Cincinnati Food Processing Plant Reopens After Ammonia Leak
Earlier this month, an ammonia leak at a food processing plant in Cincinnati forced workers to shut down and exit the building until the problem was fixed and officials deemed the plant safe to enter. As you can expect, this put a damper on the processing plant’s production, but it was soon up and running again. Here we’ll take a closer look at just what happened at the Cincinnati plant and why workers were forced to close down their entire operations because of it.
The incident occurred at the Club Chef, LLC food processing plant in Covington, Cincinnati on September 9th. If you’re familiar with the area, you’ve probably seen the huge 200,000+ square foot building located on the industrial Lake Park Drive, as it’s one of the largest plants around. Everything was going fine and on track that Sunday morning until a small ammonia leak was discovered around 11:30 a.m. At which point, the company’s manager ordered all 160 employees to exit the building and wait for further instructions on the lawn.
City officials responded with a full hazmat team to cleanup the ammonia leak. Although it certainly wasn’t a quick or easy process, they were able to locate and fix the leak, as well as clean up the spilled ammonia throughout the plant. Unfortunately, the processing plant’s workers were left waiting outside on the lawn for over 10 hours. During this time, the manager ordered pizzas for everyone to eat until the hazmat team cleaned out the plant. You might be wondering just why in the world workers would wait outside for over 10 hours instead of going home. Well, most of the workers were forced to leave the premises without having enough time to grab their car keys and other belongings; therefore, they were forced to wait until the building was deemed safe to enter.
Ammonia is a serious chemicals that can cause some substantial problems when exposed to humans. It’s naturally corrosive, so when a person breathes it in, they may experience immediate burning in the nose, mouth and throat. If ammonia fumes come into contact with the eyes, burning and temporary blindness may occur.
It’s still unclear what the processing plant intends to do with the fruit and vegetables that were exposed to the ammonium. It’s likely that any of the food around the exposed area will be discarded to avoid any potential injuries or illness by future consumers.