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Director, Global Food Safety - Oakbrook Terrace, IL


McCain Foods USA, Inc.



Position Title: Director, Global Food Safety

Position Type: Regular - Full-Time

Position Location: Oakbrook Terrace

Grade: Grade 07

Requisition ID: 5350


Position Summary:

The Director, Global Food Safety is a critical leadership role and the key subject matter expert on food safety accountable for the Company’s Food Safety programs globally. This includes leading key strategies to drive and sustain a transformation in food safety.


The incumbent will bring credible expertise, providing leadership and oversight for Food Safety, including HACCP, micro risk assessments, environmental monitoring programs, thermal validation, allergen management, foreign material controls, capability development and culture. The successful incumbent will ensure clear understanding of food safety, requirements and expectations at all levels across the business with the authority to hold teams accountable to meet the standards and expectations that assures the food safety of products globally.


She or he shall ensure the food safety and quality systems directly and positively affect food safety through analysis of results and regular reviews with regional teams. They will ensure global standards and policies are fit for purpose and meet not only McCain requirements, but also those of key customers and regulators. This role will be critical in ensuring that McCain is a leader in food safety, and thus a leader in our industry.


As a key member of the Global Quality Leadership Team (QLT), the incumbent will engage with FS&Q (and other) leaders globally, influencing through strong leadership and deep expertise to deploy standards, assess performance and drive continuous improvement. They will do so in a matrixed environment. They will provide clear communication updates to senior leadership.

Key Responsibilities & Accountabilities:


Drives Transformation in McCain’s Food Safety Programs:

  • Provides strong technical leadership for all aspects of the Company’s food safety programs, (including HACCP, micro risk assessments, environmental monitoring programs, thermal validation, allergen management);

o Accountability to develop / strengthen and maintain food safety policies and standards that define the food safety requirements, measurements and action standards across the manufacturing units globally. Partners with the Quality Leadership Team members to deploy into the operational units per the Company’s needs, customer expectations and regulatory requirements.
o Ensures a full and comprehensive assessment of food safety is maintained, ensuring documentation accuracy for food safety systems and full adherence to food safety standards. Oversight to assure appropriate actions are taken to mitigate risks.
o In collaboration with Manager, Cleaning and Sanitation, reviews food safety programs and data with regional teams (eg EMP) to provide oversight and guidance. Responsible to assure that food safety programs are effective and that corrective & preventative actions, training and continuous improvement are completed as required.


  • Provides leadership within the QLT group to establish key projects that are required to drive full compliance to our Food Safety Standards. Responsible for driving and providing oversight for transformational projects. Monitors progress and holds QLT and other leaders accountable to deliver against milestones. Monitors the impact of these strategies as a key measure of performance and progress.


  • Key point contact for food safety related incidents; provides guidance to regional teams, expertise to assist with disposition of product, and oversight to assure robust corrective action management.

o Reviews globally, all quality incidents to understand trends, risks and priorities, and influences strategic priorities of QLT.
o Drives actions to address gaps and mitigate food safety risks, provides governance to ensure all food safety CAPAs are effective, closed and validated; and drive sharing of learnings and best practice across the global business.
o Provide guidance on product disposition, with authority to make recommendations to assure food safety is maintained.


  • Principal food safety expert globally, providing training, guidance and counsel at all levels across the organization.

o Provides data driven measures and analysis of trends relating to food safety performance to Global VP FSQ, QLT and other critical stakeholders (including SLT, Risk Management Committee) – influences priorities and actions at all levels of the organization through a credible technical assessment, data analysis and evaluation of business risk.
o Collaborates with the development and review of the Food Safety and Quality vision and associated initiatives to support the company goals and strategies, facilitating the change throughout the organization
o Responsible for building technical and functional competencies, as well as professional and leadership development. Responsible for driving the necessary understanding of food safety, food safety risks and actions required at all levels from SLT to plant teams
o Ensures external resources are effectively leveraged and partners with QLT, HR to develop vibrant talent pipeline to sustain capabilities over long term.


  • Champions a strong food safety culture across the organization, creating an environment where decisions are made in line with the McCain quality value, and drives a technical understanding of food safety, risks and impacts into the business. Drives a quality first mindset with food safety built into business processes at the very earliest points.

Key strategic member of Global Food Safety and Quality Leadership Team. Will be strong leader, with credible technical expertise in food safety who can influence senior leaders across matrixed teams both within FS&Q and cross-functionally. Will bring leadership that directly affects global strategies for FS&Q. Will undertake key projects and tasks as requested by VP and business. Able to deputise for the Global VP FS&Q and represent the function at the most senior levels when called upon.


Required Qualifications, Experience & Education:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Food Science, microbiology or related technical discipline. MSc, PhD, would be preferred.
  • Minimum ten (10) years of experience working within a large global food manufacturing organization with progressive roles in FS&Q.
  • At least five (5) in leadership roles within large, complex region or global office, leading food safety.
  • Ability to lead and manage without authority, and influence key stakeholders and peers.
  • Demonstrated skills and experience in food safety. Ability to become a credible voice and leader in the company relating to food safety management, including but not limited to micro, allergen management.
  • Recognized externally as a knowledgeable expert / leader food safety
  • Record of having led transformative initiatives, demonstrating an ability to influence the business to achieve rapid and measurable step-change in results. Candidates must have hands on approach; demonstrate a strong intellect and superior skills in communications, combined with a drive to deliver results.
  • Ability to stand alone, set clear standards and hold other accountable to a critical requirement.
  • Ability to build strong relationships and credibility internally and with key strategic external partners.
  • The incumbent must have the following traits in order to be successful: persistence, hypervigilance, flexibility, and will have to be a role model for change.
  • The Director, Global Food Safety must have high planning capabilities, as she/he will be involved in numerous projects. The ability to engage others to lead or engage in key projects will be essential.
  • Quantitative and analytical advanced skills. Ability to extract meaningful insights from complex data sets and the ability to use data to drive decisions, strategies and priorities.
  • Excellent communication skills: is able to effectively and persuasively articulate positions both verbally and in electronic mediums to various audiences including senior executives in a clear, concise and compelling manner.
  • Courage to have difficult discussions with groups from all level of the organization.
  • Resilient after business set-backs, and demonstrates persistence in tough circumstances
  • Strong team player, highly motivated, who can effectively interface with and present results to all levels of management and teams across the business.
  • Track record of driving high engagement in teams, and enrolling others in key business strategies.


McCain Foods is an equal opportunity employer. We see value in ensuring we have a diverse, antiracist, inclusive, merit-based, and equitable workplace. As a global family-owned company we are proud to reflect the diverse communities around the world in which we live and work. We recognize that diversity drives our creativity, resilience, and success and makes our business stronger.

McCain is an accessible employer. If you require an accommodation throughout the recruitment process (including alternate formats of materials or accessible meeting rooms), please let us know and we will work with you to meet your needs.

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Job Family: Quality & Food Safety
Division: Global Supply Chain
Department: Global Quality
Location(s): US - United States of America : Illinois : Oakbrook Terrace

Company: McCain Foods USA, Inc.



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