Poppy seed bagel causes woman to test positive for opiates while delivering baby

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TOWSON, Md. — A Maryland woman who had a poppy seed bagel for breakfast the day she went into labor says it caused her to test positive for opiates.

Elizabeth Eden said she had to stay in the hospital for an extra five days for more testing and was reported to the state following the false-positive test, WBAL-TV reported. She was also assigned a state social worker that did follow-up visits.

“I was in labor. I was sitting in the bed. I was having contractions. I was on a Pitocin drip, and the doctor came in and said, ‘You’ve tested positive for opiates,'” Eden told WBAL.

“I said, ‘Well, can you test me again? And I ate a poppy seed bagel this morning for breakfast,’ and she said, ‘No, you’ve been reported to the state,'” Eden said.

“It was traumatizing,” Eden said.

Poppy seeds come from the opium poppy plant and contain a trace amounts of opiates, which can result in a false-positive test.

Dr. Judith Rossiter-Pratt, the chief of the department of OBGYN at St. Joseph Medical Center, told WBAL that they use the testing as a way to catch as many drug abusers as possible.

Eden is hoping to warn new parents about poppy seeds so others don’t have to go through what she did.

“We don’t typically educate patients, and it’s a really good point that people probably should know that if you use poppy seeds before you have a toxicology screen that it could result in a false positive test,” Rossiter-Pratt said.

After the hospital realized that Eden’s drug test was a false-positive, her case worker closed the file.

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