Photos and documents revealed unsanitary conditions at a Beyond Meat Inc. factory in Pennsylvania, which was supposed to play a major role in the company’s expansion.
Images taken by a former employee in January and April show what appeared to be spills, unsafe use of equipment, mold on the walls and ingredient containers, Bloomberg reported.
Spreadsheets revealed materials such as wood, metal, plastic and string have been found in food from the plant as recently as December 2021.
Products from the facility also tested positive for Listeria, a harmful bacteria, on at least 11 occasions from last year and the first half of 2022, the report said.
The facility was inspected by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture in March and September. The company told Fox News Digital that the agency “found no instances of nonconformance with regulations.”
“Our food safety and product quality management protocols are stringent, going above and beyond industry and regulatory standards,” a Beyond Meat spokesperson said. “The most recent Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture inspections of the facility (in March and September 2022) found no instances of nonconformance with regulations, and we remain in good standing with the Department.”
“In addition, audits conducted by accredited third-party auditors, including most recently in May 2022, gave the plant the highest possible rating in each of the last three years,” the spokesperson added.
Beyond Meat Inc., based just outside Los Angeles, purchased the plant in 2020 and planned upgrades to help reduce the cost of producing its plant-based hamburger patties, sausages and other products. Last year, the company filed plans with the local township to double the facility’s size.
In a Nov. 9 call with analysts, Beyond Meat Chief Financial Officer, Lubi Kutua, said the company is “adopting lean business practices.” He added that management was also taking steps to “rationalize our production network to address what we expect may be continued lower-than-previously-planned growth.”
He said he remains confident in Beyond Meat’s “long-term vision, building meat from plants that are indistinguishable from its animal protein equivalent.”
In early August, Beyond Meat reported net revenues of $147 million for the second quarter of 2022, down 1.6% compared to the $149.4 million in net revenues reported for the same period last year. Its net loss widened to $97.1 million for the second quarter of 2022 from $19.7 million for the same quarter in 2021, the company reported.