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11th Jun 2021

Man says he failed drug test for job after ‘eating poppy seed bread’

Charlie Herbert

Quite the sandwich that…

A man has reportedly failed a drugs test for a new job after eating slices of bread that had poppy seeds on, resulting in him testing positive for opium.

The man’s sister said that she gave him the bread for his lunch before the interview so that he could make some sandwiches, but that when he then had a drugs test for the job opium was detected in his system.

The sister told PlymouthLive: “As he failed he didn’t get the job no matter how much convincing he tried.”

She then took to social media to warn others about the risk of poppy-seeded bread, writing: “Just a quick one for everyone to be aware of…

“My brother went for a job interview today and had to do a drugs test he failed, with opium in his system.

“He doesn’t take painkillers as he is scared of drugs and painkillers. Yesterday he came to mine and I had his favourite bread in, he took 4 slices home with him, ate two yesterday and made a sandwich to take with him today as he was going to be at this interview all day!!”

It turns out that there may be some truth to their claim as well. Healthline says that although poppy seeds go through a thorough cleaning before being processed, they could still contain trace amounts of opiate residue.

Information on the website says: “Poppy seeds come from the seedpod of the opium poppy. When harvested, the seeds can absorb or become coated by opium extract. Opium extract is used to make opioid drugs, such as morphine, codeine, and heroin.

“The concentration isn’t enough to give you any of the effects of opioids, but it can be enough to produce false positive drug tests.”

“Though poppy seeds go through a thorough cleaning before being processed for consumer use for baking and cooking, they may still contain trace amounts of opiate residue.

MedicalNewsToday also explains that there are a number of factors that can affect food processing techniques and that can impact the amount of opium that ends up in poppy seeds.

The website says: “Poppy seeds can cause a person to fail a drug test by testing positive for morphine. Morphine is an opiate derived from opium in poppies. Other drugs derived from opium include codeine and heroin

“Although poppy seeds are the seeds of the opium poppy plant, they do not contain any opium. During the harvesting process, however, the seeds can absorb opium or become coated by it.

“Several factors influence how much morphine ends up in the poppy seeds. Food processing techniques, for example, can reduce the morphine content of the seeds by up to 90%, but this varies from country to country.

“The method of food preparation also plays a role. Baked goods typically contain less morphine (and codeine) than unbaked products, because baking destroys these substances.”