A Bagel, a Schmear, Some Nice Lox, and…a Positive Drug Test?

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | May 10, 2023 | 0 Comments

Have you ever heard that eating poppy seed bagels for breakfast can actually trigger a positive drug test? It sounds like an urban legend—drinking soda while eating Pop Rocks will kill you; swallowed chewing gum stays in your stomach for seven years; the “five-second rule” means that any dropped morsel of food will magically remain germ-free if only you grab it quickly enough.

In the case of poppy seeds and positive opiate screens, however, the legend is true—and several people have won settlements on that basis. Let's take a closer look.

Are Drug Tests Going the Way of the Dinosaur?

In recent years, the number of employers who drug test either as a condition of the job offer or as a condition of ongoing employment has been dropping. In fact, a 2019 analysis of pre-employment drug screening found that fewer than 2% of all private-sector companies in the US required such screens. It's likely that this figure is now even lower, given the pandemic's significant effect on the employment landscape.

One major reason that drug testing is falling out of favor is the increasing number of American states where the use of cannabis—whether medical or recreational—is now legal. At best, it's tricky to test for substances that at least some people can legally access and consume. At worst, it could be a significant violation of civil liberties.

Nevertheless, the statistics about mandatory drug testing don't mean a thing to an individual who's facing such a test—or who has taken one that resulted in the rescinding of a job offer or a termination of employment, even though they do not use illicit drugs.

Another Possible Outcome of Poppy seed-Related Positives

Of course, human resources departments aren't the only place where drug testing takes place. Two women in NJ recently learned this the hard way, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

Both women had consumed poppy seed bagels prior to giving birth at two different maternity wards; both were drug tested during their hospital stay, and both tested positive for opioids—as poppy seeds come from the same family as morphine and codeine. The hospitals then reported the women to social service agencies over concern for their newborns' health.

Now, the ACLU has filed suit against the medical centers on behalf of the two mothers.

There are many other similar tales, the details of which vary, but that all teach the same basic lesson: be careful what you eat when you are going to be screened for drug use.

If it Happens To You

Of course, not every person who has snacked on a lemon-poppy seed muffin or other pastry would test positive for heroin or other opioids. It depends on the sensitivity of the test, as well as the amount of the food eaten. So there's no reason to entirely forgo your favorite breakfast. Just be mindful of what you eat when your potential employer or other agency is administering a drug test.

However, in the event that this unfortunate occurrence does happen to you, know that there is recourse available. If you are facing adverse results after a drug test, the next step is to contact Attorney Joseph D. Lento.

He and his Criminal Defense Team are prepared to fight for your future, doing whatever it takes to achieve justice. Find out more by calling 888.535.3686 or clicking here.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania as well as in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Contact Us Today!

Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.