State: surviving chickens are healthy, eggs safe to eat, after massive Lebanon farm fire

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LEBANON — An inspection by the Dept. of Agriculture Friday at the Hillandale Farms egg-production facility where around 80,000 chickens died in a fire this week found that all remaining chickens appear healthy and that eggs from the plant are safe to eat.

The state found that the fire damage was confined to a single coop containing 80,000 chickens and that they all died in the fire.

Friday’s inspection was a follow-up to one conducted early Wednesday and found that there were no adverse effects on the other 1.5 million chickens at the Mack Road farm, according to the department.

The state said water, electricity and feeding systems were all restored early Wednesday, and that production has returned to normal levels.

Agriculture Commissioner Steven K. Reviczky said the damage to the farm could have been much worse.

“Any time you have a fire of this magnitude at a farm it is tragic because of the loss of animals and infrastructure,” Reviczky said in a statement released Friday afternoon. “In this case, the damage was limited because of emergency planning by the company and the Lebanon volunteer fire department.

Reviczky also encourages all agricultural operations to work with their local public safety officials to develop an emergency-response plan.