A New York mother said a quick stop at a Tim Horton’s for a slice of lemon poppy seed bread on the way to the hospital to deliver her baby started an 8-week child protective services investigation.
Jamie Silakowski gave birth to her daughter, Hunter, on Oct. 16.
The delivery had only one issue: Silakowski’s doctor said she failed her drug test, WROC reported.
That’s when she told him that she remembered buying the poppy seed snack as she drove through the doughnut shop on the way to the the hospital.
The doctor laughed when she told him, saying that was from “Seinfeld” and that it couldn’t be what caused the test result, WROC reported.
According to the pediatrician, Hunter’s test came up clean, Silakowski told WROC.
She offered to retake the drug test, but she was told no. Because of the positive results, officials at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo called Child Protective Services. The child advocates started a child abuse investigation that Silakowski called a nightmare.
CPS started a child abuse investigation after a WNY mother, after eating poppy seed bread, tested positive for morphine. https://t.co/pu4SLSKhY8— News 8 - WROC-TV (@News_8) February 4, 2019
She was visited by CPS officials at her home. Her children were visited at their school. Silakowski also had to have drug counseling and testing.
But a positive drug test caused by poppy seed isn’t unheard of.
“From time to time a person who consumes a poppy seed product may end up with a positive opioid test and a confirmed positive for morphine or morphine and codeine,” Michael Peterson, manager of toxicology at ACM Medical Laboratory, told WROC. “I would expect that in most cases medical professionals should be aware of this.”
The hospital couldn’t comment on the case, citing patient privacy laws. The Erie County Health Department, the office that oversees CPS, also declined to comment to WROC.
Silakowski said that CPS determined the allegations to be unfounded. But she does have a note on her drug test saying that the findings can be used for medical treatment only, not for legal or employment purposes.
“I understand for protection of babies, you have to be careful and do these tests, but people need to be educated that this can happen and it can rock your world and I think I’m lucky that it was only 8 weeks to be honest with you, but it was a long 8 weeks,” Silakowski told WROC.
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