Pre-Employment Drug Screen? You May Want to Avoid the Poppy Seed Bagel…

Many employers these days drug test their employees, either before employment, randomly, or after a workplace accident. In some cases, a positive result is not necessarily what it seems.

One explanation that employees sometimes give for a positive result is that they consumed food containing poppy seeds. Is this a valid claim? An article published in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology reviewed the effect of consuming raw poppy seeds, as well as foods containing them, on urine and oral fluid drug testing. It was found that morphine and codeine concentrations were detectable after consumption. The likelihood, however, is much lower in an oral fluid drug screen than in urine drug screens due to the shorter detection window.

The next time you’re scheduled for a drug screening, make sure to order a plain bagel rather than a poppy seed bagel!