The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

September 13, 2012

Neosho processing plant cited by state, addressing water issue

NEOSHO, Mo. — Employees of Braunschweig Meat Processing on Thursday were addressing a problem with their water supply that earlier this week led the state Department of Agriculture to suspend operating permit.

Meat-processing operations at the plant were halted Wednesday after a violation in the plant’s potable water supply was found by the agriculture department’s Meat and Poultry Inspection Program, according to a department news release.

Owner Bob Braunschweig confirmed Thursday that a water problem had been noted, but said he and his staff were working to correct it.

“We had a water sample come back bad,” he said by telephone. “We’re putting a chlorinator on the well today. It just puts chlorine into your water system to make sure there’s no bacteria. Just to be safe, that’s what we’re going to do.”

Braunschweig said that operations at the plant have been stopped until he gets the OK from the Agriculture Department to resume.

The plant’s operations are to remain suspended “until the violation is addressed and documentation of a potable water supply (is) provided to the Missouri Department of Agriculture,” according to the release.

Braunschweig said he expects a representative from the department to return today or Monday to run another test on the plant’s water supply. He said he anticipates the installation of the chlorinator to address the violation.

“Monday we should be back going,” he said.

Braunschweig Meat Processing is a custom-exempt processing plant, operating under an exemption from federal regulations that does not allow it to sell meat to the public, according to the department.

Instead, the plant and others that fall under the exemption process meat for livestock owners for their own personal consumption, and all custom-exempt packaging must be clearly marked as “not for sale,” according to regulations.

Custom-exempt plants are not subject to official inspection by the agriculture department but are still subject to sanitary inspection by the Meat and Poultry Inspection Program, according to the department.

Advisement

The department advises individuals who have recently conducted business with the Neosho processing plant to “carefully examine all items processed by the facility before consuming,” according to the release.

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