Restaurants can now sell five-pound bricks of vegan burger meat directly to customers amid the current coronavirus outbreak.
Impossible Foods announced on LinkedIn that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) relaxed its labeling rules to allow direct-to-consumer sales of Impossible Foods’ raw, plant-based meat.
“We know the last few weeks of the COVID-19 health crisis have been unimaginably difficult for our partners, with many shifting to takeout and delivery. We’ve heard from many of you that during this time you’d like to sell Impossible directly to your guests to cook at home, and now you can,” the company said.
“Due to the FDA’s flexibility, all operators are eligible to sell the Impossible™ Burger 5 lb bricks, 1/4 lb patties, or 1/3 lb patties to customers,” it added.
Impossible Foods says restaurants must give customers a printed out copy of a PDF outlining the Impossible Burger’s list of ingredients and allergens. Pricing is at the restaurants’ discretion.
Coronavirus Impacts Restaurants
There are now more than 1.5 million confirmed cases of coronavirus around the world. More than 94,000 people have died, and more than 353,000 have recovered. The pandemic has caused many states and countries to impose lockdowns, forcing restaurants to temporarily close their dine-in areas.
Restaurants can still offer takeaway services, and some have taken to delivering groceries too.
According to market research company The NPD Group, 97 percent of restaurants have been impacted by government-mandated closures. The firm reports restaurant transactions for the week ending March 29 dropped by 42 percent compared to last year.
In California, Maggie Baird—mom to vegan Grammy award-winning singer Billie Eilish and her music producer brother Finneas Baird—has helped launch a new initiative to support local restaurants.
Through Support and Feed, customers can simultaneously help struggling vegan eateries and frontline workers. They place an order with a partnered restaurant, then plant-based food from that restaurant is delivered to hospitals, police stations, and shelters in Los Angeles.
“The food will be delivered to a needy organization in a safe, coordinated way when it works for them. With enough time for the restaurant to plan and prepare,” Baird wrote on Instagram. “You can also add it to a personal order if you want food yourself!”