Waffle-maker Eggo was fined $85,000 after it was convicted of negligently releasing ammonia from a factory in San Jose, Calif., according to a report. Eggo was criminally charged with negligently discharging an air contaminant, failing to immediately report that release, providing inadequate training to its contractors, and failing to implement an adequate emergency action plan, according to the district attorney's office of Santa Clara county.
The release took place Jan. 22, 2021, when a subcontractor on a scissor lift “damaged a pipe that began leaking anhydrous ammonia,” the refrigerant used to freeze waffles produced at the factory. Eggo managers did not call 911 until more than an hour had passed, believing they had stopped the leak.
During the delay, 3,400 lb of anhydrous ammonia escaped the factory into the neighborhood, prompting residents to shelter in place for several hours until the leak was stopped. No injuries were reported.