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Food Technologist I - Hayward, CA



Job Description

Columbus Foods, based in the San Francisco Bay Area, is a manufacturer of a full line of premium, Italian-style branded and private label dry cured and cooked deli meats, including salame, roast beef and turkey.  The Company’s products are sold to national grocery chains, club stores, independent grocers and distributors, primarily in the Western United States, including Trader Joe’s, Safeway and Costco. The products are typically found behind the deli case in bulk form or pre-sliced hanging near the deli case or cheeses on the perimeter of the store. Columbus had been family owned since its founding in 1917 until the company sold primary ownership to an outside partner of the Company (beginning in 2006). Columbus Foods is currently owned by Arbor Capital as of August, 2012 (see Private Equity Owners).


Support technical services initiatives that include implementation of proprietary and/or innovative products, processes, equipment and packaging solutions that drive brand maintenance, improvements, optimization, risk avoidance and cost savings.  Responsible for supporting projects from ideation, testing, validation, recommendation phases through commercialization and system-wide implementation.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

·         Conduct and manage physical, chemical, and organoleptic testing.  Works with QA to ensure proper documentation of releases of product/raw materials, vendor audits, shelf life testing, and specifications.

·         Perform chemical and physical analyses.

·         Develop nutritional analyses, and nutritional database management.

·         Manage vendor and product sample cuttings, communication and feedback.

·         Assist, formulate and manage product development and technical services projects to meet and exceed objectives.

·         Assist and/or manage the commercialization of products.

·         Maintain compliance with all applicable Federal, State, local and company regulations, policies and procedures, including compliance with established standards involving sanitation, good manufacturing practices, housekeeping, safety programs, and HACCP (Hazard analysis and critical control points) programs.

·         Maintain laboratory organization of samples, supplies, and storage.

·         Maintain diligent document/documentation management, and laboratory notebook.

·         Facilitate and/or participate in technical team meetings and safety trainings.

·         Manage projects to meet and exceed company’s strategic focus, products and services, timing and objectives.

·         Identify and drive/support new ideas, product development and technical innovations that result in cost/labor savings, product/equipment improvements, and other areas of optimization.

·         Support/drive innovative solutions that maximize brands and products.

·         Support cross-functional groups and manages projects through Operations, Supply Chain, Engineering, Quality Assurance, Sales and Marketing.

·         Support long-term strategies, manages processes, projects and resources (internal/external) to achieve organization/department objectives.

·         Support solutions that minimize labor cost while maintaining product integrity.

·         Other responsibilities/duties as required.  

Educational and Job Experience Requirements:

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Food Science or equivalent.

Job-related Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

·         Wet chemistry experience, strong mathematical and technical reasoning skills, knowledge in food science, food processing, nutrition, algebra, statistics and equations.

·         Proficient (intermediate to advanced) in computer applications and systems including Office Suite (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint) and data base management. Able to apply nutritional information into calculations, formulations and database.

·         Proven record managing facts – baseline assessment, gap analysis, report writing methodical action-oriented execution steps.

·         Ability to construct, evaluate and analyze consumer/industry surveys that drive sound business decisions and strategies.

·         Knowledge and experience in sensory analysis, statistics and nutritional programs.

·         Basic knowledge and understanding of the Food and/or Meat Industry, with the ability to expand industry knowledge/understanding.

·         Understanding of applicable (FDA), and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) federal, state and local regulations; of General Manufacturing Practices (GMP); of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HAACP) guidelines and policies, of Standard operating procedures (SOP), and of manufacturing plant operations and technologies (i.e. Ultra-High Temperature: UHT).

·         Self-directed, with high initiative and excellent organizational skills.

·         Creative, with exceptional problem solving skills.

·         Ability to contribute or facilitate cross-functional project teams. Successful experience in heading multiple projects, managing priorities, tasks and resources, and meeting deadlines.

·         Proven ability to manage quality control across multiple products.

·         Able to thrive within a multi-project, cross functional environment.


Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Food Science, Food Engineering, or equivalent. Food industry, retail marketing, consumer products, dietetics/nutrition/culinary arts experience, plus cooking skills. 


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