Reporting to the Quality Assurance Supervisor, the Laboratory Technician is responsible for ensuring that food safety and quality assurance programs are properly implemented and maintained by following company, customer, and regulatory guidelines through microbiological sampling, testing/analysis, and data entry. The Laboratory Technician provides support to the Quality Assurance department’s daily functions by assisting on the production area activities as needed. The Laboratory Technician presents a professional and respectful attitude when dealing with both internal and external contacts, and will work toward facilitating a team atmosphere within the Service Center.
The following list of duties and responsibilities of the Laboratory Technician is not intended to be an all-inclusive list of the job described; rather they are intended only to describe the general nature of the job. Under the supervision of Quality Assurance management, the Quality Assurance Technician shall:
• Works cooperatively with operations on testing protocols and requirements to meet and exceed USDA quality and food safety requirements. Ensures operations management is aware of deviations from requirements
• Develops, writes, and implements QA laboratory standard operating procedures. Updates existing lab SOPs as needed.
• Sets up, adjusts, maintains, and operates laboratory equipment, supplies, and instruments.
• Performs microbiological and chemical testing on various samples following defined procedures and protocols.
• Perform pre-operational inspection on all operations equipment, tools, utensils, and areas.
• Maintains inventory of lab equipment, parts, supplies, and chemicals, including reordering as necessary.
• Performs calibrations of all equipment used in the department and laboratory.
• Operates quality control systems by entering data, observing control charts, maintaining system, and taking appropriate action regarding control of methods and their effect on sample results.
• Reviews, releases, and records sample results. Works with cross-functional teams to effectively communicate results.
• Evaluates raw material, finished product, equipment, or tools on hold, suggests disposition, and informs appropriate management personnel as required.
• Assists in data entry for all monitoring and verification activities as required. Prepares reports as necessary to record findings and recommendations from testing.
• Assists on other QA functions as needed.
• Adhere to and enforce company and facility GMP guidelines.
• Complies with Good Laboratory Practices for safety and cleanliness.
• Additional duties as assigned.
• Understand and apply safe work practices and principles. Ask questions if unsure.
• Identify potential hazards and either work to remedy them (if possible) or bring them to supervisor’s attention for action.
• Bring a ‘safety first’ attitude to work.
Key Skills and Competencies:
• Ability to read, understand, and follow documents and procedures
• Proficiency with Microsoft Office is required
• Ability to work in team setting or independently with minimal supervision
• Good analytical and logical problem-solving skills
• Strong organizational skills. Good verbal and written communication skills
• Strong conflict resolution skills. Ability to handle stressful situations.
• Must be able to work in a fast-paced environment
• Ability to apply mathematical formulas to practical situations with laboratory work, mechanical work, and computers and software
• Must be able to make decisions on routine matters. Ability to define and solve practical problems, collects data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions
• Bachelor’s Degree in a scientific discipline such as microbiology, food science, biology, or chemistry/biochemistry required.
• 2 – 4 years of related experience within the meat/food processing sector.
• Understanding of HACCP systems
• BRC knowledge a plus
• Ability to speak, read, and write in English language required. Bilingual (English/Spanish) a plus.
The hours and days of work are established as needed by operations and at the discretion of management and may be adjusted (increased or decreased) by management as required. Must be able to work flexible schedule as necessary. Protective equipment is provided. Exposure includes:
• Very cold temperatures (32° – 36° F)
• High noise levels.
• Work in close proximity to industrial equipment, saws, conveyors, forklifts, and mechanized equipment.
• Wet and slippery floors
• Variety of odors
• Standing for extended periods of time
• Hours of work may exceed 12+ hours per day
• Exposure to products of beef and pork
• Frequent reaching, standing, lifting (not to exceed 30 lbs), bending, or stooping
The preceding job description has been designed to indicate the general nature and level of work performed by employees within this classification. It is not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, and qualification required of employees assigned to this job.