Breaking News
More () »

Ammonia leak at Macon Tyson Food plant sends employee to the hospital, company says

The chemical is used in industrial refrigeration, but it also can pose an array of health risks if it leaks.

MACON, Ga. — A federal health agency is investigating after an ammonia leak inside a Macon distribution center this week.

According to a statement from Tyson Foods, it happened Tuesday night at their building on Frank Amerson Parkway in west Bibb County.

They say the building was evacuated and one person was treated at a hospital but was released.

“We’re grateful for the swift response and assistance of local emergency personnel,” a Tyson Food spokesperson told 13WMAZ in an email.

On Thursday, Tyson says operations returned to normal.

Ammonia is often used in industrial refrigeration, but it can also cause eye, skin and lung damage. In some cases, it can also lead to death.

Ammonia also can explode and catch fire.

According to the Federal Occupational Safety and Heath Agency, they are investigating the leak, but they would not release further details about the incident.

This is not the first time that a Tyson Foods plant has suffered an ammonia leak.

A CNN analysis of Environmental Protection Agency data found that almost 150 workers have been injured by ammonia leaks between 2012 and 2021 at Tyson plants.

The company also experienced at least 47 ammonia leaks between 2012 and 2021 at their plants.

CNN reported that of the 20 facilities nationwide that reported the most chemical release-related injuries to the EPA, five of those facilities were Tyson meat plants. They report that is higher than any other company.

Tyson is one of the largest meat processing companies in the U.S., and the company had 142,000 employees during the 2022 fiscal year.

The spokesperson for Tyson Foods said that “team member safety is our top priority” and another spokesperson told CNN that they “take every injury seriously and work diligently to continuously improve our processes and make our facilities safer."


Before You Leave, Check This Out