The meal kit startup is on track to bring in more than $1 billion in revenue, assuming it continues to match (or exceed) current monthly sales figures, Recode reports. A recent report by Bloomberg claimed Blue Apron is talking to banks about an IPO, which would value the company at about $3 billion.
But as Blue Apron nears those sales figures, an investigation published by BuzzFeed yesterday indicates that its fulfillment centers in Richmond, California, were home to a number of health and safety violations. From BuzzFeed:
In the 38 months since Blue Apron's facility opened, the Richmond Police Department has received calls from there twice because of weapons, three times for bomb threats, and seven times because of assault. Police captains have met twice with Blue Apron to discuss the frequency of calls to the police. At least four arrests have been made due to violence on the premises, or threats of it. Employees have reported being punched in the face, choked, groped, pushed, pulled, and even bitten by each other on the job, according to police reports. Employees recalled bomb scares, brandished kitchen knives, and talk of guns.
Part of the issue was that Blue Apron started relying on temporary workers to keep up with demand, many of whom were not vetted adequately by external staffing companies. This also meant employees worked long shifts—sometimes more than 12 hours—which was made more difficult by the cold working conditions required to meet food safety standards.