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Family services whisks away newborn baby after mother’s urine tests positive for opiates — because of a poppy seed bagel


So much for due diligence

Laurie Skrivan/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/TNS via Getty Images

Family services forcibly separated a newborn baby from its mother after the mother tested positive for opiates.

Only after the state services removed the child from its mother's custody was it discovered that a poppy seed bagel was behind the mother's positive opiate result.

What are the details?

New York mom Elizabeth Dominguez, 29, ate a poppy seed bagel hours before going into labor May 1.

It would prove to be a mistake after the hospital tested her urine.

Prior to delivering her newborn son, the hospital took a urine sample, which came back positive for opiates.

Dominguez insisted that she was not a drug user, but the hospital still called Child Protective Services. Dominguez was able to leave the hospital — but not with her newborn baby, Carter. The child was required to remain hospitalized for medical observation.

After it was determined that Dominguez's poppy seed bagel was responsible for the false positive, she was reunited with her child. Poppy seeds are derived from opium poppy plants and can sometimes trigger a false positive on such tests. Carter's tests did not show any opiates whatsoever.

Dominguez told WKBW-TV, "I called my husband freaking out, saying, 'How is this possible? I don't do drugs!'"

One doctor told the station that it's very possible that poppy seeds could trigger a false result.

"In some cases," the doctor said, "eating a large amount of poppy seed such as the kind found in a bagel has been shown to produce low levels of morphine and codeine in the urine."

The doctor noted that it was highly likely that the poppy seeds had not been washed properly prior to baking on the bagel.

"Anywhere from one to three bagels with poppy seeds can produce positive tests on a urine toxicology," the physician added.

"I felt like a terrible mother leaving him," Dominguez added. "I just want everyone to know this could happen. It's such a terrible thing, and I don't want it to happen to anyone."

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