Michael Foods egg-washing facility fined

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Michael Foods’ M.G. Waldbaum Company has agreed to pay a $32,900 penalty for wastewater violations at its egg-washing facility in Le Sueur, Minnesota, as part of an enforcement action by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).

The facility, which is used to wash freshly laid eggs, generates about 6,000 gallons of wastewater a day. The wastewater is applied to farmland through a spray irrigation system.

Inspections by MPCA staff revealed that the company discharged more contaminants than allowed in its wastewater; did not fulfill all operation and maintenance monitoring, reporting, and record-maintenance requirements; and didn’t follow other necessary procedures.

The facility’s violations, according to MPCA, endangered nearby groundwater and lakes and streams. Waldbaum’s wastewater discharges contain fecal coliform bacteria, nitrates and other contaminants. Bacteria and nitrates can be a health hazard if they end up in drinking water. In addition, proper reporting and sampling procedures are critical for:

  • Showing a permitted facility where its processes should be adjusted.
  • Alerting the public to environmental issues.
  • Providing needed information in the event of a spill or other emergency.

M.G. Waldbaum Company has taken corrective steps and has submitted required reports, obtained necessary staff certifications, updated its lab procedures, and created plans for meeting all its permit requirements going forward.

According to the Michael Foods website, M.G. Waldbaum became part of Michael Foods in 1988. Post Holdings acquired Michael Foods in 2014.

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