Skip to main content
Publish date:

Funeral home owner stored apple sauce crates in embalming room

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

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

Kirill Kaprizov

Kirill Kaprizov's slow start is a thing of the past

A potential sophomore slump has been erased with a three-point night against the Devils..

mpd aldi incident screengrab

Video shows MPD officer grab, throw Aldi customer

The department says the matter was referred to the Office of Police Conduct Review.

US Sec Defense Flickr - Joe Bide Nov 11 2021

Biden lays out wintertime plan to curb COVID's spread

It comes as the U.S. reported its second case of the omicron variant.

Willow River DOC

MN Dept. of Corrections offering $5K bonuses as it seeks to hire 200

The DOC is offering hiring bonuses for new employees and for referrals.


3rd federal medical team to join COVID-19 fight in Minnesota

There are more than 1,500 people with COVID-19 admitted to Minnesota hospitals.

hospital, emergency room

Driver killed after other motorist crosses into opposite lane

The head-on crash occurred early Thursday, just north of the Twin Cities.

shot clock

MSHSL approves shot clock for Minnesota varsity basketball

Shot clocks will be required at all varsity games beginning in 2023-24.

Redmons Popcorn Colbert screengrab

Popcorn shop featured on 'The Late Show' has to close 2 days later

A county inspection after the national TV appearance found code violations.


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.


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.

Is the sale of alcohol at grocery stores in Minnesota's future?

The issue was debated in the Legislature this week.