On Monday an ammonia leak at a refrigeration plant in Alabama caused 84 people to seek medical attention, reported Meatingplace.
Millard Refrigeration Services in Theodore, Ala., freezes poultry
for export. According to Millard’s website, the 240,000 square foot
plant has a private port and can handle 2.5 million pounds daily. The
plant appears on the FSIS list of plants eligible for trade with Russia.
Witnesses reported seeing a 60-foot plume of gas shooting up into the air after a 200 gallon tank sprung a leak. Evacuations and road closures followed accordingly.
The leak has since been capped. Information regarding any food product that may have been contaminated during the leak has not yet been released.
In 2002, 157 students and teachers at an Illinois elementary school became ill minutes after consuming chicken tenders. The storage facility where these chicken tenders had been kept had an ammonia leak in 2001.
An investigation into the students’ illness by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service verified very high ammonia levels in the chicken tenders through its own laboratory analysis. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, the legal limit for such concentrations of ammonia is 15 ppm. The tests revealed contamination of the tenders with ammonia at 500-2,000 ppm.