Alarm bells were raised when a suspicious package was sent to EFSA’s offices in Parma, Italy yesterday, where over 500 people are employed.
After carrying out inspections, local authorities found the package contained “a small amount of potentially explosive material”.
The package was later “neutralised” by authorities.
Local media reported that suspicions were roused when it was found the package was addressed to someone who did not work at EFSA.
An X-ray then revealed it contained a battery and wires and a bomb squad was called in to dispose of the device in a square near the EFSA building, according to the local newspaper Gazzetta di Parma.
European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis took to Twitter to say “science would not be intimidated”.
EFSA confirmed to us that nobody at the office had been harmed and work had resumed.
However the spokesperson declined to comment on the origin of the package since investigations were on-going.
The bomb scare comes at a time of high alert in Europe following explosions in its de facto capital city Brussels in March, killing 35 people and injuring 330.
Two of the ISIS-coordinated bombings happened at Brussels Airport in Zaventem while another happened at Maalbeek metro station, located in an area famous for European Parliament, Commission and Belgian Government buildings.
The time line
EFSA’s Twitter account details how the events unfolded yesterday.