What Foods Cause a False Positive Saliva Drug Test
October 18th, 2022
In simple words, we can define a false positive drug test result as a rather spurious report wherein the drug testing mechanism reveals that drug metabolites are in the system of a person who has not consumed any illicit substances that they are being screened for. Although a false positive drug test result might seem far-fetched and dramatic, it is the reality for many people. For example, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) reveals that up to one in every 10 drug tests are likely false positives.
The biggest problem with pre-employment and pre-admission drug tests is that they are fallible, hence the staggering proportion of false positive results. It is essential to note that false positive drug test results can result from multiple factors, including the consumption of certain foods. However, before getting into the crux of the foods that can culminate in a false positive, let us glance through its other causes.
Three Causes of False Positive Drug Test Results
Mishandled Samples – The most pertinent reason for a false positive drug result is a mishandled or compromised sample in the laboratory. Even though there are strict procedures for handling a drug test sample, human error is inevitable. Lab workers, sample collectors, and other individuals within the drug testing chain can make mistakes, resulting in a false positive result.
Accidental Intoxication – At times, the test subject may have accidentally or unknowingly ingested drug toxins, culminating in an ostensibly false positive drug result. The situation is even more likely if the testing facility has decided to apply low cutoff levels to analyze test results. When the threshold is set so low, a person with no history of drug use becomes susceptible to saliva or urine samples that reflect a false-positive result.
Cross-reactivity – The final reason for a false positive result is also the most common. In simple terms, cross-reactivity is when an immunoassay screen mistakes one substance for another.
Now that we know the fundamental causes of a false positive saliva drug test, let us examine some foods that can lead to a false positive drug report.
Top Seven Foods That Can Cause a Saliva Drug Report To Become a False Positive
You might be surprised to know that your home is inundated with things that can cause a false positive saliva drug test.
Poppy Seeds – They are one of the most common ingredients that cause a false positive drug result at screening. Poppy seeds comprise naturally occurring trace amounts of codeine and morphine. (around 0.5 to10 micrograms per gram) Although the opiate concentration in poppy seeds is far from anything that could get you high, sometimes saliva drug tests cannot differentiate poppy seeds from other potent and illicit drugs.
Vitamin B12 – We consume Vitamin B12 supplements to boost energy, but they can also trigger false positive drug test results. They contain riboflavin, which is a derivative of hemp seed oil. Thus, there can be trace amounts of THC (marijuana) present, meaning that the saliva drug test results may erroneously suggest that you have been ingesting marijuana in the report.
Pizza – For a lot of us, pizza equals comfort food. But did you know that this gooey and scrumptious dish can also result in a false positive drug test result? A recent study by PloS One Journal reveals that our universal love for pizza may be linked with indicators of addiction. The yeast used to make the pizza bread promotes the fermentation of sugars into alcohol and other substances. Although you should not expect to feel ‘drunk’ after having a slice of pizza or even an entire pizza, the produced alcohol in your mouth might just be enough to return a false positive drug test result. So, if you could not resist having that cheesy pizza before a drug test, rinse your mouth properly.
Durian –Also deemed as the King of Fruits, Durian is an Asian fruit loved by some and hated by others. However the fruit is revered by many for its nutritional value, but its pungent ripe smell can be turned off for some. In addition to its relatively terrible stence, Durian also happens to be one food that can cause a false positive drug test. For instance, in 2019, the BBC reported an incident wherein the police stopped a Chinese man for suspected drunk driving. An office breathalyzer result confirmed the individual was intoxicated despite his protests. However, the follow-up blood test revealed otherwise.
Energy Drinks – For many of us, energy drinks serve as the sole resort to get by the day. However, surprisingly, energy drinks have also been known to cause false positives for everything, from ‘meth’ to THC (marijuana). Even opiates have propped up on drug test reports for people who had just consumed Red Bull.
Antibiotics – Certain antibiotics, such as fluoroquinolones and rifampin, have also been shown to result in false positives on a saliva drug test. One case included a 7-year-old Lebanese boy who tested positive for opiates in a urine drug test upon admission to the American University of Beirut Medical Center in 2002. However, the follow-ups revealed that rifampin was the substance driving the positive opiate screening.
Hemp Seeds – They are a Cannabis Sativa L. plant breed, but with a THC concentration of less than 0.3 per cent. Currently, hemp is a regulated agricultural commodity with various industrial applications. As such, there is a good chance that hemp seeds might end up in your diet or other products through foods like granola bars or even hemp oil. Although the trace amounts of THC in hemp are not enough to cause intoxication, the psychoactive ingredient may accumulate in your fat cells and linger for up to five causes, at times causing a false positive saliva drug test.
So, there we have it, a crisp overview of the seven common foods that cause a false positive drug test result.
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