This position reports to the Director, Quality Assurance. Applies scientific principles in product development, continuing product quality assurance and food safety programs as it relates to Smart & Final Private Label Products. Ensures that vendors comply with applicable US Food and Drug Administration, US Department of Agriculture, State and Local regulations and Smart & Final requirements. Investigates and responds to product quality complaints or inquiries from stores and customers
Bachelor’s degree in Food Science, Biology, Chemistry or related science degree; and/or minimum 3 years’ experience with food manufacturer in quality control environment; or equivalent combination of education and experience is required. Also required is familiarity with current FDA, USDA, EPA and Health Department regulations. HACCP Certified, Food Safety Handler Certified and/or IFT Professional membership are highly desirable.
Specific duties include, but are not limited to:
Performs and completes product evaluations and testing of competitive private label products and provides recommendations. Coordinates outside lab testing as necessary and resolves differences observed in comparative evaluations by interfacing with manufacturer/broker.
Samples and tests inbound private label products to ensure compliance of products to established Smart & Final Quality Assurance Specifications. Issues Product Rejection Notice if product is non-compliant and coordinates corrective action with Corporate Procurement Product Manager, Store Operations, and responsible Category Manager.
Conducts research and recommends new products for Private Label. Conducts product evaluations including physical, chemical and sensory tests as needed and assists in the establishment of final product specifications.
Conducts plant audits assessing facility compliance to current FDA Good Manufacturing Practices and/or USDA mandatory programs and determines plant acceptability as potential private label supplier.
Issues company-wide Product Recall Notices to all stores for both private label and branded products via the RECALLS 123 program. Collates information from Recalls 123 or the stores when required to track store compliance and product traceability by regulatory agencies. Issues Warehouse Hold when it has been determined that affected product is in the warehouse. Responds to all recall effectiveness checks submitted by regulatory agencies in a timely manner.
Investigates customer and store product quality complaints and seeks resolution, as necessary. Decides on necessary action such as issuing a Product Removal, if warranted, so as to limit sale of defective product.
Advises and provides technical expertise to Smart & Final Buying, Store Operations, Marketing, Legal/Loss Prevention, Warehousing, and Customer Relations as it relates to Private Label product quality and food safety issues. .
Develop updates and maintains product specifications using the Smart Track PLM tool for all Private Label products.
May conduct store audits reviewing adherence to state retail food safety and sanitation regulations.
Assists in review and approval of private label packaging for compliance to appropriate federal and state regulations including FDA’s New Nutrition Facts Labeling.
Trains and mentors QA interns in lab techniques and procedures.
Candidates must possess the following skills:
Personal computer skills including the MS Office programs; Excel, Power Point and Word and the ability to apply these skills to essential duties and responsibilities is required.
Must be able to develop, manipulate, format and share spreadsheets for purposes of analysis.
Knowledge of Access or a similar relational database is desirable.
Must be able to operate and maintain quality assurance lab equipment, oven and stove.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, where the Company began over 145 years ago, Smart & Final Stores, Inc. operates more than 300 grocery and foodservice stores under the “Smart & Final,” “Smart & Final Extra!” and “Cash & Carry Smart Foodservice” banners in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho and Utah, with an additional 15 stores in Northern Mexico operated through a joint venture.
For years, Smart & Final banner stores were known as the “smaller, faster warehouse store,” primarily focused on providing customers with club-size items. Throughout its evolution, it has remained committed to adapting to the changing needs of the neighborhoods it serves, most notably through its 2008 introduction of Smart & Final Extra! stores. Uniquely positioned to offer time- and money-savings for both household and business customers, Smart & Final Extra! stores include expanded fresh and frozen products, organic and natural products, bulk foods, oven-roasted chicken and many other items sold in convenient sizes. In addition, all Smart & Final stores continue to offer 50% more club-size items than a traditional club store, with no membership fee required.
While Smart & Final stores target both households and businesses, Cash & Carry Smart Foodservice stores are primarily focused on serving foodservice professionals; operators of small restaurants, catering companies, businesses, and nonprofits. It also provides household customers with a high quality and value option for stocking-up their kitchens and preparing for holidays, parties and events.