Quality Assurance Manager
Straus Family Creamery
Founded in 1994, Straus Family Creamery is a mission-driven, family-owned-and-operated business dedicated to making premium organic dairy products, with minimal processing. The Straus Dairy Farm and Creamery, located in the small town of Marshall on the Northern California Coast, was the first certified organic dairy farm west of the Mississippi River and the first 100% certified organic creamery in the United States.
This position is responsible for leading and execution of all Straus Family quality assurance and control activities, safeguarding product safety and quality while meeting Company and regulatory standards. Reports into the Senior Director of Operations and is a key member of the Operations Leadership Team. Work cross functionally with our Sales and Customer Service teams in answering customer and consumer questions/complaints. Collaborates with new product development team in ensuring our processes can produce the quality required for new product introductions.
ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS
- Responsible for total Product food safety and quality from the dairy to the consumer
- Establish food safety protocols and programs by: developing ingredient control and storage policies, purchasing specifications, inspection procedures, equipment sanitation procedures and schedules, personnel sanitation procedures and training, and time-temperature inspection methods and schedules
- Conducts regular hazard analyses identifying critical control points and preventive measures; establishing critical limits, monitoring procedures, corrective actions, and verification procedures
- Manage the day-to-day operation of the QA laboratory while overseeing the quality team and sanitation processes
- Meet Company product quality standards and regulatory compliance; insures that effective sanitation practices are in place and food safety measures are followed
- Responsible for completing customer feedback cycle i.e. customer input, complaint, research, report, resolution
- Strive to upgrade and improve quality assurance procedures and practices as Company experiences growth and expansion; recommend more efficient, innovative, and effective policies and procedures to continually work to improve on quality standards.
- Manage the operation of the plant laboratory, including ensuring supplies and equipment are available and in proper working condition
- Provide leadership in coaching, education and training of all quality SOPs and regulatory compliance procedures for Operations team; seeks assistance as needed from other training resources
- Develop, facilitate and maintain the plant and warehouse HACCP program
- Review all product labels used in the facility and ensure adherence to legal labeling guidelines, regulatory requirements, and Company standards
- Ensure adherence to Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO)
- Supervise the appropriate bacteriological, sensory and utilization tests on raw materials and finished products
- Communicate quality metric and inspection results to appropriate managers and others in leadership positions including, but not limited to daily, weekly or monthly KPI reporting
- Provide project management on all quality issues
- Ensure that proper sanitation procedures are utilized and that adequate sanitation tests are performed; provide “troubleshooting” efforts in the event of sanitation system failure
- Develop and maintain documentation of all required quality tests and activities
- Manage all local, state, customer/third party, and federal audits, dairy partner inspections, organic and kosher/certifications inspections, and non-GMO verification
- Responsible for expense management and control, including labor and “Cost of Quality” utilizing Continuous Improvement techniques and a Management Operating Structure (MOS)
- Cooperate in a cross-functional manner as a change agent with all departments
- Comply with federal, state, and local legal regulations by studying existing and new regulations; anticipating regulations; enforcing adherence to requirements; advising management on necessary actions
- Update job knowledge by studying trends in and developments in food quality management; participating in educational opportunities; reading professional publications; maintaining personal networks; participating in professional organizations
- Must comply with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), and any/all established processes, whether established by their manager, by the company or by law as well as assist with the communication, training, and enforcement of these
- Must work in a safe manner and comply with all health, safety, security and emergency requirements that are communicated to you, whether established by your manager, by the company or by law
- Must work in conjunction with Operations Safety Manager to ensure the communication, training, and enforcement of any/all safety policies, Code of Safety, and any all safety concerns and hazards
- Must comply with all Company policies communicated to you through your Employee Manual, trainings, notice boards or other postings, or by a member of management as well as ensure the communication, training, and enforcement of these policies
- Communicate companywide sustainability goals to Operations teams and manage resources to ensure that work is produced in the most sustainable manner and Companywide sustainability goals are met or exceeded
- Other duties are requested
Education and Experience:
- Bachelor’s degree in food science or related field, required.
- Dairy science background strongly preferred
- At least 5 years quality assurance and control experience
- Must have experience working in food manufacturing industry
Knowledge and Skills and Abilities:
- Establishing production parameters and processing procedures by documenting product specifications
- Advanced training and knowledge to ensure compliance with state and federal food standards, sanitation chemical/material use and procedures, food safety procedures, plant and dairy farm inspections, 3rd party audits, food labeling, and product distribution and handling
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills required to enhance collaboration with crossfunctional
- team, customers, dairy partners, inspectors and auditors, vendors, and certifying agencies (organic, kosher, NON-GMO Project)
- Strong project management skills to prioritize tasks to meet required timelines
- Ability to independently research and complete special projects related to job requirements
- Knowledge of consumer food trends and the ability to identify, define and deliver key product quality attributes to the consumer
- Attention to detail, creativity and initiative a must
- Ability to effectively multi-task and balance multiple priorities
- Ability to work within a team framework and to collaborate with both customers and peers
- Creativity, culinary aptitude and a passion for working with food
- Ability to build strong internal and external partnerships, including participation in industry trade associations and professional organizations
- Flexibility is essential as priorities may fluctuate
- Working in a manufacturing/warehouse environment.
- Extended periods of standing, sitting, walking, climbing, bending, stooping, pushing, pulling, and stooping, turning the head and torso, reaching, grasping, bending and flexing the arms, legs, wrists, hands, and fingers. – Repetitive at times.
- Full organoleptic (sight, smell, taste) as well as audio and vocal senses are necessary to evaluate and make sound decisions on product quality and production processes
- The ability to climb and balance is essential
- Ability to withstand temperatures ranging from -20° to 115° Fahrenheit
- Working in cold, wet, humid environments
- Ability to work in high allergen environments
- Ability to withstand noise produced by manufacturing and warehouse machinery up to 90 decibels
- Ability to lift, hold and/or carry 55 pounds, unassisted
- Ability to work on a computer and look at a computer screen for extended periods of time
- Flexibility to work different shifts when required, to be on call after hours, and to work weekends
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.