Ammonia Leak and Alarm Failure Highlight Chemical Hazard at Food Distribution Center

Reinhart Food Service LLC faces $72K in OSHA penalties

OSHA found that a check valve in a pump room at a Taunton facility leaked 9 pounds of anhydrous ammonia, and the ammonia sensor in the room did not sound the alarm as expected.

The incident occurred at one of Reinhart Food Service LLC’s facilities, which is the fourth largest foodservice distributor in the U.S.

"The leak was relatively small but the consequences could have been enormous. Exposure to even as little as 300 parts per million of anhydrous ammonia is immediately dangerous to life and health. An uncontrolled release can be lethal and catastrophic," said Kenneth Shedden, OSHA's area director for Boston and southeastern Massachusetts.

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