much stronger immune system, digestive system, and overall positive well-being.  

Healthy Ingredients for the Gut

Products like L. Rhamnosous, Fructooligosaccharide (FOS), and delayed release veggie capsules are all ingredients contained in Clear Probiotics Lip and Skin Probiotics that help to create and maintain a healthy gut.

  1. Rhamnosous has been found to be a probiotic with benefits that strictly help to combat HSV-1, the cold sore virus! This ingredient really seems to be a “must” when it comes to cold sore remedies.

The Vitamin of All Vitamins

Vitamin C has an extensive plethora of healing benefits, and it would be an absolute shame if you didn’t include it as part of your skincare regimen.

As far as Clear Probiotics Lip and Skin Probiotics go, they knew just how important it is to include Vitamin C in their products to help with your cold sores. The healthier your skin, the least likely your cold sore breakouts will be severe. Makes sense!


Cold sores and the threat of catching “herpes” just sounds scary, and I get it! There’s nothing worse than fearing catching a virus that is hard to hide from the world. (After all, cold sores are not typically shy.) 

While there is a chance you can get herpes from sharing food, it’s not as easy as it would be if you kissed someone. Sure, common sense. But, that’s what it really takes – to be cautious of any cold sores on who you are sharing food with.

In the meantime, if you do have a cold sore breakout, there are products out there like Clear Probiotics Lip and Skin Probiotics that might be able to help you out in a healthy, natural way.