CHO Alert – Poppy Seeds

by | 14 Nov, 2022

The office of the Victorian Chief Health Officer has issued a health warning for for poppy seeds, when brewed into a tea or wash.

“Some batches of commercially available poppy seeds, when brewed into a concentrated form such as a tea, have resulted in cases of severe toxicity.”

As at November 11, here have been 19 emergency department presentations related to consumption of home-brewed poppy seed tea.

The key messages from the alert are:

  • Some batches of commercially available poppy seeds, when brewed into a concentrated form such as a tea, have resulted in cases of severe toxicity
  • Some affected patients have reported the poppy seed tea consumed has had an unusual dark brown colour and bitter taste
  • Toxic effects have not been reported when poppy seeds have been consumed in smaller quantities for example in baked goods
  • However, investigations are ongoing into whether smaller quantities of currently available poppy seeds, when consumed raw or cooked have any toxic effects
  • Clinicians should be aware of individuals presenting with the outlined clinical picture and call the Poisons Information Centre (13 11 26).

Read the full CHO Alert here:
CHO Alert – Poppy_Seeds. November 11, 2022