Business Strategies / Food Safety / Industry News / Process and Operations

Hazmat Accident Hospitalizes 20 Salad Workers

By Lauren R. Hartman, Product Development Editor

Oct 26, 2015

A chemical spill on Oct. 15 at Taylor Farms' processing plant in Tracy, Calif., created a hazardous vapor that sent 20 people in a cleaning crew to the hospital.

According to reports in California's Tracy Press, a Tracy Fire Department division chief said the accident happened before 6 a.m. as two chemicals  acetic acid and chlorine  had been mixed. The U.S. Poison Control Center reported the mixture of those two substances (chlorine can be found in bleach and acetic acid is common in vinegar) can create a chlorine gas that attacks the mucous membranes inside the nose and lungs.

A hazmat team from the Defense Logistics Agency depot inside the building determined how far the vapor spread and how to clean it up.

The fire department indicated that the vapor posed no danger outside of the Taylor Farms building, and that the 20 people had moderate to serious injuries and were taken to several area hospitals. The fire department turned over the cleanup of the spill at Taylor Farms to the business owners and reopened the nearby road.