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HEALTH

More than half of France on ‘red alert’ for pollen

Spring has arrived in France - bringing with it sunshine, warmer temperatures, longer days - and rising pollen counts.

More than half of France on 'red alert' for pollen
Photo: AFP/Réseau National de Surveillance Aérobiologique

For some 30 percent of people living in France suffer with allergies made worse by high pollen counts.

The Réseau National de Surveillance Aérobiologique has placed 62 départements across 11 regions on ‘red’ alert – the highest level – for high pollen counts, with the north and east of the country are the most affected.

The full département breakdown is available here

Brittany: Morbihan, Ille-et-Vilaine

Normandy: Manche, Calvados, Orne, Seine-Maritime

Pays de la Loire: Sarthe, Mayenne

Centre-Val-de-Loire: Eure, Eure-et-Loir

Hauts de France: Oise, Somme, Pas-de-Calais, Nord, Aisne

Ile-de-France: Essonne, Val-de-Marne, Yvelines, Seine-et-Marne, Paris, Seine-Saint-Denis, Val-d’Oise, Hauts-de-Seine

Grand Est: Marne, Ardennes, Aube, Haut-Rhin, Bas-Rhin, Vosges, Haute-Marne, Meuse, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Moselle, Marne

Bourgogne-Franche-Comté: Yonne, Nièvre, Saône-et-Loire, Jura, Doubs, Côte-d’Or, Haute-Saône, Territoire de Belfort

Nouvelle Aquitaine: Vienne, Dordogne, Haute-Vienne, Creuse, Corrèze

Occitanie: Pyrénées-Orientales, Aude, Hérault, Gard, Lozère

Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes: Haute-Loire, Puy-de-Dôme, Allier, Isère, Savoie, Haute-Savoie, Ain, Rhône, Loire

For more detailed information, click on the map below:

Pollen levels by département in France – top right is an expanded version of the Paris region. Image: Réseau National de Surveillance Aérobiologique

The birch tree, which started pollinating at the beginning of the month, is responsible for the highest counts.

There is relief on the horizon, however, with wetter weather forecast at the end of the week, which is likely to lead to a dip in pollen levels.

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FOOD & DRINK

Kinder pulls 3,000 tonnes of products after salmonella cases

Children in nine European countries, including 81 in France, were affected

Kinder pulls 3,000 tonnes of products after salmonella cases

More than 3,000 tonnes of Kinder products have been withdrawn from the market over salmonella fears leaving a dent of tens of millions of euros, a company official has told France’s Le Parisien.

Nicolas Neykov, the head of Ferrero France, said the contamination came “from a filter located in a vat for dairy butter”, at a factory in Arlon in Belgium.

He said the contamination could have been caused by humans or raw materials.

Chocolate products made at the factory in Arlon, southeastern Belgium, were found to contain salmonella, resulting in 150 cases in nine European countries.

Eighty-one of these were in France, mainly affecting children under 10 years old.

The factory’s closure and the health concerns were blows to its owner, Italian confectionery giant Ferrero, coming at the height of the Easter holiday season when its Kinder chocolates are sought-after supermarket buys.

“This crisis is heartbreaking. It’s the biggest removal of products in the last 20 years,” Neykov said.

But the company hoped to be able to start up the factory again, with 50 percent of health and safety inspections to be carried out by an approved “external laboratory” in the future, instead of the previous system of only internal reviews.

“We have asked for a reopening from June 13 to relaunch production as soon as possible,” he added.

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