In 1985 an outbreak of ornithosis affected 13 of 80 (16%) workers in a duck-processing plant. New employees were three times more likely to become cases than established employees. The highest attack rate was in those on the production line. Following the outbreak, an occupational health scheme was set up to monitor the health of new recruits to the company. Serological evidence of recent infection was demonstrated in 18 of 37 (49%) new employees tested in the first 3 months of employment. Five (14%) also had clinical evidence of ornithosis. Veterinary investigation of the ducks demonstrated a high proportion with asymptomatic chlamydial infection. It is suggested that ornithosis may be more common in duck processors than ins processors than is currently supposed. Strategies to reduce occupational risks are discussed.