These foods can make you test positive for drugs
There’s nothing worse than when your dog actually did eat your homework, but you’re still not believed.
Unless of course you’ve tested positive for opiates and your alibi is that you ate some bread rolls.
This is the claim of a 58-year-old pipe fitter, suspended from work for 11 weeks after testing positive for morphine – an extract from the opium produced by poppies.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, the father of two, who wishes to remain anonymous, insists the test reading was the result of him eating poppy seed bread and buns the day before the test.
After receiving the positive results, the Liverpudlian paid £120 for a private hair-follicle test, which came back negative, and obtained a letter from his GP stating he had never been on any prescribed medication, such as morphine or painkillers – which contain opium.
“I am a married dad and have two grown-up children. I have never taken drugs,” said the Liverpool man.
“I thought to myself ‘I have something in my body that I have no idea where it has come from’ – it was very worrying.”
The pipe fitter’s online research led him to an experiment on BBC One’s Rip Off Britain: Food, which aired in May. Over three days, 72-year-old presenter Angela Ripon ate a loaf of poppy seed bread and a poppy seed bagel to see if a drug test would pick up opiates. The results showed the presence of morphine.
The construction worker added, “I knew straight away that it had to be the poppy seeds I had eaten and I actually thought ‘Great that explains it.’”
His company have since taken him back, although the contractor that he failed the test for has refused to accept his return to work.
So, can eating poppy seeds really lead you to fail a drug test?
“If you eat a poppy seed roll, it could give rise to a positive result on a urine drug test for morphine,” says Atholl Johnston, Professor of Pharmacology at Queen Mary University.
While the morphine content of poppy seeds can vary by a factor of nearly 600, drug tests are highly sensitive, and could return a positive result even after a relatively small number of the seeds.
However, Professor Johnston makes it clear that eating poppy seeds will not get you high any time soon.
“It is unlikely that a single poppy seed roll, or even a dozen rolls, would result in an individual ingesting enough morphine to have a pharmacological effect.”
Nevertheless, it’s advisable to wait up to three days after eating poppy seed products before taking a drug test.
And in case you’re wondering what other kinds of foods could lead you to fail a substance test, we’ve got the answer for you: the best kinds.
Like pizza and pastries.
Now a fair number of people would probably testify that pizza is effectively an addictive drug anyway.
But according to a breathalyser manufacturer, food products that use yeast can in fact make you fail a breathalyser test. This is because yeast makes dough rise by fermenting sugars into a number of substances, one of which is alcohol.
And if you’re unlucky enough to be breathalysed immediately after eating pizza, then this could cause you to fail the test.
According to the same source, this also applies to ripe fruit and fruit drinks. These can ferment and produce just enough alcohol for you to test positive.
Thankfully, because the alcohol is in your mouth rather than in your digestive system, you should be fine after about 15 minutes. Alternatively, you can rinse your mouth out with water.
Then there’s hemp seeds (often found in granola bars), hemp seed oil and hemp seed milk.
These can lead you to test positive for THC, the principal psychoactive chemical in weed. After all, hemp is itself a type of cannabis.
And even poor, innocent, tonic water can help you to fail a drug test.
Tonic water was originally drunk for its quinine, an antimalarial drug derived from the bark of the South American cinchona tree.
This led to the invention of gin and tonics by a British official in 19th-century colonial India, who found a way to liven up the anti-malarial prescription.
But having a few G&Ts could also liven up your drug test results.
So you could actually end up failing both a breathalyser and a drug scan. Which would give you one heck of a hangover.
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These everyday products could make you flunk a drug test
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Earlier this month, pregnant mother Elizabeth Dominguez, 29, tested positive for opium during a drug test administered by a Niagra Falls hospital before going into labor.
She was separated from her newborn son until officials confirmed that it was a false positive. The culprit: A poppy seed bagel.
But poppy seeds aren’t the only ingredient that could show up on a toxicology screen. Next time you’re vying for a new job, headed to the doctor or even driving — lest you be pulled over at a late-night traffic stop — plant to avoid these foods
The prickly Asian fruit is notorious for its offensive stench — one so strong that even Breathalyzers react.
Last month, police stopped a man in the Jiangsu province of China for what they suspected was drunk driving. He failed a Breathalyzer test — but claimed that it was from durain, not alcohol. He was soon exonerated with a blood test.
Local police wanted to know more about durian’s impact on blood-alcohol levels. So an officer ate the fruit, Breathalyzed himself — and blew a .036%, which is .016 percentage points above China’s legal limit.
When the officer retested three minutes later, the alcohol reading disappeared.
Experts say this is likely due to lingering “mouth alcohol,” which may occur after eating ripe fruit, drinking juice or after rinsing with an alcohol-based mouthwash.
Breads and pastries
Most baked goods are made with yeast, which ferments in the dough and produces a small amount of alcohol. It’s not enough to get you drunk, but, according to Canada-based Breathalyzer manufacturer LifeSafer, the dough stuck in your teeth following a bready snack could be enough to register on its breath test.
The company also calls out vanilla extract, which is frequently used in baked desserts and contains at least 35% alcohol.
However, the effects should only last about 15 minutes before the residual alcohol dissipates, and swishing water can speed up the process.
Booze isn’t the only intoxicant to worry about in a gin and tonic. Liquor’s favorite mixer is made with small amounts of quinine, which has been known to show up in other illegal drugs such as cocaine and heroin. Testing positive for quinine can be a red flag to authorities, and studies show that tonic consumption can tip the scale.
Hemp seed-based products such as hemp oil, milk or a seedy granola may be perfectly legitimate, but they can contain trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the psychoactive ingredient in weed.
It’s not nearly enough to feel a buzz, but if you consume hemp-based foods regularly, that THC can build up in your body’s fat cells — and drug tests can’t tell the difference between that and THC from recreational pot.
THC can linger in human fat for up to about 45 days, so it’s best to avoid these foods for at least a month before a scheduled screening.
Cannabidiol (CBD), on the other hand, should not pose an issue as standard drug tests are only checking for THC.
Hemp seed oil is also sometimes used to produce B12 supplements, also known as riboflavin.
There are a number medicines and vitamin pills that could trigger a false positive. Over-the-counter cough suppressants containing dextromethorphan, such as DayQuil, have been associated with false positives for phencyclidine (PCP).
The pseudoephedrine found in decongestants such as Sudafed resembles illegal amphetamines.
Ibuprofen and other NSAIDS may produce false positives for THC.
Some dietary supplements, especially sports enhancers, are known to contain controlled substances such as ephedrine and other drugs associated with “doping” in athletes, such as the steroid hormone androstenedione.
It happened to one innocent bagel-lover recently, and it could happen to you, too.