Beyond Meat Pennsylvania Plant Has Apparent Mold and Listeria, Report Says

Listeria can be especially dangerous for pregnant women and the elderly.

Imad Khan Senior Reporter
Imad is a senior reporter covering Google and internet culture. Hailing from Texas, Imad started his journalism career in 2013 and has amassed bylines with The New York Times, The Washington Post, ESPN, Tom's Guide and Wired, among others.
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Imad Khan
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Beyond Burger 3.0

A new report says Beyond Meat's Pennsylvania plant has some major food-safety problems.

Beyond Meat

Beyond Meat's Pennsylvania facility has what appears to be mold, Listeria and other food-safety problems, according to internal documents and photos leaked to Bloomberg on Monday.

Internal documents show that Beyond Meat products tested positive for Listeria 11 times between the second half of 2021 and the first half of 2022, according to the report. Documents were provided by one former employee and corroborated by two former employees who asked to remain anonymous.

String, metal, wood and plastics had been found in food between January and April of this year, according to Bloomberg. Photos also show mold and a bizarre photo of an overturned trolley cart inside a large funnel that's connected to production equipment.

The report comes amid a rise in popularity of plant-based meat alternatives over the past few years. Companies such as Beyond and Impossible Foods aim to create meat-like products using vegan ingredients, saying it's better for the environment as livestock account for a major chunk of greenhouse gas emissions. Restaurant chains such as Burger KingCarl's Jr., and Taco Bell have introduced plant-based meat options for vegetarian consumers or those looking to cut down on meat consumption. With the expansion into other meats, like chicken and pork, it's estimated the plant-based meat industry will grow to $15.8 billion by 2028

Beyond Meat defended the condition of its plant.

"Our food safety and product quality management protocols are stringent, going above and beyond industry and regulatory standards," a Beyond Meat spokesperson said in a statement. "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."

The statement also said audits done by an "accredited third-party" gave the plant the highest possible rating every year for the past three years.

Last year, Beyond Meat products at A&W restaurants and Costco locations in Canada had to be recalled because of wood being present. At the moment, Beyond Meat has plans to expand its Pennsylvania plant even as the company sees layoffs due to slowing sales.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.