The meat alternative company Beyond Meat is under intense scrutiny after reports surfaced of unsanitary conditions for processing food at a Pennsylvania facility.
A former employee revealed photos and documents alleging the presence of mold on walls and product containers, spills, and unsanitary use of production equipment.
The images were taken in January and April.
Photos and internal documents from a Beyond Meat plant in Pennsylvania show apparent mold, Listeria and other food-safety issues, compounding problems at a factory the company had expected to play a major role in its future https://t.co/zZCgp4WQg6 pic.twitter.com/CdjeGR9EbK
— Bloomberg (@business) November 21, 2022
A new report from Bloomberg shed light on foreign matter found in food products from the plant. These included wood, plastic, metal, and string. Further, the report showed that Beyond Meat products from the plant were found with Listeria at least 11 times from 2021 to the first half of this year.
Consumption of foods tainted with Listeria bacteria may result in a serious infection.
The company claims that the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture did not find “nonconformance with regulations” in March and September reviews, according to Bloomberg.
A Beyond Meat spokesperson said the department found its procedures and protocols to be “above and beyond” industry and regulatory standards.
Further, the spokesperson asserted that independent third-party auditors awarded the highest marks possible for the plant in each of the past three years. The last came in May 2022.
However, the same Bloomberg report showed that wood was found in Beyond Meat-based burgers in two A&W restaurants in October 2021. It was detected in Canadian Costcos in April of this year.
Metal was also reportedly found in a package of Beyond Meat synthetic sausage patties in a Dunkin restaurant in April.
The California-based company reported a second quarter loss this year of $97.1 million, up from a $19.7 million loss in the same quarter in 2021.
Beyond Meat bought the Pennsylvania plant in 2020 and said it planned several upgrades. In 2021, the company submitted plans to the local government to double the facility’s size.