A man has reportedly failed a drugs test for a new job after eating slices of his favourite Tesco poppy seed bread.
The man’s shocked sister, who has not been named, explained how she had given him four slices of the seeded loaf to make sandwiches with before a job interview.
Yet during that interview she claimed he had a drug test which identified that he had opium in his system – even though he had not consumed any medication.
“As he failed he didn’t get the job no matter how much convincing he tried,” the sister told Plymouth Live, warning others after what happened to her sibling.
They later claimed they discovered the bread was the cause.
According to medical journals, this type of bread, and other foods can cause this result.
That’s because although poppy seeds do not contain any opium initially, the seeds can absorb opium or become coated by it in the harvesting process.
Healthline says that, although poppy seeds go through a thorough cleaning before being processed, they could still contain trace amounts of opiate residue.
The baffled sister told PlymouthLive she wanted to raise awareness, so other people were aware that this could happen.
Taking to social media, she wrote: “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 four 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 two to three 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 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.
Information on the Healthline website said: “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.”
Meanwhile, MedicalNewsToday explains that there are a number of factors can affect food processing techniques can also determine and effect the amount of opium that ends up in poppy seeds.
MedicalNewsToday says: “Poppy seeds can cause a person to fail a drug test by testing positive for morphine. Morphine is an opiate derived from opium in poppies. Other drugs derived from opium include codeine and heroin.
“Although poppy seeds are the seeds of the opium poppy plant, they do not contain any opium. During the harvesting process, however, the seeds can absorb opium or become coated by it.
“Several factors influence how much morphine ends up in the poppy seeds. Food processing techniques, for example, can reduce the morphine content of the seeds by up to 90%, but this varies from country to country.
“The method of food preparation also plays a role. Baked goods typically contain less morphine (and codeine) than unbaked products, because baking destroys these substances.”
The Mirror has contacted Tesco for further comment.