A bag of powdered garlic, not something that would normally offend the French, set alarm bells ringing when it was left on a plane at Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport and officials were unable to identify the substance.
The bag found on a US Airways plane which arrived from Orlando on Sunday sparked a security alert when police feared the whitish-grey powder inside could be a deadly toxin.
The abandoned hand luggage was taken away for laboratory analysis and several people who had approached it were taken to hospital for tests. However, the contents were found to be an innocuous stash of powdered garlic and other spices, which the owner later returned to collect.
The false alert came days after officials said an amount of powder found at a Paris train station and initially believed to be the lethal poison ricin appeared to be pulverised wheat and barley. France has been on high alert in recent months amid fears of attacks by Islamic radicals.