Rouen food festival will go ahead, despite pollution fears after chemical factory fire

Rouen food festival will go ahead, despite pollution fears after chemical factory fire
Photo: AFP
Rouen's popular food festival will be going ahead, despite pollution fears in the town after a chemical factory fire, organisers have confirmed.

The sale of crops or animal products such as honey, milk or eggs produced in Rouen or 100 nearby communes has been banned over fears of pollution following the blaze at the Lubizol chemical plant on September 26th.

This had lead to fears that Rouen's highly popular two-day food festival – scheduled for October 12th and 13th – would be cancelled.

However organisers have today confirmed to The Local that the event will go ahead.

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Soot-blackened corn in a nearby field. Farmers have been banned from selling produce from the local area. Photo: AFP

A spokesman for the Fête du Ventre said: “I can assure you at this point that no information whatsoever from the City Hall, the Metropole or the Prefecture would lead us to believe that the festival would be cancelled or postponed.

“None of the more than 170 producers currently registered wished to withdraw from the event.

“We are confident that the public will also be there, the public knows the seriousness of our producers, and the quality of their products.”

The Fête du Ventre et de la Gastronomie Normande is a major celebration of regional cooking and food producers and is one of the highlights of the town's tourist calendar, attracting more than 100,000 people.

Local people have expressed health fears in the days since the blaze at the Lubrizol factory, which burned for 24 hours producing clouds of thick bloke smoke that drifted as far as Belgium and the Netherlands.

Farmland to the north of the town has shown deposits of an oily soot and one farmer told local media that rain in the region was also black.

Since Monday, local authorities have banned the sale of crops grown in the region, or any animal products produced in or around Rouen.


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