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Director Food Safety (Special Ops) - Chicago, IL

Conagra Brands

Hybrid remote



Job details

Job Type




Pulled from the full job description

Employee stock purchase plan

Disability insurance

Health insurance

Dental insurance


Paid time off

Parental leave

Vision insurance

401(k) matching

Full Job Description

The Food Safety Special Operations (FSSO) program is staffed by a team of high performing food safety professionals to be strategically deployed to address specific food safety projects. The FSSO team will focus on building food safety capabilities in microbiology, contamination control, cleaning, processing, equipment, and infrastructure. The goal of the projects will be to precisely and rapidly solve challenging situations that are currently or may soon be impacting the business in real time.

To achieve maximal impact on the organization, you will have technical expertise in a critical food safety function such as microbiology, sanitation, or engineering. While experience in operations is important, you must have an equal or greater focus on cutting edge technology in their area of expertise. You will also lead and develop the FSSO team by recruiting team members with skills and knowledge complimentary to his or her own. The FSSO will also proactively identify technical projects that align with our continuous improvement goals in the areas of food safety and quality. In general, you and the FSSO team will be primarily leveraged to solve challenging problems real time, as well as lead efforts to reduce issues that may result in disruptions to the business. As FSSO lead, you will work cross-functionally with onsite plant leadership and corporate leadership in the areas of microbiology, sanitation, quality, engineering, and capital planning. You must be an effective listener and communicator, knowledgeable yet humble, both a leader and a team player, and energetic and enthusiastic about the food safety goals and objectives.

What You'll Do

  • Lead the FSSO team and coordinate project work, reports, reviews, etc.
  • Quickly deploy to facilities in the network when an issue arises that could impact food safety or quality including excessive environmental pathogen hits, equipment issues impacting food safety or quality, potential adulteration of product, hygienic events, etc.
  • Evaluate and potentially redefine manufacturing, microbiological, or hygienic processes when food safety or quality issues arise.
  • Recommend risk mitigation strategies and approaches.
  • Interact with key internal stakeholders such as Scientific and Regulatory Affairs, Quality & Innovation, Operations, Legal, and others on food safety-related issues, policies, and programs and procedures.
  • Provide leadership in food safety engineering, microbiological management, and sanitation excellence.
  • Coordinate incident reviews to investigate and correct microbiological, physical, and chemical product non-conformities and provide recommendation regarding process design, product disposition and continuous improvement.
  • Participate in the identification and evaluation of new technologies.
  • Work directly with Engineering functions to ensure installation/restoration work/projects meet or exceeds Food Safety Standards.
  • Explore and review advanced systems for contamination control.
  • Utilize project management tools to track progress on complex projects.
  • Review and analyze results of in-plant data, including environmental, sanitation, finished product testing, commissioning, qualifications, validations, and verification data.
  • Prepare results for review, present findings and maintain accurate and complete records.
  • Be flexible in learning and applying new ways of doing work, utilize creative thinking for problem solving.

What You'll Bring

  • Minimum of BS in Chemistry, Food Science, Microbiology, or Biological/Chemical/Food Engineering or related field required.
  • Minimum 10 years food manufacturing experience.
  • Demonstrated strong leadership (Interpersonal, Team, and Organizational) and decision-making skills
  • Excellent knowledge of FDA, USDA, HACCP and GMP’s
  • Working knowledge of statistical and analytical tools.
  • Understanding of Design of Experiment methodologies.
  • Proficient in Microsoft office programs including Word, Excel and Power Point.
  • Effective communication skills (both verbal and nonverbal) and the ability to present to leadership.
  • Familiarity with project management fundamentals.
  • Ability to collaborate cross-functionally.
  • Structured problem-solving skills (Six Sigma and other problem-solving models).
  • Technical judgment and prioritization skills.
  • Skilled in a Deliverables and Success Criteria-based environment.
  • Risk Anticipation and mitigation.
  • Ability to travel up to 75% of the time. Must be able to travel independently and as a responsible company representative.

Physical Requirement (optional)

  • Ability to lift up to 50 lbs. occasionally; lift up to 25 lbs. regularly.
  • Work extensively in pilot plant and or production plant floor environment.
  • Exposure to manufacturing environments for periodic extended workdays to include: loud noise, heat, cold, wet, and slippery conditions.
  • Walking and/or standing for long periods of time.
  • Climbing to various heights via stairs or ladders.
  • Bending and/or crawling; must be able to move safely and freely around machinery.
  • Driving a company or rental vehicle as needed

Our Modern Workplace:

Conagra’s culture of collaboration enhances our ability to meet critical business goals, deliver value to customers and consumers and provide you with the flexibility you need to achieve a better work-life balance. We carefully consider each role and how often each team member needs to collaborate in-person. This position requires you work from office 4 days a week.

At this time, we require applicants for this role to be legally authorized to work in the United States without requiring employer sponsorship either now or in the future.

Our Benefits:

We care about your total well-being and will support you with the following, subject to your location and role:

  • Health: Medical, dental and vision insurance, company-paid life, accident and disability insurance
  • Wealth: great pay, incentive opportunity, matching 401(k) and stock purchase plan
  • Growth: online courses, virtual and classroom development experiences
  • Balance: paid-time off, parental leave, flexible work-schedules (subject to your location and role)

Our Company:

Conagra Brands is one of North America's leading branded food companies. We have a rich heritage of making great food, and a team that’s passionate about innovation and growth. Conagra offers choices for every occasion through iconic brands, such as Birds Eye®, Marie Callender's ®, Banquet®, Healthy Choice®, Slim Jim®, Reddi-wip®, and Vlasic®, and emerging brands, including Angie's® BOOMCHICKAPOP®, Duke's®, Earth Balance®, Gardein®, and Frontera®.

We pride ourselves on having the most impactful, energized and inclusive culture in the food industry. For more information, visit .

Conagra Brands is an equal opportunity employer and considers qualified applicants for employment without regard to sex, race, color, religion, ethnic or national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, pregnancy, leave status, disability, veteran status, genetic information and/or any other characteristic or status protected by national, federal, state or local law.



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