Mom tests positive for opiates from poppy seed bagel

Leslie Hanson
August 11, 2018

The new mother was shocked, especially when staff members told her she was being reported to the state.

Eden told the hospital employees she'd consumed the poppy seed bagel that morning, but they reportedly refused to retest and instead reported her name to state authorities.

Elaine Benes could get behind this: A new mom is asking a Maryland hospital to revamp its approach to drug tests for expectant moms after her poppy seed bagel breakfast resulted in a false positive for opiates. "And the doctor came in and said, 'You've tested positive for opiates, '" Eden said, via KFDA. Dr. Judith Rossiter-Pratt said the hospital uses the test to catch possible drug abusers who may endanger their babies.

Elizabeth Eden was headed to St. Joseph Medical Center on April 4 and had a poppy seed bagel for breakfast before going into labor.

The presence of opiates in poppy seeds is a subject that's been explored for quite some time.


The morphine opium extracted from the opium poppy can be used to produce heroin and other opioids. As a result, poppy seeds can contain traces of morphine.

The EFSA concluded that the noscapine and papaverine alkaloids detected in some poppy seeds don't necessarily pose a health concern.

The Aegis Sciences Corporation, a forensic laboratory, states that the morphine and codeine found in poppy seeds may still be identified in a urine sample up to 48 hours after consumption. Eventually, after Eden explained the situation, the case worker closed the case.

In fact, in 1998, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services changed the federal cutoff level for a positive result from 300 ng/mL to 2,000 ng/mL of morphine in order to avoid false-positive results from eating poppy seeds, according to a 2008 review study.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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