'Fake Meat' Company Gives Recall on Plant-Based Burgers

Making Impossible Burgers in a bowl. ( Lynn Doan, Bloomberg )

The company behind a “bleeding” plant-based burger has issued its first voluntary recall after plastic was found in some of its bulk product.

According to the website Eater, on March 22, ‘fake meat’ creator Impossible Foods issued a recall on its Impossible Burger product after a piece of plastic was found at a California restaurant. The recall was voluntary and not enforced by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Impossible Foods is asking retailers and restaurants to throw away bulk product produced on Feb. 19, 2019, bearing the lot number OAK19050000. The “ground beef” imitation, vegan product comes in 5 lb. pre-packaged blocks.

According to an Impossible Foods spokesperson, the company was “taking preventative measures to ensure the safety of our product and the operations of our food manufacturing plant.” Any distributor that purchased the tainted product will be compensated by Impossible Foods.

Found in approximately 4,800 restaurants in the U.S., Impossible Foods has continued to expand its footprint both internationally and domestically. Earlier this year, a move by Air New Zealand to serve Impossible Burgers on flights from New Zealand drew criticism from the acting Prime Minister. Next month, the Impossible Burger will be available in all 570 locations of Red Robin in the U.S.

The recall by Impossible Foods comes at a time when plant-based meat alternatives are being more regulated by individual states for labeling that uses meat terms like “steak, burger, sausage, etc.” It also follows a recent decision by USDA and FDA to jointly oversee regulatory oversight of another type of “fake meat” derived from animal cell-cultures.