Skip to main content

Beyond male "shrinkage" and "worlds colliding," consider this another life lesson you learned from Seinfeld: Eating poppy seeds can lead to a positive reading on a drug test.

A Pennsylvania mother found out the hard way when child welfare authorities took her baby after she failed a drug test. Seems the poppy-seed bagel she ate before delivery triggered a false positive result, WLBZ 2 , a local broadcaster in Maine, reports.

Elizabeth Mort's daughter Isabella was removed after the new mom's hospital blood work indicated she was using opiates. However, the child was returned to her parents five days later when there was no evidence to show Ms. Mort had used illegal drugs, WLBZ 2 says.

Story continues below advertisement

The American Civil Liberties Union is filing a lawsuit on Ms. Mort's behalf.

So just how sensitive are drug tests to the opiates in poppy seeds?

According to Cynthia Whiteman, a forensic drug-testing analyst, the idea that eating a poppy-seed bagel could get you flagged as a drug user is "not a myth at all."

"Every part of the plant does have morphine. The seeds have a very small amount but still will get positive results [on a drug test]" Ms. Whiteman tells the food site Chow.

The results will vary from person to person, but research has suggested that eating just two poppy-seed rolls with less than a gram of seeds in each could lead to a positive test for up to six hours, Chow reports.

Before your next visit to the doctor's, you're probably safest sticking with sesame.

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author

Wency Leung is a general assignment reporter for the Life section. Before joining The Globe in early 2010, she has worked as a reporter in Vancouver, Prague, and Phnom Penh. More

Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.