It all began with a poppy seed bagel... and ended with Elizabeth Mort's newborn baby daughter spending five days in foster care. The bagel, it seems, tainted Mort's in-hospital drug test, making her test positive for opiates.

When Pennsylvania child welfare officials knocked on Mort's door in 2010 insisting that her baby be taken away, Mort felt completely blindsided and confused. She had eaten a poppy seed bagel a couple of hours before arriving at the hospital to have her baby delivered. Jameson Hospital, where she gave birth, never told her that she had failed a drug test. The hospital also failed to ask Mort if she had eaten anything or taken any medication that could possibly taint her test.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania (ACLU) filed suit on behalf of Mort against Lawrence County child welfare agency and Jameson Hospital, alleging that the hospital used a threshold for drug screening that is lower than federal guidelines, which caused a false positive. The federal standard for drug testing is 2,000 nanograms per milliliter, while Jameson Hospital's standard was only 300 nanograms per milliliter.

Poppy seeds can cause a false positive on drug tests because morphine, codeine, and heroine are all produced from certain kinds of poppy flowers. If a food contains high enough levels of poppy seed, the body can develop detectable levels of opiates almost immediately. Some studies have found that levels of opiates can remain high even three days after eating a poppy product.

So, Mort's bagel just two hours before her arrival at the hospital likely produced a positive drug test of opiate levels that officials believed were high enough to warrant her baby being taken away.

The county and the hospital settled with Mort for $143,500, a number that the 24-year-old mother says is not as important as the hospital's agreement to change its drug testing policy. Newborns will no longer be taken away from their parents solely based on maternal drug tests.

"I am happy that the changes made by (the agency) and the hospital will prevent similar situations to others in the future," said Mort.

"We hope that this case will encourage hospitals that routinely test pregnant women for drug use to reconsider that practice due to the harm that can result from false positives," said Sara Rose, Pennsylvania ACLU staff attorney.