Mum forcibly separated from her newborn baby after she ate a poppy seed bagel that caused her to fail a drug test.

Elizabeth Dominguez, 29, ate the bagel just hours before she went into labour on May 1.

Arriving at the hospital to give birth, Ms Dominguez was asked for a urine sample. But she was shocked to learn that it came back testing positive to opiates.

‘I called my husband freaking out saying “How is this possible? I don’t do drugs!'” Ms Dominguez told WKBW.

Husband, Mark Dominguez asked her what she had to eat that day.

‘I told him a bagel and a sub,’ Ms Dominguez recalled. ‘That’s all I had. He told me it must be from the bagel.’

Ms Dominguez gave birth to her baby son Carter later that day, and hospital staff followed protocol by contacting Child Protective Services, reports Daily mail.

While baby Carter’s tests did not show any opiates in his system, the newborn was required to stay in the hospital so he could be observed for withdrawal.

Meanwhile, Ms Dominguez was discharged and separated from her son.

Further follow-up reports showed she only acquired the positive reading because of the poppy seeds on her bagel.

One clinical pharmacist explained that the seeds are derived from the opium plant.

‘In some cases 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,’ Michelle Rainka told WABC.

‘Potentially those seeds have not been washed and can contain that.’

Rainka revealed that anywhere from ‘one to three bagels with poppy seeds’ could produce a positive result on a urine test.

While Ms Dominguez was swiftly reunited with her baby boy, she says the ordeal was terrifying.

‘I felt like a terrible mother leaving him,’ she said. ‘I just want everyone to know that this could happen.’

‘It’s such a terrible thing and I don’t want it to happen to anyone.’

Tests later confirmed that Ms Dominguez was a false positive.

What a terrifying ordeal for them.

Share your comments below

  • Terrible outcome for eating a poppy seed bagel – but do understand the hospitals concern for the child. Awful to have been separated from each other when no one did anything wrong, but at least all’s well that ends well.


  • That poor mum and dad such a shame the had to go through that


  • A terrible thing for the Mum and I hope she can get the message out so it doesn’t happen to anyone else but it is positive they are protecting babies.


  • The poor mum – how horrible for this to happen to her at what should have been such a joyous time.


  • This would be upsetting. Glad it has been sorted.


  • Poor mum. I would be fuming if this happened to me. You can tell if a person has been on drugs, and it would have only been seriously low trace amounts so to be taking a child away seems a bit far-fetched.


  • What a scary incident, glad all is ok


  • If a positive result comes back, a repeat test should be done immediately.


  • I have heard of this before – surely re-testing should have been done urgently.

    • I have heard about this too – rather scary.


  • Being separated when the baby is just born. Terrifying. The tests should become more sensitive because this isn’t indeed the first time that a false reading happens. :-(


  • This reminds me of when Elaine from Seinfeld failed a drug test because of eating poppy seeds. There really needs to be a way to determine the difference between eating the seeds to actually doing opiate drugs. Poor woman, how traumatising.


  • A very old story but still scary!I remember there are a few foods that show up on a breath test as alcohol as well

    • You can get a false alcohol reading if you go to some motorsport events – drag racing as the fuel they use in come cars contains alcohol. I know somebody who gave a positive reading for alcohol but not over the limit. He has a blood condition and does not drink alcohol at all – in fact he hates the smell of it. When he told the Police he doesn’t drink alcohol at all – he never has – he was asked if he had cough mixture as quite a few of them have alcohol in them. He never volunteered at Drag Racing Events again. He asked his boss to send one of his other employees or go himself.


  • Oh no! Poor lady! :(


  • I have heard of poppy seeds giving false drug readings. What an awful thing to happen. Nothing worse then bring separated from your babies


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