Koegel Meats worried about Flint water crisis impact


FLINT, Mich. (WOOD)– The water crisis in Flint is causing problems even for those who don’t use the city’s lead contaminated water supply.

That includes a company’s whose products are carried by many West Michigan grocery stores.

Koegel Meats isn’t located in Flint and it doesn’t use Flint River water. However, the century-old company has become tied to the Flint water crisis because of its mailing address.

“If you look on our package, we are in Flint. [It] says Flint, Michigan 48507,” said John Koegel, the third generation company president.

“When this thing went huge and… all the news people picked it up, we probably had 30 or 40 inquiries in a very short period of time within about four days,” said Koegel.>>Flint’s water crisis: How you can help

Koegel Meats is actually located outside the city, in Flint Township.

Water is an essential part of the meat company’s production; when making its famous franks, Koegel Meats taps into the township water supply, which comes from the Detroit water system.

Koegel said he’s fielded calls from concerned customers across the country, including a mail order fan from Phoenix, Arizona.

“And I say, ‘We have a different system.’ He says, ‘That’s exactly what I went to hear. I’m going to have a bologna sandwich for lunch,’” recounted Koegel.

To reassure customers, Koegel’s posted a response on the company’s website titled, “Koegel Meats is NOT Connected to the City of Flint Water System.”

Koegel said it’s too early to tell if Flint’s water problems will boil over to Koegel Meats’ bottom line.

“But I think ongoing, it’s going to have some effect. I hope it’s not bad,” added Koegel.

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