Surprises…and Cautions…in the Kitchen
Is it true
vanilla extract can make you drunk?
Poppy seeds contain opium?
A lot of nutmeg is like a little PCP?
Oil of wintergreen can cause an
All of these
statements are true, though none of these foods and flavorings is
dangerous to use as recommended. With holiday baking season upon us,
it’s time to review some kitchen poison safety tips.
extract contains ethanol, the same type of alcohol found in beer,
wine, and hard liquor (and other types of flavoring extract,
perfume, cologne, aftershave, and mouthwash, too). The amount of
extract called for in recipes would not be dangerous. But a child
who swallowed the contents of a bottle might be at risk of alcohol
poisoning. Keep flavoring extracts out of reach, along with other
seeds we bake with or eat on bagels could, in fact, cause a positive
drug screen for opiates. When people eat poppy seeds, a drug test
could be positive for morphine or codeine, which are metabolites
(break-down products) of heroin. BUT – this generally happens only
if people eat a lot of poppy seeds – more than one poppy seed bagel,
for example, a short time before the test. Drinking poppy seed tea
has actually caused poisoning and is NOT recommended!
great in cookies and eggnog, but too much can cause hallucinations.
Children who get into the container, and people who deliberately
swallow a lot of nutmeg trying to get high, can become miserably
sick. Nausea, vomiting, agitation, prolonged drowsiness, and coma
are all possible. Keep the nutmeg, and its relative, mace, out of
the reach of children.
wintergreen is another name for methyl salicylate, a relative of
aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid). Small amounts are safe to use as
flavoring agents, but the bottle MUST be locked up, where children
can’t get to it. Small amounts of oil of wintergreen, like small
amounts of aspirin, can poison children. Because oil of wintergreen
is rapidly absorbed, children can become dangerously ill very
important to keep safety in mind even when using ordinary kitchen
ingredients. Use only recommended amounts in recipes. Lock up
ingredients that might be harmful if children swallow too much. And,
as always, call the Poison Center right away if you suspect that
someone has swallowed too much of anything. Even though you’re
baking or partying, the experts at the Poison Center are there to
answer your phone call and help you through any poison emergency.
– 24 hours a day, every day of the year.