The New Zealand pizzeria made international headlines when it served customers Burger Pizza without explicitly informing the patty meat is plant-based. This led to an outcry of possible allergy risks.
A spokesperson for the Commission said the investigation came from several complaints of the pizzeria’s use of Beyond Meat products, which contains pea protein, on a pizza advertised as including “medium-rare burger patty.” Since the investigation is ongoing, the spokesperson declined to comment further.
Ben Cumming, the general manager of Hell Pizza, was surprised at the investigation being announced as he had just met with the Commission last week where he said he was “open and honest with (the committee).”
Cumming had said in the past that the pizza was meant to “start a conversation” among people who are usually put off by the idea of plant-based meat products.
“A lot of people are instantly put off by the idea of fake meats, so we made the call to not reveal its meat-free origins… because we were so confident they’d enjoy these patties,” said Cumming.
This recent investigation joins the Ministry for Primary Industries’ (MPI) investigation over Hell Pizza for a possible breach of the Food Act. MPI stated on Twitter that it expressed the “importance of consumers being aware of ingredients so they can make informed decisions,” including possible allergies.