A factory worker was fired from his job because he failed a drug test after eating his favourite bread.
Marcin Konieczny, a 35-year-old dad-of-two, had only been in the job for two weeks when he was asked to give a sample for the random drugs test. He wasn’t worried though, as Marcin said he’s never taken drugs, doesn’t smoke and only has a glass of wine about once a month.
However, the bosses at the factory said his drug test came back positive for small traces of opiates, and he was immediately let go from his job at the Cod Beck Blenders factory in Yorkshire.
I’m absolutely devastated. I felt so powerless and discriminated against so badly. I was so shocked because I have never smoked, never taken drugs and very rarely drink wine.
I was forced to leave work straight away but I can’t drive so I had to wait around in the cold all day for a lift.
Determined to prove that the drug test was wrong, Marcin carried out his own research, and found out the elements of opiates found could have come from seeded bread. The 35-year-old ate Aldi’s Honey Soaked Seeded Bloomer fairly regularly, so took a sample of it to a private laboratory.
The test came back with the same ‘non-negative’ result – which meant there were in fact trace elements of the drug in the bread too.
I started researching on the internet and found stories of other people who tested positively for drugs after eating seeded bread.
My wife and I had just started changing our diet and eating more healthily. I had been eating the bread every day.
The proof is in the lab results. It’s such a relief because the feeling of no-one believing you drives you mad. I hope nobody else is ever treated like this.
A spokesperson for the factory acknowledged the odd result, saying:
Like many businesses, we have in system a random testing policy to check for substance misuse. In this case, a temporary worker happened to be tested and returned a non-negative result.
Our usual procedure in this situation is to suspend the person on full pay until the correct chain of custody drug test is complete, i.e we send off to lab for verification.
In this particular case, the result came back positive but the lab said it was ‘consistent with a dietary source, not medication or anything untoward’.
After the second test, we communicated the results to the agency who hired him. In the circumstances we would have no objection in principle to this temporary worker returning here.
The poppy seeds used in the bread comes from the papaver somniferum plant, also known as the opium poppy. This species of plant is also where opium comes from.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.