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Meat Processing Company: Emissions of Foul Odors and Dangerous Vapors

Provided by IFC Sustainable Business Advisory

A Meat Processing Company, Bangkok, Thailand

A meat processing company operates from a small facility located in the heart of Bangkok. About 85 percent of the production is supplied to food service businesses, hotels, restaurants and fresh markets. Therefore, it is crucial for the company’s profitability that it operates in the city to minimize the transportation and warehousing costs. As the company has increased production over the past few months, there have been several cases of ammonia leakage from the refrigeration, causing a foul odor, as well as danger­ous vapors. Neighbors are also complaining of foul odors, which are coming from the rendering of waste.


  • Concerns and complaints from community/neighbors
  • Worker illnesses due to exposure to ammonia


  • Contract a specialized company for ammonia refrigeration plant preventive maintenance and repairs
  • Provide training to personnel responsible for operation of the refrigeration plant
  • Inspect ammonia refrigeration equipment and eliminate ammonia leaks; overcome the effects of deferred maintenance
  • Ensure all regulatory requirements related to building codes, ammonia storage and use and safety/labor codes are met, monitored and reported on a regular basis
  • Segregate wastes that may be used for animal feed and dispatch these wastes to farms where the wastes may be consumed (e.g. blood meal for fish)
  • Store, transport and dispose of waste as per the regulatory requirements to prevent foul odors and discharge to air, water or land environment


  • Minimize leakages of ammonia during handling/replacement of the ammonia cylinders, regulators, manifolds, etc. and during purging operations
  • Minimize ammonia exposure to employees through proper training, appropriate PPEs and adequate ventilation in the operation area
  • Consider production and product distribution planning to minimize cold storage require­ments
  • Reduce volume of wastes generated by improving meat processing operations
  • Reschedule raw materials receipt and production timing to reduce requirement for refrig­eration and cold storage


  • Engage in active consultation with neighboring facilities and settlements and regulators to address their concerns
  • Provide necessary information and training to the neighboring units on emergency pro­cedures related to ammonia leakage
  • Pay for medial checkups of workers (e.g. pulmonary capacity tests) and compensate as needed

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