North American Plant and Factory Disasters in 2023

The large number of fires destroying food plants and factories in recent years is alarming.

Fires that take place at processing facilities and food plants mean even more disruption to our already fragile supply chain…and even higher prices.

Here is the roundup of North American plant and factory disasters so far this year. We plan to update this list throughout 2023 as other fires occur. (You can also see our list of 20+ US food plant disasters from 2022.)

  1. Tyson Foods Hog Plant, Madison, Nebraska [April 24, 2023]

The cause of the fire has not been identified. Several fire departments were called in to help the city’s volunteer firefighters battle the blaze. The plant has about 1,200 employees and normally processes 8,250 hogs a day.

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  1. Red River Commodities, 2 Fires, Fargo, North Dakota [April 12, 2023]

Crews first went for reports of a fire in the oven. Then about an hour later, firefighters rushed back for reports of flames coming from a chimney. The plant processes sunflower seeds and other crops into food ingredients and products.

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  1. South Fork Dairy Explosion, Dimmitt, Texas [April 10, 2023]

18,000 cows were killed in an explosion and fire that rocked the South Fork Dairy farm in the Texas Panhandle – making it the deadliest fire involving cows in nearly a decade.

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  1. Basic American Foods Processing Plant Fire, Moses Lake, Washington [March 29, 2023]

The Basic American Foods processing plant in Washington experienced a big fire in March 2023. The plant suffered extensive damage, and it took hours for firefighters to get it under control.

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  1. Pickle Factory Fire, New Jersey [March 25, 2023]

A three-alarm fire destroyed Pickle King, a gherkin producer, in New Jersey in March 2023 and threatened nearby schools.

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  1. Chocolate Factory Fire, West Reading, Pennsylvania [March 24, 2023]

Seven people were killed in an explosion and several others were injured at the RM Palmer Company chocolate factory in West Reading, Pennsylvania in March 2023. The explosion also caused damage to nearby buildings.

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  1. Ruiz Foods Plant, Dinuba, California [ February 23, 2023]

A fire occurred at the Ruiz Foods Plant in California. The plant makes frozen Mexican food sold in grocery stores. It is believed the fire started in the building’s air system.

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  1. Giffords Manufacturing Plant, Skowhegan, Maine [February 21, 2023]

A fire damaged Gifford’s manufacturing plant in Skowhegan in February 2023 because of a heat gun left on top of a pallet of combustible material. The fire has prevented Gifford’s from producing ice cream as usual.

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  1. Olymel Hog Operation Fire, Saskatchewan, Canada [February 15, 2023]

10,000 hogs died in a fire at the Olymel hog operation in the Kopje Finishing Unit. Firefighters were unable to access the scene. Company losses are estimated to be between $4 and $8 million.

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  1. W.E. Acres Crabmeal Seafood Processing Plant, New Brunswick, Canada [February 3, 2023]

W.E. Acres Crabmeal suffered a catastrophic fire on February 3, 2023. In addition to producing fishmeal, they also produced fertilizer. According to sources, there has been a rash of seafood processing plant fires in the area in recent years.

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  1. Dehydration and Processing Pet Food Plant Fire, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin [January 31, 2023]

A fire occurred at the Wisconsin Dehydration and Processing pet food plant after food got caught inside one of the dryers. This is a recurring event, but this time, they needed multiple fire crews to help contain the fire.

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  1. Pet Food Processing Facility Fire, Anchorage, Alaska [January 20, 2023]

A two-alarm fire damaged a pet food warehouse in Anchorage. Purr-Ferred Pet Food LLC operates a facility there, according to the company website. The company’s processing plant provides “fresh, ground, frozen salmon, straight from the Alaska waters, as well as fresh cod, halibut and ocean white fish” in addition to pet foods.

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  1. Hillandale Farms Fire, Bozrah, Connecticut [January 20, 2023]

Approximately 100,000 hens were killed in a fire at an egg farm at Hillandale Farms in Bozrah, Connecticut, in January 2023.

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  1. Dairy Plant Fire, Portage, Wisconsin [January 2, 2023]

A fire in the Associated Milk Producers facility in a Wisconsin dairy plant resulted in a river of melted butter entering and clogging nearby storm drains and running into the Portage Canal.

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And (very sadly) more to come…check in later to see more.

In liberty,

Grant MillerPreparedness Advisor, My Patriot Supply

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