Poppy seeds

Thebaine is a natural chemical found in poppy seeds which can be toxic in high concentrations. A total of 37 cases of illness were reported nationally in 2022 among people who consumed large amounts of poppy seeds. The national recall of several brands was successful in removing affected products from the market. Poppy seeds high in thebaine are used in the production of medicines and other non-food products such as cosmetics and shampoo. Food-grade poppy seeds are low in thebaine and safe to consume. Washing, soaking and baking also reduces thebaine levels.