In August 2018, a slew of news stories picked up on the story of a woman accused of drug use because she tested positive for opiates while in the hospital. She claimed she had eaten a poppy seed bagel, but the hospital still separated her and her newborn for a few days until the administration determined that the result was truly due to poppy seeds. The claim that poppy seeds could trigger a positive drug test result used to be treated as urban legend until various TV shows, newspaper columnists, and researchers finally proved that the food product could cause such a test result.
That may make you want to avoid products that typically contain poppy seeds, like kaiser rolls, but you don't actually have to give up your favorite bread products. If you're headed into a situation like a job interview, hospital stay, or career where drug testing happens often, you have options.
One option is to have products with different toppings. You can get kaiser rolls with poppy seeds, but you can also get them plain or with other seeds like sesame. One glitch to note is that these other products can pick up stray poppy seeds just by sitting on a tray near breads that do have those seeds. So, give the product a once-over to ensure no stray poppy products are going to sneak inside your mouth.
Planned Testing and Abstinence
Do you know when the drug test will happen? If the test is planned, like with a job application process, you can simply abstain from eating anything with poppy seeds. Again, check items that you buy from bakeries and cafes to ensure no cross contamination. Start avoiding poppy seeds at least three days before the test, preferably a few more. The length of time that seeds can affect a test result is highly (no pun intended) variable. You want to be sure everything has cleared your system.
Warn Testers Ahead of Time
Usually when you take a drug test, you'll have to fill out health information, and there should be a question about whether you've taken anything like medication that could affect the test result. If the test you're taking is random, be sure to add that you've eaten something with poppy seeds. Try to remember when you had it, too. Include items within the past week, and longer if you had a lot of poppy seeds.
You can still enjoy your bagels and kaiser rolls even when subject to random, unexpected testing. Just look for alternate toppings, and be sure to notify drug test administrators of what you've been eating.