World News

Industry news and insights from Europe and around the World

UK News

Latest news and developments in the United Kingdom


Keep up-to-date with the latest new products and technology


General articles, applications and industry analysis

Multiple failures blamed for fatal nitrogen leak

USA: A number of equipment and process failures have been blamed for a fatal liquid nitrogen refrigerant release at a food processor in Gainesville, Georgia.

The incident in January 2021 at the Foundation Food Group (FFG) facility led to the deaths of six people and seriously injured four others, including a firefighter who attended the scene.

The report by the US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) identifies a number of equipment and process failures at the facility, a poultry processing operation that used liquid nitrogen to quickly freeze prepared poultry food products.  

The CSB’s final report found that the liquid nitrogen release was caused by the failure of the liquid nitrogen control system in a freezer room due to a bent “bubbler tube”. The bent tube allowed the room to fill with an unsafe level of liquid nitrogen that quickly vaporised into a 4-5ft high deadly cloud.

The CSB’s report concluded that the bubbler tube likely was bent during maintenance in the freezer room. The report also determined that the severity of the incident was worsened by FFG’s inadequate emergency preparedness, which resulted in at least 14 employees entering the freezer room or the surrounding area to investigate the incident or attempt to rescue coworkers. FFG had also failed to install air monitoring and alarm devices that could have alerted workers about the hazardous vapour cloud and warned them against entering the freezer room.

After the incident, FFG sold the facility to Gold Creek Foods, which does not now have liquid nitrogen freezing processes in the building where the incident occurred.

Latest News

26th February 2024

Brian Streatfield 1936-2024

UK: Brian Streatfield, a man who was instrumental in the formation of Carrier in the UK during the 1970s, died at the weekend. He was 87.
25th February 2024

Safety is vital in global F-gas transition

UK: Institute of Refrigeration president Graeme Fox has warned of the real-world issues that the “rapid transition” to “natural” refrigerants poses for developing countries.
25th February 2024

Terrie Lamb wins lifetime achievement award

UK: Terrie Lamb of Cimetrics was recognised for 25 years of dedication to the RACHP sector in a night of awards at Thursday night’s annual Institute of Refrigeration (IoR) dinner.
25th February 2024

Boosting EV range with microwave energy

UK: Researchers from the University of Birmingham are working on an energy storage system which couples a chemical heat pump with microwave energy to produce heating or cooling on demand.
25th February 2024

Home heat pump install for newly-trained engineers

UK: A UK charity is proposing to give newly trained heat pump installers an air-source heat pump to install in their own home.
23rd February 2024

Hoshizaki acquires 25% stake in Fogel

PANAMA: Japanese refrigeration equipment manufacturer Hoshizaki has acquired a 25% stake in Fogel Company Inc, a manufacturer of commercial refrigeration equipment based in Republic of Panama, for US$28m.