Kepak is investigating a minor leak of ammonia at its largest meat processing plants in the country.

The incident occurred at 10.30pm last Sunday, 19 January, in a cold storage area of its Watergrasshill facility in Cork.

A small number of staff working in the plant at the time were evacuated while the leak was quickly rectified with no injury to staff.

On starting the day shift on Monday morning six members of staff detected what they described as a lingering trace of ammonia in the building.

As a safety precaution those members were referred to a local company GP for a check-up.

According to the company, the local fire brigade, who attended at the scene as a precaution, checked the air quality and confirmed that there was no health and safety issue of concern.

“Food product in the affected area was all packaged thus no unpacked meat was exposed to the leak. The permanent on-site Department of Agriculture and the Marine Veterinary Inspectorate were duly informed,” a Kepak spokesman added.

The Health and Safety Authority, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Agriculture were informed of the incident.

Kepak is also carrying out its own internal investigation.

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