Canadian Manufacturing

Work resumes at Quebec pork plant after ammonia leak

About 200 employees back to work at Olymel plant in Vallee-Jonction, Que.



VALLEE-JONCTION, Que.—A few hundred employees have returned to work after an ammonia leak halted operations at a pork plant in Quebec last week.

According to Olymel, its hog slaughterhouse in Vallee-Jonction, Que., about 65 kilometres southeast of Quebec City, is back up and running after the Aug. 12 leak halted operations at the plant that processes about 37,500 hogs per week, mostly for export to the United States, Russia and Japan.

About 200 workers over two shifts were back in the plant Aug. 19, with the rest of the plant’s 800 employees returning the following day.

According to the company, the cause of the ammonia leak, which occurred in a refrigeration unit, has been identified, and steps are underway to prevent a similar incident in the future.

Over the weekend employees worked to empty the plant of products destined for destruction after being exposed to the ammonia leak.

The production usually handled at the Vallee-Jonction facility was diverted to a pair of Olymel plants in the province until investigation and cleanup was finished.

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