A man was taken aback when a drug test identified that he had opium in his system despite not taking any medication. The man says he ate two slices of Tesco poppy seed bread in a sandwich before a job interview. Information on the Healthline website says: “Poppy seeds come from the seedpod of the opium poppy. When harvested, the seeds can absorb or become coated by opium extract. Opium extract is used to make opioid drugs, such as morphine, codeine, and heroin.
“Though poppy seeds go through a thorough cleaning before being processed for consumer use for baking and cooking, they may still contain trace amounts of opiate residue.
“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.
The man’s sister told PlymouthLive that she wanted to raise awareness so other people were aware that this could happen.
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. They follow guidance developed by the EU and UK to minimise the levels present as far as possible through good practice from harvesting onwards.
The supermarket chain also makes sure that suppliers are working to the limits advised in the EU and UK and monitor that they remain below this to make sure that they are safe to eat.
Additional reporting by Katie Timms and Alex Green.