There is an important reason you should not eat a poppy seed bagel before a job interview, and it has nothing to do with getting seeds stuck in your teeth.
Did you know that eating a poppy seed bagel could cause you to fail a drug test? Because the seeds on the bagel are derived from opium poppies, they do occasionally have traces of morphine. It is not enough to get you high, though. In fact, you probably won’t even notice the drug. However, according to The Star, the traces can and do show up on drug tests, which means do not eat one before you go to a job interview in case random testing is done.
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Two years ago Eleazar Paz, a New York City jail guard, was suspended from his job after he failed a random drug test. He told the court he ate eggs, a poppy seed bagel, orange juice and coffee for breakfast on the day of the test. Even though he was reinstated and put on modified restrictive duty after a hair follicle test came back negative, Paz took his case to the courts.
A toxicology expert testified on Paz’s behalf explaining the positive test was likely due to the opium poppies in the bagel and not due to any drug medication. The expert indicated a person who was on cocaine or morphine would have tested with much higher drug levels.
The judge in his case issued a verdict that all-disciplinary proceedings against Paz should immediately be dismissed. However, the Department of Corrections fired him anyway standing by their decision based on their belief a few poppy seeds would not cause a person to test positive for drugs. Ironically, the Federal Bureau of Prison requires any prisoners who are getting a leave to promise they won’t consume any poppy seeds.
Paz is not alone in the past two years cases all over the country are being heard after employees were wrongfully disciplined or terminated for positive drugs due to poppy seed consumption. In one case, the woman had poppy seed dressing on her salad.
Although poppy seeds can result in a positive drug test, it doesn’t mean you can never eat them. It merely means be cautious of when you consume them in a dressing or bagel. If you have a big job interview, you should skip the poppy seeds.
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