A “Beyond Meat” factory is in deep water today as images and documents revealed the food processing conditions. The Pennsylvania factory produced Listeria-covered food on at least 11 different occasions during the second half of 2021 and the first half of 2022. Employees provided documentation of the production.
Bloomberg has been investigating the vegan meat company. They found foreign materials in alternative meat products, such as string, metal, wood, and plastic. Wood was found in the beyond meat burgers, according to Bloomberg. In April 2021, metal was also found in a bag of synthetic sausage patties.
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
The company claims that the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture found no compliance issues with regulations and that the company’s food and safety protocols “go above and beyond industry and regulatory standards.” But images taken by a former employee in January and April show unsafe equipment use and mold on the walls and ingredient containers.
A Beyond Meat spokesperson said that audits conducted by third parties gave the Pennsylvania plant the highest possible rating in each of its last operating three years. The vegan meat company is based just outside of Los Angeles and purchased the Pennsylvania plant in 2020. The company planned upgrades to reduce the cost of plant-based food products. Last year they filed city plans to double the facility’s size.
Lubi Kutua, Beyond Meat’s Chief Financial Officer, said the company is moving toward leaner business practices and that management is taking steps to rationalize the production network. The CFO expects the company may continue to see lower-than-planned growth. But he says he remains confident in Beyond Meat’s vision to build meats from plants equal to animal protein.
In August, Beyond Meat reported revenues 1.6% lower for the second quarter this year than they experienced last year. They have a net loss of $97.1 million for the second quarter of 2022.