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Quality Assurance Specialist – Van Holten’s – Waterloo, WI


Job Description


(updated 1/13/14)


JOB TITLE: Quality Assurance Specialist


REPORTS TO: Operations Manager


SUMMARY: This position will lead all quality assurance, food safety, compliance, and plant safety activities at Van Holten’s. In addition, this individual will develop, implement and maintain solutions ensuring the continued quality and improvement of our products and processes.



Establish, conduct, and maintain internal quality audits along with internal audit team by evaluating quality audits; enforcing established specifications, methods, and procedures.

Document and maintain quality assurance and standard operating procedure manuals

Train employees according to Van Holten’s standards and procedures for quality in all stages of our operation (lab, tankyard, operations, distribution, and sanitation)

Develop and implement a new employee quality orientation

Develop and implement a product quality training program for employees

Document and maintain databases for the following information

o Cucumber / pickle inspections

o Fermentation tracking

o Pickle sizing

o Product lot tracking

o Ingredient lot tracking

o Customer comments (summarize report at fiscal year end)

o Reworked and returned product

Develop and maintain recall procedures, perform mock recalls quarterly

Develop, document and maintain HACCP program

Develop, document and maintain GMP program

Perform and document the following audits:

o HACCP (daily)

o GMP’s (daily)

o Sanitation (daily)

o Pest control (weekly)

Monitor raw product quality by inspecting, analyzing, and approving or rejecting incoming ingredients.

Monitor packaging material and supplies quality by inspecting, analyzing, and approving or rejecting incoming materials and supplies

Develop operating procedures for laboratory equipment, train lab tech in these procedures and assess their ability to perform these procedures

Ensure that lab equipment is operating effectively through calibration, maintenance and trouble shooting

Develop back-up methods for laboratory analysis and verify their equivalence to primary methods

Maintain Kosher certification records

Establish product flavor and quality taste tests

Coordinate micro swabbing and environmental swabbing

Supervise, train, and oversee day to day operations of the lab and sanitation personnel to ensure that all related duties are done to our standards

Keep up to date on and communicate changes in regulations including, OSHA, FDA, Kosher standards, packaging and labeling requirements, and food safety

Provide guidance and support to other staff on quality, food safety, and plant safety issues

Utilize technical expertise to find opportunities for improvement in our products and processes and communicate these opportunities to management

Develop needs analysis and plan to get Van Holten’s SQF certified

Cross train and provide back up support for other operations management and supervisor duties

Ensure compliance to federal, state and local food safety and plant safety regulations

Maintain a regulatory agency inspection procedure and distribute to the proper personnel

Ensure compliance to all packaging and labeling regulations

Coordinate and conduct quarterly safety meetings

Conduct and document safety audits (including fire extinguisher, eye wash/shower, and clear exits, and signage)

Provide annual training for all employees of OSHA required programs and maintain an employee training log

Maintain and update and MSDS binder

Schedule and coordinate annual audiometric testing

Keep vendor/supplier certificates of liability insurance up to date

Other duties as assigned



Must have thorough knowledge of GMP’s (Good Manufacturing Practices) and HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points)

Must have excellent verbal and written communication skills

Must have superior follow up skills

Must have good math skills

Must be able to work with diverse groups in a team environment

Must have supervisory skills

Must be able to multi task effectively

Ability and willingness to work at times outside of normal hours when necessary to perform the duties of the position

Must have the ability to define problems, collect data, establish fact and draw valid conclusions


Must have a minimum of an Associate Degree or the equivalent in work experience within a technical or scientific discipline

Must have experience working in a manufacturing environment

Must have computer proficiency in MS Word, Excel, and Outlook

Must be able to stand for long periods of time



Customer Focus – Place the needs of the customer as a first priority; demonstrate the skills necessary to meet and exceed expectations

Job Specific Knowledge and Skills – Acquire and apply knowledge, skills and experience to accomplish results

Job Motivation – Maintain a high level of interest and enthusiasm for job responsibilities

Effective Communications – Take the initiative to communicate accurate, up-to-date plans and information to subordinates, peers, and management. Express thoughts clearly, both verbally and in writing. Listen and understand views of others

Problem Solving – Identify and solve problems with effective solutions

Results Orientation – Ensure that one’s own and or others’ work and information are complete and accurate; focus on desired result of one’s own or one’s department’s work

Flexibility – Be open to different and new ways of doing things; willingness to modify one’s preferred way of doing things

Decisiveness – Make decisions in a timely manner while exhibiting judgment and realistic understanding of issues

Initiative – Actively seek opportunities to make a contribution. Take action to achieve goals beyond what is necessarily called for

Teamwork – Promote cooperation within the department and in interactions with other departments

Interpersonal Skills – Establish productive, cooperative relationships with subordinates, peers and management. Understand and respond to other’s needs and priorities. Resolve conflict in positive ways

Planning, Organizational and Time Management Skills – Manage multiple tasks simultaneously and effectively in an efficient manner. Establish a course of action for self and/or others to accomplish specific goals

Leadership & Supervisory Skills- Provide direction, motivation and set an example through open communication and modeling best practices.


Apply Now




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