Beyond Meat defends food safety credentials following reports of issues at Pennsylvania plant; food safety expert says devil is in the detail

In an article in Bloomberg​ that quickly began doing the rounds on social media on Monday, reporter Deena Shanker said photos and internal documents supplied by a former employee showed “apparent mold, listeria and other food-safety issues​.”

According to Shanker’s unnamed source, ​products from the plant “tested positive for Listeria on at least 11 occasions during the second half of last year and the first half of 2022​,” a finding confirmed by two additional former employees at the loss-making firm, which recently announced plans to lay off 200 staff as part of a cost-cutting drive​.

Meanwhile, photos from inside the plant in January and April 2022 showed “what appear to be spills, unsafe use of equipment, and mold on walls and ingredient containers, while spreadsheets, photos and internally prepared reports reveal that foreign materials such as string, metal, wood and plastic have been found in food from the plant at least as recently as last December​,” claimed Shanker.  

Pennsylvania Dept of Agriculture: ‘Prior to Bloomberg’s article, the department had received no complaints of the conditions they reported’

A spokesperson at the Pennsylvania Dept of Agriculture (PDA) shared the findings of a Sept. 21 ‘limited’ inspection report with FoodNavigator-USA that was initiated “due to a media information request concerning lack of current PDA registration​.” According to the report, the “firm’s manager at last inspection, who was to renew the registration, left the firm and did not renew the registration.”

The report shows the Beyond Meat facility in full compliance in all sections including sanitary operations, processes and controls and plants & grounds.

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