Report: Beyond Meat Plant Had Sanitation Problems

Nov. 22, 2022
Employees leaked photos to Bloomberg showing filthy conditions.

Beyond Meat’s processing facility in Pennsylvania has experienced mold, bacteria contamination and generally unsanitary conditions, adding to the alt-meat company’s problems, according to a report in Bloomberg.

Photos taken surreptitiously by Beyond Meat employees at the plant in Devault, Pa., show large mold spots on a wall, ingredient containers visibly spotted with mold or other filth, and in one case, what looks like a stainless-steel cart upended and left inside a hopper. Bloomberg said the photos were taken between January and April.

Bloomberg also reviewed an internal spreadsheet that showed 11 instances of salmonella contamination out of 56 tests performed between June 2021 and June 2022.

Beyond Meat, the only publicly traded U.S. company specializing in plant-based analogue meats, bought the Pennsylvania plant in 2020. It does further processing of raw material processed in another Beyond facility.

In a response to Bloomberg, Beyond pointed out that the plant had passed inspections by both state and federal authorities. Bloomberg, however, stated that the state “inspection” was a routine annual visit that did not include a comprehensive examination of food safety, and that the USDA said it hadn’t inspected the plant since Beyond bought it.

At the time of the purchase, Beyond said it intended to expand the plant to meet rising demand. However, the company has experienced chronic losses and recently put into place cost-saving measures that include laying off almost 20% of its workforce, putting any expansion plans on hold.

About the Author

Pan Demetrakakes | Senior Editor

Pan has written about the food and beverage industry for more than 25 years. His areas of coverage have included formulations, processing, packaging, marketing and retailing. Pan worked for Food Processing Magazine for six years in the 1990s, where he was operations editor (his current role), touring dozens of food plants of every description. He has also worked for Packaging and Food & Beverage Packaging magazines, the latter as chief editor, during which he won three ASBPE awards. He is a graduate of Stanford University with a BA in communications.

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