Manager, QA and
Safety - Joliet, IL 60433
Hickory Farms, LLC
Hickory Farms, LLC is a leading retailer of food
gifts and specialty foods available online, in catalogs, in leading mass
merchants, supermarkets and seasonal retail shopping locations in the US and
Canada. In business since 1951, we are driven to be the best retailer in the
food gifting space. Our corporate headquarters are in downtown Chicago, IL.
We also have offices in Joliet, IL, Toledo, OH, and Toronto, Canada.
Hickory Farms is privately held with
more than $150 million in revenue and is on an aggressive growth journey –
combining both organic growth and acquisitive growth – developing new products,
expanding into more gifting occasions, and reinventing our brand to grow our
customer base. We are investing in our team and our infrastructure to support
this growth. Every member of our nimble, entrepreneurial team makes an impact
every day in a high-energy culture that we describe as “a 67-year-old start
Based in our Joliet, IL based
distribution center, this role is a member of the Supply Chain team. The QA
Food & Safety Manager will be responsible for three main areas:
Regulatory and Compliance, Testing, and Communication. This manager role will
report to the on-site Director of QA. As we staff up in 4Q to accommodate the
holiday selling season, this role will manage a small, on-site, temporary
team. This role works with various departments including product development,
buyers, warehouse associates, shipping and receiving, etc.
Regulatory and Compliance
- Develops and implement standards
and establishes clearly defined quality methods for QA temporary staff
- Responsible for understanding the
quality standards and coordinating with all new and existing US food
suppliers to assure standards are met. Must be knowledgeable about
compliance with food safety standards, HACCP plans, FDA/USDA
requirements, third party certifications (GFSI-SQF/BRC) and Hickory
- Ensures that all aspects of
operations (e.g. in-bound/out-bound/gift packing and shipping
operations) are in full compliance with internal guidelines and
- Manage and maintain a strong
supplier quality program. Responsible for overseeing the adherence and
overall performance of supplier agreements to ensure the highest quality
standards are understood and met, while adhering with applicable food
laws and regulations, as well as company policies.
- Manages the ongoing, daily
activities of the QA Department including being the point person for
specification interpretation, and hold/release decisions.
- Management of the robust
microbiological and analytical testing program (COA’s) with the
third-party lab for meat and cheese products that ensures product safety
for our consumers. In addition, carry out in-house testing of E. coli
and Coliform for meat and cheese products. Ensure on-going compliance
with regulatory requirements.
- After completion of micro
testing, ensure that the product is released for production.
- Maintain COA’s for products other
than meat and cheese
- Lead/Manage inspection of Hickory
Farm gifts assembled and distributed by us and ensure they are free from
quality and food safety defects.
- Reports all nonconforming product
to our suppliers; provides documentation, photos and ensures disposition
- Responsible for continuous
development and maintenance of the bluebook and master specifications.
- Provide data to supply chain
teams on findings and actions to address any concerns.
- Coordinate mock recalls,
internally. Work with suppliers to perform mock recalls for Hickory
Farms on an annual basis.
- Manage and evaluate the retained
line samples and the first production run from vendors on a regular
- Ensures that products meet
regulatory requirements for labeling including: product identity, net
contents statements, nutrition facts panels, ingredient statements,
allergens and other labeling compliance items. Keep Genesis up-to-date
for maintaining nutritionals, ingredient statement and allergens for new
and existing products.
- Work with the QA Director,
Marketing and Product teams to review and approve packaging artwork for
new and existing products.
- Coordinate any investigations of
quality concerns with suppliers and recommends corrective actions.
- Communicate on-going supplier
performance outcomes to all levels of the supply chain organization.
Experience and Education:
- Minimum 5 years’ experience with
managing the QA and Safety compliance in a setting involving food
products; experience with meat and cheese products is preferred
- Experience using the Genesis
program is preferred
- Must have proven levels of detail
orientation and the ability to organize and manage multiple work streams
- Extensive knowledge and
experience with food safety standards and requirements for the US
(FDA/USDA) and Canada (CFIA) is needed
- Must be familiar with the SQF/BRC
- Preferred education and advanced
degree (i.e. BS in Food Science) or related field
Job Type: Full-time