People find it both baffling and hilarious that you can fail a drugs test after eating poppy seed bread

This is what presenter Angela Rippon found in the series Rip Off Britain: Food.

Of all the things that could make you fail a drugs test, chances are that you would never think of poppy seed bread.

Sure, the poppy seeds can get annoying if they’re stuck in your teeth, but surely that’s the only after-effect? Apparently not – according to Angela Rippon.

The 72-year-old ate a loaf of bread with poppy seeds and a poppy seed bagel over the course of three days for the fourth series of Rip Off Britain: Food. Rippon then tested positive for opiates – her results picked up the presence of morphine, which is derived from opium.

Angela Rippon
(Anthony Devlin/PA)

The poppy seed experiment came after a contributor to the programme told how he was fired from his job at a power station after a routine drug test showed opiates in his system. Dumbfounded at first, he realised that the answer must be the poppy seed bread he’d eaten for his breakfast.

Rippon said: “In more than 50 years of broadcasting I've found myself in a number of extraordinary situations. But I must say I never thought I'd find myself taking a drugs test, let alone have it come back positive.”

And safe to say viewers were just as surprised as she was.

The whole thing is just a bit comical.

No one can quite handle the idea of Rippon failing a drugs test.

Consulting Queen Mary University toxicology expert, Professor Atholl Johnston, told Rippon: “The amount of morphine in a poppy seed will vary quite considerably depending on when and where it was harvested.

“In fact when tests have been done there's about a six-hundred fold variation in the amount of morphine in poppy seeds.”

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe from just £1 to get full access