Can Poppy Seed Bagels Trigger a False Positive on a Drug Test?
WARNING: Put down that poppy seed bagel if you want to keep your job! No, seriously. It’s not uncommon to hear that eating foods containing a lot of poppy seeds, such as bagels, before a drug test can land you in quite a sticky situation. But is there any truth to the claim? Turns out, it happens more often than you’d think.
In 1997, a Florida woman received nearly a million dollars in damages after she sued Bankers Insurance Group for withdrawing her job offer on the basis of testing positive for poppy-seed induced opiates. Similarly, in 1990, a St. Louis police officer tested positive in a random department drug test after eating four poppy seed bagels on the morning of. Unfortunately, morphine and codeine can stay in the blood stream for up to 48 hours, and by some accounts, even a single bagel can trigger a false positive, according to our friends over at Snopes.com.
In all, it turns out that in approximately 87 percent of cases in which opium is identified as the offending drug, the positive is overturned in a more comprehensive retest.
Now, don’t get any funny ideas, folks! If you find yourself making one too many trips to Afghan poppy fields, blaming bagels just won’t do the trick; a more thorough drug test can help doctors differentiate food opiates from genuine drug opiates.
So remember: Play it safe and stay poppy-free for at least a few days before your drug test!
Have you or any of your friends been caught in this sticky situation? Tell us your thoughts in the comment box below! We would love to hear your feedback!
Caitlin Reardon is a rising sophomore at The University of Chicago and a freelance content writer for St. Pete Bagel Co.