Not three months after we reported on a Child Protective Services investigation of a Western New York mother who tested positive for opiates after eating poppy seeds, it appears to have happened to another new mom, who bought a snack with poppy seeds at the same place.
At the end of last year, Jamie Silakowski, of Depew, gave birth to Hunter at Mercy Hospital, but right before the birth she stopped off at Tim Hortons and bought a pastry with poppy seeds mixed in.
The hospital alerted CPS after Silakowski tested positive for opiates.
It took 8 weeks and endless worry until CPS cleared Silakowski.
Sunday, WKBW-TV reported on case in which a new mom, Elizabeth Dominguez, from Tonawanda faced a CPS investigation after she bought and ate a poppy seed bagel from Tim Hortons.
The manager of toxicology of ACM Medical Laboratory in Chili, Michael Peterson, says a positive from poppy seeds is often caused by unwashed seeds that still have residual raw opium on them.
He recommends Tim Hortons review these incidents.
“It’s possible the company could change providers of their poppy seeds or they could look within the same provider for a washed poppy seed source,” Peterson said.
Our sister station in Rochester, WROC, reached out to Tim Hortons in February, but never received a response to questions.
The company also failed to reply to our emails Monday.
WROC is now awaiting a response from the FDA to questions about whether it is investigating the food chain or looking into these incidents.
Peterson worries that cases like this could encourage people with addictions to argue after a positive test that they had eaten poppy seeds.
He says if you know you are going to be tested, do not eat anything with poppy seeds 48 hours beforehand and if it is a surprise test and you have already consumed poppy seeds, you should go back and collect any and all documentation of your purchase or write down all you can about when and where you ate them.