Mom Eats Bagel, County Takes Baby

She gets $143K payout over poppy-seed mix-up

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 3, 2013 1:21 AM CDT | Updated Jul 7, 2013 6:56 AM CDT

(Newser) – A Pennsylvania mom has won a $143,500 payout after having her newborn taken away from her for five days in a bagel debacle that will be familiar to Seinfeld fans. The day after Elizabeth Mort took her daughter home, police officers and social workers came to her Lawrence County home without warning and seized the newborn because of a positive test for opiates caused by a poppy-seed bagel she had eaten hours before giving birth, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.

From now on, health authorities will only report positive drug tests from the infant's first bowel movement, not from the mother's urine, the ACLU lawyer who represented Mort says. A judge ruled that the county's policy separating newborns from their mothers for no valid reason "shocks the conscience." Another woman whose newborn was placed in foster care for 75 days after a positive opiate test caused by poppy-seed salad dressing is also suing the county.

In a Seinfeld episode, Elaine tested positive for opiates after eating a poppy-seed bagel.
In a Seinfeld episode, Elaine tested positive for opiates after eating a poppy-seed bagel.   (Shutterstock)
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