Cadbury chocolate bars are seen in a shop in London June 23, 2006.
Cadbury chocolate bars are seen in a shop in London June 23, 2006.REUTERS/Alessia Pierdomenico

Social media may be a handy tool to connect and disseminate information with the near and dear, but it has also become the main source of rumors, especially about food poisoning. Now, a silly hoax claiming that Anchor butter products are infected with HIV virus (AIDS) has been widely circulated on social media. 

A message claiming that BBC News had recently warned people not to eat any Anchor butter products for a few months, as a man added HIV-infected blood to its production unit in Westbury Dairy, UK, has been doing the rounds on Facebook and WhatsApp. It went on to urge the users to forward it to those they cared.

However, Hoax Slayer has busted the hoax and assured the Anchor butter products are not infected with HIV virus. It went on to say the picture used in the message was taken from an Arabic language news report published in 2015. 

Arla Foods that distribute Anchor butter products in the UK has also rubbished the fake news while responding to a query.

A similar hoax message claiming to be reported by BBC News was in circulation a few days ago. The fake post also warned the public not to eat Cadbury chocolates for a few weeks claiming that a Cadbury worker had contaminated the products with HIV infected blood. 

Earlier in 2015, a woman named Anna Aquavia posted on Facebook that "someone is injecting HIV positive blood into bananas and oranges," causing panic to many internet users. She had claimed that her sister's friend from Nebraska found blood in banana.

However, Washington Post reported that the pictures used in the post were originally posted by a woman from Colorado who was concerned on seeing red spots in her son's fruit. She had clearly mentioned that the bananas were "deformed."

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HIV won't transmit through food handled by HIV infected persons.

"You can't get HIV from consuming food handled by an HIV-infected person. Even if the food contained small amounts of HIV-infected blood or semen, exposure to the air, heat from cooking, and stomach acid would destroy the virus," said the CDC in a note.

However, it said HIV could "spread by eating food that has been pre-chewed by an HIV-infected person" but only in rare cases. It went on to say that the "contamination occurs when infected blood from a caregiver's mouth mixes with food while chewing. The only known cases are among infants."