Dear Baking Industry,
New Zealand Food Safety is writing to update you on the safety and suitability of poppy seeds.
Poppy seeds are available in different grades: pharmaceutical, food grade for manufacturing, and food grade for direct-to-consumer sales.
Seeds can have various levels of opioid alkaloids; morphine, codeine, and thebaine. Selling the incorrect grade of poppy seed for direct human consumption can create a human health food safety risk.
Poppy seed for culinary use is intended to be added into food products as an ingredient or used in smaller amounts in home baking/cooking, however it may not be used as intended by end consumers, i.e., brewed into poppy seed tea. This unintended use may result in serious adverse reactions and even fatality if the level of opium alkaloids present in the seed is high.
Poppy seeds supplied for manufacturing are acceptable for use for further processing (ie baking) as this minimises the risk.
Consumer recall of poppy seeds
New Zealand Food Safety is notifying of a consumer recall underway of poppy seed imported by Davis Trading Company Ltd (NZ) due to supplier requirements not being met. These poppy seeds should not be used for direct consumption. It is acceptable to use this product for further manufacturing including baking.
Please contact us should you have any questions regarding the above.
New Zealand Food Safety Food Compliance Services