Funeral home owner stored apple sauce crates in embalming room

The Jordan mortician was issued a $5,000 penalty for health code violations.
Author:
Publish date:

A funeral home owner has been penalized by the Minnesota Department of Health after he was found to be storing apple sauce in a room where he embalmed dead bodies.

The record of an evidentiary hearing earlier this year involving Joseph Wagner was made public on Wednesday, revealing he was ordered to pay a $5,000 penalty for the health violations.

Wagner, who is a former Scott County Commissioner, owns Wagner Funeral Home in Jordan, preparing and embalming all of the recently deceased himself.

In September 2017, a health inspector found "a large number of crates containing jars of applesauce" in the preparation and embalming room, which were from an apple orchard located next door to the funeral home.

This apple orchard, it emerged, is owned by Wagner's brother, and Wagner said he was keeping the crates of sauce in the embalming room because his brother was short of storage space.

The crates had been kept in the room for a year prior to the inspection, and Wagner had embalmed six bodies while they were being kept in there.

Stored directly in front of the crates was the room's hazardous waste container, which is used to dispose of organs, blood and other hazardous materials from the embalming process.

The inspector was also unable to test the room's emergency shower – which is a requirement for such facilities – because the crates were placed directly beneath it.

The state cited the funeral home for 10 violations, some of which it had been cited for after inspections in previous years, such as record-keeping and paperwork violations. 

Follow Bring Me The News on Flipboard for the latest stories.

The Health Department then issued a $5,000 penalty Wagner had to pay, and a conditional $2,500 penalty that would be forgiven if he made improvements.

Wagner appealed the $5,000 penalty, asking it be reduced because it would "create a 'severe hardship' on his small, family-owned business."

The $2,500 fine was forgiven after Wagner complied with the state's requirement, but an administrative law judge in April affirmed the state's decision to impose $5,000 non-forgivable fine on the business.

The Star Tribune reached out to Wagner for comment, but received no response.

Next Up

ambulance

2 killed in head-on crash involving car, dump truck

The crash happened just before 2 p.m. Friday, according to the State Patrol.

coronavirus

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Saturday, October 31

Minnesota has surpassed 3,000 new cases on consecutive days.

high school football

Minnesota Football Showcase postponed due to COVID-19

The MFCA All-Star Game will be played in June 2021.

Screen Shot 2020-10-31 at 7.26.05 AM

Here's what President Trump said on his visit to Minnesota

The president targeted Gov. Tim Walz and Keith Ellison at his Minnesota rally.

Screen Shot 2020-10-30 at 6.09.58 PM

Here's what Joe Biden said in Minnesota Friday

Presenting himself as the candidate for a united country, he pledged improvements on affordable healthcare, pandemic relief

Mohamed Ibrahim

Missed PAT seals Gophers' fate against Maryland

Mohamed Ibrahim tied a school record with four touchdowns, but the Gophers lost in overtime.

dnr trout stocking helicopter

DNR uses a helicopter to more efficiently stock lakes with trout

In the past, the DNR used airplanes to stock remote lakes with fish, but the survival rate of the fish was only 85%.

steve simon zoom call

Secretary of State explains plans for segregated absentee ballots

Election officials are reminding voters that it's too late to mail in your absentee ballots.

Halloween, trick-or-treating

Osterholm on safe trick-or-treating: 'I would say go ahead with it'

The infectious disease expert's opinion doesn't align with the CDC's guidance.

Related

Screen Shot 2019-08-11 at 1.40.57 PM

Vehicle crashes into Minnesota's Largest Candy Store

The popular store outside Jordan was left picking up the pieces.

Meat sold at Minnesota's Largest Candy Store, Mpls. Farmer's Market recalled

Health officials have concerned over a potential listeria contamination.

Blooming Prairie school to close for funeral of teacher and daughter

The 43-year-old died on Saturday, 8 days after the crash that killed her daughter.

Best Buy stores could soon be home to Apple's secret screen-repair machines

Apple is giving its repair machines to third-party companies for the first times.

Scott county library

Scott County library closed by water damage from apartment above

The county library in Jordan is shuttered while the mess is cleaned up.

alcohol-857380_1280

Commodore ordered to close dining room, pay costs in long-running saga

The owner has gone head-to-head with the city on this for the past 5 years.

novel coronavirus, covid-19, sars-cov-2

Coronavirus: Deaths continue downward trend, but hospitalizations jump

The latest figures have been issued by the Minnesota Department of Health.