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Poppy seed bagel causes mom to fail drug test before giving birth, prompting child protective services call

2019-05-15

Elizabeth Dominguez is pictured with her baby, Carter, in this screen grab from ABC 7 Buffalo.

An upstate New York woman’s meal choice led to a seedy situation.

Elizabeth Dominguez was confused when she failed a drug test after going into labor. She soon discovered that the culprit was a poppy seed bagel she’d eaten but the positive test meant she’d be separated from her baby for a bit and have to deal with child protective services.

After her standard urine test came back positive for opiates, Dominguez, who lives in Tonawanda, just north of Buffalo, called her husband in a panic asking how this could happen.

“I was like, ‘How is this possible? I don’t do drugs,’" Dominguez, 29, told WKBW. “This is not OK. I told the lab, I told the hospital and I told everyone, I was like 'Retest me, take my blood, do whatever you have to do because this isn’t right.”

When her husband asked what she ate that day, Dominguez realized she’d had an everything bagel that contained poppy seeds. The seeds, which are from the plant used to make the the drug opium, can show false positives in urine drug tests, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While further testing cleared Dominguez, the damage had already been done and hospital staff had to notify Child Protective Services.

"CPS shows up in my room asking me all sorts of questions, saying ‘If we are to take your baby and your kids away from you, where would you like them to go?’” Dominguez told WKBW.

The traumatic incident made Dominguez want to speak out and warn others. “I just want everyone to know that this could happen,” she says. “This is such a terrible thing and I don’t want it to happen to anyone.”

Her baby boy, Carter, had to be monitored for drug withdrawal and remain in the hospital for a while while Dominguez was discharged. Thankfully, the incident is now behind the family and they’re all reunited at home.