Food factory staff taken to hospital with suspected carbon monoxide poisoning


A food processing plant in Cornwall was shut on Monday (12/03/12), after 17 members of staff complained of feeling unwell and were taken to hospital with suspected carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carbon Monoxide Alarm

The employees were working in the vegetable packing section of Riviera Produce at Connor Downs. The company employs around 40 staff to pack cabbages and cauliflowers for supermarkets across the country.

Ambulances ferried the staff with suspected carbon monoxide poisoning to the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro – two members of the ambulance staff were among those taken ill.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include dizziness, vomiting, feeling faint and confused and loss of consciousness in serious cases. None of the staff taken ill was thought to be in a serious condition, however.

Carbon monoxide is a colourless and odourless gas and the effects of it can be fatal if the body is unable to process oxygen for long periods of time.

Managing director of Riviera Produce, David Simmons, said that tests were being carried out to discover the possible source of any carbon monoxide poisoning – the company said a forklift truck was one of the areas being investigated.

Firefighters who attended the scene wore breathing apparatus and examined the premises – which were evacuated – using a gas detector.

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