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Poppyseed bagel causes New York mom to test positive for drugs while in labor

Posted at 10:26 PM, May 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-15 01:26:59-04

ERIE COUNTY, New York (ABC30) — A New York mother failed a hospital drug test while in labor, but it turned out the positive test for opioids was diet-based as opposed to illegal activity.

Elizabeth Dominguez, of Tonawanda, is home with her son, Carter, and enjoying her time as a new mom.

His arrival, however, was anything but easy.

"I just want everyone to know that this can happen," Dominguez said. "I don't want it to happen to anyone else."

When Dominguez went into labor, she went to the hospital where they asked for a urine sample -- which is standard.

"It came back that I tested positive for opiates, so I called my husband freaking out," she said. "I was like, 'How is this possible? I don't do drugs. This is not OK.'"

Her husband Mark asked what she had to eat.

Dominguez said that she had eaten a bagel and a sub. Her husband said it was probably from the bagel, to which she replied, "No way."

The bagel was covered in poppy seeds.

Experts say the seeds come from the opium plant and could contain residue of morphine or codeine.

After she gave birth, Dominguez was interviewed by Child Protective Services, based on hospital protocol.

Despite Carter testing negative for opiates, he had to stay at the hospital an extra 24 hours for monitoring.

The hospital later sent a letter to Elizabeth stating it appears her test was a false positive -- due to poppy seeds.

"I felt absolutely horrible," Dominguez said. "I felt like a terrible mother leaving him."

This story is courtesy of our ABC affiliate, ABC 30 in Fresno.