A man claims he failed a drugs test for a new job because he ate bread that had been made with poppy seeds.
His potential employers didn’t give him the position after the test showed that he had opium in his system.
But, he says, he hadn’t taken any drugs and wasn’t on any medication that may have caused the positive result.
He claims the traces of the drug can only have come from the sandwiches he’d eaten before the interview, which were made using a bread from Tesco that has seeds sprinkled over the top.
Medical journals say it is possible for poppy seed bread to show up on drugs tests as, although poppy seeds do not contain any opium initially, the seeds can absorb opium or become coated by it in the harvesting process.
The man’s sister, from Plymouth, took to social media to raise awareness and warn other people to avoid certain types of bread if they are due to take a drugs test.
She said: ‘Just a quick one for everyone to be aware of…My brother went for a job interview today and had to do a drugs test he failed, with opium in his system.
‘He doesn’t take painkillers as he is scared of drugs and painkillers. Yesterday he came to mine and I had his favourite bread in he took 4 slices home with him, ate two yesterday and made a sandwich to take with him today as he was going to be at this interview all day!!
‘POPPY SEEDS caused him to fail his drugs test!! As he failed he didn’t get the job no matter how much convincing he tried. So just a warning DO NOT eat seeded bread with POPPY SEEDS 2-3 days before a drugs test.’
Tesco says it has a number of policies in place and works closely with its suppliers to make sure that they source from low opiate varieties, and that they follow guidance developed by the EU and UK to minimise the levels present as far as possible.
The supermarket chain also makes sure that suppliers are working to the limits advised in the EU and UK and monitor levels of opium to make sure food is safe to eat.
Healthline says that, although poppy seeds go through a thorough cleaning before being processed, they could still contain trace amounts of opiate residue.
Poppy seeds come from the seedpod of the opium poppy. When harvested, the seeds can absorb or become coated by opium extract – the same substance that is used to make opioid drugs, such as morphine, codeine, and heroin.
‘The concentration isn’t enough to give you any of the effects of opioids, but it can be enough to produce false positive drug tests,’ Healthline states.
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