Bagel causes pregnant mother to test positive for opiates

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Photo: WKYC Photo: WKYC

TOWSON, Md. (WAND) – A Maryland mother ate a poppy seed bagel before giving birth and ended up in some trouble.

A doctor reported Elizabeth Eden to the state because she tested positive for opiates during pregnancy. As a result, Maryland assigned a case worker to her and required her newborn daughter to spend five extra days at St. Joseph Medical Center.  

WBAL-TV reports the case worker closed the file when Eden explained the bagel.

Poppy seeds contain trace amounts of opiates even after they’re removed from the opium poppy plants they come from. The station says only a teaspoon of poppy seeds can lead to a false positive, with levels potentially reaching 1,200 nanograms per millimeter – and at St. Joseph, it only takes 300 to test positive.

Eden called the ordeal “traumatizing”. She sent a letter to the hospital asking it to either change its testing threshold or at least warn mothers about the possibility.

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