Food to Avoid Before a Drug Test

Food to Avoid Before a Drug Test

Authored by Pin Ng

Edited by Alexander Bentley

Reviewed by Dr Ruth Arenas Matta

Food to Avoid Before a Drugs Test


In a classic episode of the seminal 1990s American television comedy Seinfeld, character Elaine Benes failed an employment drug test for eating too many poppy seed muffins. The drug heroin is derived from poppy seeds and it has long been debated whether you could actually test positive on a drug test for eating too many poppy seeds.


It has been debated by many people that certain foods would cause you to test positive on a drugs test. Many people don’t believe it to be possible, yet it turns out that foods can dictate the outcome of a sensitive drug test.


Believe it or not, if you fail a drug test, it could be due to the food and drink you consume. There are every day foods, drinks, and medicines prescribed by your doctor that could trigger a false positive on a drug test. You may be surprised by the number of foods and drinks that could cause a false positive drug test.

Which foods can cause a false positive on a drugs test?


Poppy Seeds


Poppy seeds can be the culprit to a positive drugs test even if you haven’t been consuming drugs. The little black seeds have been such a problem for people that the United States government’s agencies even declare that you shouldn’t consume poppy seeds before taking a drugs test.


Poppy seeds come from the Papaver somniferous plant, which is also known as the opium poppy. The opium plant is used to make heroin. Despite poppy seeds being harmless, they hold trace amounts of codeine and morphine. You won’t get high, but could test positive on a drugs test.


Hemp Seeds


Hemp seeds can be found in certain types of granola bars. These little seeds may have trace amounts (<0.3%) of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). The trace amounts could cause some intoxication. The psychoactive seeds could accumulate in the fat cells in your body. The accumulation may stay in your body for up to five weeks.


Hemp seeds may be an ingredient in granola bars and hemp oil. The accumulations of hemp could cause you to test positive on a drugs test. In the U.S., hemp is highly regulated, but that doesn’t mean it won’t end up in your food. Therefore, a positive result on your drugs test is possible.




Durian is fruit that is either loved or hated. It gives off a strong smell that turns off many people, especially individuals that live outside of Asia where durian is grown. In a previous case, durian was found to provide a false positive breathalyzer test result. Although it may not show up in a blood test, it can cause a breathalyzer to indicate you are drunk.




Your favorite food may cause you to test positive on your next alcohol test. Yeast promotes the fermentation of sugars into alcohol. Yeast is used in pizza to make the dough rise. The combination of eating pizza and having alcohol in your mouth could provide a positive drug test result. You should rinse your mouth out thoroughly after eating pizza before taking a drugs test.


Coca Tea


With a name like coca tea, you may realize this drink is derived from the same leaves that cocaine is created from. Coca tea is not widely consumed in the U.S., but it is elsewhere. The tea is broken down to create cocaine metabolites and these may result in a false positive drugs test. Research has found that traces of the metabolites can be identified after just two hours. They remain in your system for up to a day in a half, or 36 hours.


Tonic Water


Tonic water was originally consumed due to its quinine content. Quinine is an anti-malaria agent that comes from the South American cinchona tree. In modern times, quinine is often used by drug dealers to cut heroin and other substances.


Quinine can show up in your urine after you drink a bottle of tonic water. If it shows up on your drugs test, it can indicate that you are a drug user, even if you are not. Since quinine is used in the production of illicit drugs, tests may not be sophisticated enough to differentiate between a heroin user and tonic water drinking.

Other Non Food to Avoid Before a Drug Test


Secondhand Weed Smoke


You may not smoke weed, but your friends or roommates may smoke the intoxicating herb. If you are around individuals who smoke it, you could test positive for traces of THC from secondhand smoke. The good news is that you are unlikely to have enough THC in your body to actually trigger a positive result on your drugs test.


Weight Loss Pills


In 2011, international soccer star Kolo Toure, who played for Manchester City and the Ivory Coast national team, tested positive for a banned substance. According to Toure, he mistakenly took some of his wife’s diet pills not realizing he would test positive for a banned substance. Toure was subsequently banned from playing soccer for six months.


Weight loss pills may contain substances that show up on your drugs test. Some prescription weight loss pills, such as phentermine, contain chemicals similar to amphetamines. Phentermine could trigger a false drugs test if there isn’t a medical reason for you to take amphetamines.




If you are prescribed antidepressants such as sertraline (Zoloft) for depression, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and other mental health issues, you could test positive for drugs on your next test.


There are certain drugs test that may not be detailed enough to tell apart sertraline and benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines, also known as bennies, are a tranquilizer drug. It is regularly found in individuals who overdose on opioid drugs. Despite quitting antidepressants, you may still test positive for drugs days later.

Disputing a Positive Drugs Test


If you test positive on a drugs test, you can dispute a false positive result. If you did not consume any alcohol or illegal drug as the test indicates, you should request additional tests to verify the original test. This usually calls for a blood screening to confirm the initial results.


If you tested positive for alcohol, a simple blood test may prove you are innocent. A successful false positive drugs test dispute could salvage your job or potentially avoid legal charges.


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