Plant Food Safety & Quality Assurance Manager

Great Lakes Cheese's picture
Job Description: 

Who is Great Lakes Cheese?

Great Lakes Cheese is celebrating over 50 years of Excellence in Cheese Making! Since 1958, Great Lakes has grown rapidly by acquisition, plant expansions, investment in the best technologies for production and distribution – and by setting high industry standards for service.  Currently, Great Lakes serves the nation’s retailers and food service operations with nine strategic facilities across the U.S. We earn this proud tradition of award-winning quality and customer satisfaction every day.

GLC’s Mission:

To be a leading manufacturer and supplier of consistently high quality cheese products. We will achieve this through our commitment to outstanding customer service, innovation, dedicated employees, and business partnerships. Our environment of open communication, integrity, and mutual respect encourages everyone to go beyond what is expected. We believe that profitability is a success only if the customer, the suppliers, the employees, the communities, and the company benefit.

Benefits of working at GLC:

Great Lakes Cheese’s success hinges on the dedication and professionalism of our people. From our inception, we have created and maintained an environment for employees to learn, develop their careers and enjoy mutually rewarding relationships, recognition and earnings. As we have grown throughout the years, we have kept the small company, family feel, even as a billion dollar organization. Point in case, our employees participate in an ESOP Plan, where they own approximately 20% of the company. In addition, we offer competitive benefits that include Medical, Dental, Life and Long-term Disability Insurance, 401(k) Plan, an Employee Assistance Program and tuition reimbursement.

Position Description

The Plant Food Safety & Quality Assurance Manager will maintain and improve upon the QA function to ensure compliance with industry regulations and certifications, facilitating the implementation of QA best practices within the organization. In addition, the Plant Food Safety & Quality Assurance Manager will lead, plan, and coordinate all QA activities and personnel within the plant, accommodating requests for quality support and communicating the policies and procedures in support of the organization.


  • Manage the QA department to ensure the safety and quality of raw material and packaged products at the plant level.
  • Develop, implement, review and maintain Food Safety Fundamentals in conjunction with Corporate Quality Team.
  • Communicate all information for effective implementation and maintenance of quality audit processes such as the SQF System including the need to report any food safety issues to personnel with authority.
  • Act as the subject matter expert regarding quality and governmental regulations for the plant.
  • Training of personnel to ensure competency to carry out functions affecting product legality, quality, and safety.
  • Oversee and direct testing procedures to assure product/packaging integrity.
  • Communicate with suppliers to resolve and avoid problems.
  • Coordinate efforts to ensure plant environment, machinery and personnel meet sanitary requirements.
  • Inspect employees for good hygiene and adherence to GMP’s.
  • Coordinate procedures and inspections of machinery to ensure cleanliness.
  • Supervise/direct lab technicians and any other plant QA personnel.
  • Evaluate employee performance.
  • Administer discipline.
  • Assist with selection, hiring, advancement, transfer, promotion and termination decisions.
  • Motivate by example.
  • Observe and evaluate processes to make decisions on issues relating to quality program adherence and improvement.
  • Assist with information or research to help resolve packaging problems.
  • Communicate with salespeople regarding product quality issues.
  • Facilitate/manage sample pulls and retention.
  • All GLC employees are expected to perform any assignment or job task according to the stated safety policies and procedures.
  • All GLC employees are expected to produce our products in a manner that exceeds the quality and value expectation of our customers and consumers by adhering to Good Manufacturing Practices, Policies and Procedures outlined in our Safe Quality Food Program.
  • Other responsibilities as assigned by the manager.

Required Education, Experience, and Skills

  • Bachelor’s degree in Quality or related field or commensurate experience.
  • 5 years of Quality management experience or more.
  • 4 years of lab experience or more.
  • In-depth understanding of chemical and physical processes relating to cheese and packaging quality.
  • Ability to make sound, independent decisions based on functional expertise and experience.
  • Ability to administer a proactive management approach.
  • Ability to provide leadership, support, communication and direction to lab technicians, as well as other personnel.
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks, troubleshoot and problem solve beyond the routine issues.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office.

Preferred Education, Experience, and Skills

  • Bachelor’s degree in Food Science or Related Science Degree.

Working Conditions

  • Work is performed in a lab setting.
  • Occasional exposure to industrial operations (temperatures, noise, moisture, moving machinery).
  • Hair nets, ear plugs/muffs, hardhats, and/or safety glasses may be required.
  • Ability to constantly stand/walk; bend/flex/extend neck; frequently grip/reach/lift/pull with L/R hands.
  • Repetitive work in a fast-paced production environment with average temperature of 50-60 degrees F.

Great Lakes Cheese is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Our company is an Equal Opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, gender identity or expression, or any other basis protected by local, state or federal law.

This policy applies with regard to all aspects of one’s employment, including hiring, transfer, promotion, compensation, eligibility for benefits and termination.