A leaked internal document provided to Bloomberg by a former employee of Beyond Meat reveals that products manufactured at one of their plants have tested positive for Listeria at least 11 times in the past 18 months.
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
Bloomberg published photos provided by the employee, which show spills and mold growing on containers inside the Pennsylvania plant.
According to Bloomberg, Beyond Meat refuted the allegations, stating that inspections conducted in March and September by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture had “found no instances of nonconformance with regulations.”
Beyond Meat, a company that manufactures plant-based, imitation meat went public in 2019 with investors hoping to cash in on the “meatless” market. However, by the end of last year, its stock had fallen by 83%. McDonald’s ended a pilot of the McPlant Burger made with Beyond Meat burgers without plans to permanently add it to the McDonald’s menu.
A New York Times article partly attributes the decline in profits of Beyond Meat products to growing inflation while also considering the possibility that the “novelty” factor of meatless burgers and sausages has reached its limit.
Imitation meat has been championed by the U.N. and prominent Democrats as a means to reduce global warming. A 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report on climate change suggested the use of “Meat analogs such as imitation meat (from plant products), cultured meat, and insects.” Bill Gates, who is personally invested in Beyond Meats and its competitor Impossible Foods, has said that he believes all rich countries should move to 100% synthetic beef.
In October, Beyond Meat declared that it was planning to lay off 20% of its workforce due to cost-cutting measures. Four of its top executives have also recently left the company. Beyond Meat’s COO left the company in October after being suspended for reportedly punching, biting, and ripping skin from the nose of another driver after a University of Arkansas football game in Fayetteville.