National Beef Manager Scott Hardiman said he was shocked to learn of the alleged thefts of anhydrous ammonia, which is used for refrigeration at the Old Trail meat processing plant.
"We never even knew (theft of the ammonia) could be an issue," he
"We knew pretty quickly that it wasn't a mechanical malfunction," Mr. Hardiman
said the company suffered a "significant loss," from the theft, leak and closure, even more than the nearly $7,800 loss of beef, pork, brine and anhydrous ammonia products.
"We had several employees who had to be treated at the hospital," he
said."This could have been catastrophic, with serious, even fatal injuries."
Mr. Kratzer was extremely fortunate that he
didn't ingest the ammonia when it sprayed out, Mr. Hardiman
Although employees' lunch boxes are always inspected by security as they leave the plant, Mr. Hardiman
said added security measures have been put in place in the brine mixing area.