Eating a poppy seed bagel can really make you fail a drug test.
Studies show people can test positive for opiates after eating poppy seeds — and it’s not as rare as you might think. Last April, Maryland woman Elizabeth Eden ate a poppy seed bagel the morning she went into labor. The doctor said she tested positive for opiates and reported her to state officials, so her baby had to stay in the hospital for five extra days while a caseworker did a home checkup.
It all is dependent on the threshold of the drug test. The Department of Health and Human Services set the limit to 2,000 nanograms per milliliter of morphine concentration. That means you could safely eat approximately three poppy seed bagels without failing a drug test.
But some hospitals and workplaces set their own thresholds lower, which is why it’s possible to fail certain tests from just a bagel or muffin.
Poppy seeds come from the opium poppy plant, the same plant that produces morphine, codeine, and heroin. Even though the drugs and the food come from the same plant, consuming poppy seeds is considered safe. Plus, every drug test and person is different, so you might want to avoid poppy seeds if you have a drug test.