US retailer Target has pulled all the Hampton Creek products it stocks in response to food safety allegations.
Target is taking the action voluntarily amid concerns over the safety and labelling of Hampton Creek’s products, including its popular Just Mayo eggless mayonnaise brand.
A spokesperson for Target said the retailer had received allegations of pathogens being found at Hampton Creek’s San-Francisco based manufacturing facilities.
Target received allegations some of the start-up’s products had tested positive for salmonella and listeria. There have also been concerns over the incorrect labelling of ingredients and whether or not the food includes genetically modified organisms.
The Target spokesperson said the company is conducting a “full review” into the matter and had started a market withdrawal of Hampton Creek products, which are being removed from stores and online.
Target, which according to Bloomberg is Hampton Creek’s biggest stockist, generating around a third of the company’s retail sales, has not confirmed any of the allegations nor their source and is not aware of anyone becoming ill as a result of eating the products.
However, Target tipped off the US Food and Drug Administration regarding the allegations and notified all of its stores within 18 hours of the problem arising. It took the issue so seriously it even disabled its cash registers so shoppers could not buy Hampton Creek products.
However, Hampton Creek denies the claims. “The allegations that our products are mislabeled and unsafe are false,” said the company in a statement. “We have robust food safety standards, and as such we remain confident about the safety of all products we sell and distribute. We look forward to working with Target and the FDA to bring this to a quick resolution.”
The company added its products comply with all FDA labeling regulations and its non-GMO claims are supported by ingredient supplier documentation.
The recall, however, comes at a testing time for Hampton Creek. Earlier this month, the company dismissed three executives accused of seeking to change the company’s corporate governance rules. Last month, Hampton Creek outlined a series of other changes to its senior management.