Members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg were warned Thursday not to drink water from bottles handed out inside the hemicycle, after people fell sick from a suspected contamination.
“You are requested not to drink from any water bottles in the EP premises in Strasbourg,” stated an emergency text message sent out to thousands of staffers and politicians.
The SMS gave an emergency medical number to contact “in case of exposure” and said that the bottles were also distributed in the offices of President Roberta Metsola Thursday.
The European Parliament press service said that the French authorities had been informed. “Due checks are ongoing,” the press service wrote. “The precautionary message was sent as part of the duty of care of the institution,” they added.
An EU official said that a number of people had become ill but since recovered after drinking bottled water, possibly from a badly washed glass bottle.
“Good thing I stuck to wine,” quipped one EU official.
The Strasbourg building has long had a problem with the safety of its drinking water but normally from the taps.
In 2021, the Parliament’s late President David Sassoli played down the idea he had caught Legionnaire’s disease from the water in the institution’s building in Strasbourg.
Antoaneta Roussi and Sarah Wheaton contributed reporting.