Widespread food safety issues have been identified at a Pennsylvania manufacturing plant for Beyond Meat, a popular plant-based meat alternative for vegan diets, according to internal documents and photos shared with Bloomberg News, which show mold and listeria contamination problems.
According to a report this week by Bloomberg, leaked information details pervasive problems at Pennsylvania’s Beyond Meat Inc. plant, which is expected to play a major role in expanding the company’s vegan meat substitute market.
The documents indicate that the plant’s products tested positive for Listeria at least 11 times in 2021 and 2022. The information was leaked by a former Beyond Meat employee and was corroborated to Bloomberg News by two current employees, who asked to remain anonymous.
Beyond Meat-Making Problems
Photos and reports detail mold on walls, ingredient storage containers and equipment, as well as dirty facilities, unsafe equipment and strange factors, such as an overturned cart inside a production funnel .
Other documents point to foreign objects such as string, metal, wood and plastic being found in food from the factory as recently as December 2021. Some products made it all the way to consumer level , and reports of wood and metal have been received at various restaurants.
Due to the issue, a Beyond Meat recall was issued earlier this year for burger patties sold at Costcos in Canada.
Internal spreadsheets highlight weekly contamination test results with 11 confirmed Listeria incidents, most recently in May.
Inspections by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture in March show no violations and a visit in September, not to inspect the facility, for unpaid registration. This is a $35 tax that had been unpaid for almost a year. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not inspected the facility since Beyond Meat purchased it.
Beyond Meat responded to the Bloomberg report by saying the company’s protocols go beyond regulatory standards, but the company did not comment on internal documents shared with the media. Also, mold growth can take a while, which highlights a lack of cleanliness.
Risks of Listeria Food Poisoning
The Listeria monocytogenes organism can cause symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. In people with weakened immune systems, such as the elderly and young children, it can be fatal. In pregnant women, listeria monocytogenes infections can cause miscarriages and stillbirths.