MILWAUKEE – Wichita-based Cargill Meat Solutions Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Minneapolis-based Cargill Inc., has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 23 violations at its Milwaukee ground beef production plant. The agency is proposing fines totaling $146,400.

Among other things, the agency alleges Cargill did not develop normal operating procedures for starting ammonia refrigeration systems or conduct equipment inspections and testing at required times.

Cargill places a top priority on worker safety and takes allegations such as these very seriously, Mike Martin, Cargill director of communications, told The alleged violations primarily relate to the plant’s refrigeration system and the ammonia used as a refrigerant – an industry standard, he added.

“There are no employee injuries or ammonia releases associated with the alleged violations,” Martin said. “There are no food-safety issues associated with these citations. An emergency response plan is in place to address ammonia releases.

“We believe Cargill is in compliance with all laws that ensure worker safety, and the alleged violations center primarily on documentation,” he added.

Cargill must comply or contest the findings within 15 days. “We will address the alleged violations through the established US government process and we are hopeful that a mutually agreeable resolution can be reached,” Martin concluded.