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#1 Janset

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 06:12 PM

Hello everyone,

I was wondering what your title is and what pros and cons of your job are? If you have time please write more specifics information.

Thank you



#2 SQFconsultant

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 07:26 PM

phisher


Warm regards,

 

 

Glenn Oster

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You Can DIY or Bring in the Professionals / We specialize in Small-to-Mid-Size 

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Earth Wide... 800.793.7042 // glenn@glennosterconsulting.com

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#3 Janset

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 07:49 PM

I don't know why SQFconsultant wrote "phisher'. Probably I should have written more. I was thinking to make a career change. That's why I asked this question. I am a freelance food safety consultant (restaurants, cafes, markets, etc) in England. Finding new restaurants is getting hard for me, also don't know exactly how much money i will earn next month. I was thinking to work for a company. I thought if i have more information about your jobs, i can think clearer. 



#4 The Food Scientist

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 08:28 PM

There are pros and cons of working for both a company and being a freelancer. It all depends on how you are as a person and what you like, but I understand you are looking for a stable income?

 

I work as Quality/Food Safety Manager. My background and passions have always been in food. The best thing about it is that I really enjoy it, you feel good when you accomplish something like an audit whether 3rd party or government. Stable income and better job security and the ability to be recognized. Not to mention the never ending possibilities of learning and gaining knowledge and experience from other people. The not so good side about it is the amount of stress we have, having to train many people and wanting to have the "perfect" food safety team is often frustrating. Having to convince senior managers of decisions you'd like to be made for the benefit of the programs you want to put in place.. you sometimes will get a "no" due to cost. 

 

Take your time to think of what you really want, WHERE you want to work. Research as much as possible and of course gain as much knowledge as you can! Goodluck!
 


Edited by The Food Scientist, 08 November 2019 - 08:29 PM.

Everything in food is science. The only subjective part is when you eat it. - Alton Brown.


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#5 Janset

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 09:33 PM

Thank you so much your reply The Food Scientist. it is really helpful. I think I feel close to be an audit but in the UK having this kinds of certificates are really expensive. If I have IRCA audit certificates from another country, maybe it will be much cheaper. 

Also I really like the quote from Alton :)



#6 pHruit

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Posted 09 November 2019 - 09:01 AM

I'm currently a Technical Manager. My job has morphed as the business that I work for has grown significantly over the time I've worked there. These days I'm responsible for regulatory, QA, QC, elements of environmental and ethical trading etc.

I'm still HACCP/TACCP/VACCP etc team leader and have overall oversight over quality systems, but have a technical systems manager who looks after day-to-day running and development of systems, a QA manager for shop floor stuff and internal auditing, a lab supervisor etc.

Honestly it's not what I'd intended to do as a career - prior to working in food I was a physicist, and I accidentally became involved in the industry and subsequently technical things when I took an admin job at a food company to keep the rent paid. I picked up the scientific side of things fairly quickly and just kept learning and getting promoted.

I really value the variety, the continual challenge, and continuing to learn. I come across new things every week, my brain is stimulated, and in general I feel that it makes a broadly positive contribution - people need safe food.

I can't emphasise the learning aspect enough. This week alone I think I've read six papers to get more background on an issue that I (and indeed everyone with whom I've discussed it, including external specialists) haven't encountered before.

I'm not badly paid, the job stability is good, and demand for capable technical people isn't likely to reduce as the industry becomes ever more complex.

Doing things well is also extremely satisfying - resolving a problem, finding an elegant solution to an issue, the half-dead but elated feeling of getting a good result at the end of an arduous audit.

 

Some of the people management aspects can be frustrating, but that is the case in absolutely all management-level jobs, and at least I know my team are genuinely committed to the same general goal (rather than just turning up to get the pay cheque at the end of the month). Helping them develop and seeing them make progress is very rewarding though.

Balancing the business goals vs. safety aspects can be hard work. As The Food Scientist noted, and has been discussed in the forum quite a few times, the agenda of commercial departments in spending as little as possible and scrapping nothing does not always sit comfortably with the goal of doing things correctly ;)

Between that and the multiple audits and inspections, it can be very stressful work. I certainly also feel the weight of responsibility at times - food has a significant effect on people, not only terms of basic nutrition but in the sense that if we get it wrong then the consequences for consumers can be very high.

Customers can also be damned annoying, but again I think that is probably the case in any business anywhere - customers are universally annoying :happydance:



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#7 zanorias

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Posted 09 November 2019 - 09:47 AM

Hello Janset,

 

I'm an internal auditor for a large meat slaughter, cutting and processing site. My role is essentially auditing all aspects of the food safety systems for site, BRC and retail customer requirements throughout the year on defined frequencies, from HACCP to foreign body to allergens and so on, about 40 sections in all. I'm  responsible for issuing reports, non-conformance and chasing them up to maintain a database and schedule, and also assist with external audits.

 

Pros: 

The wide range of sections I audit against means there's a good variety; each week is different so I don't get the feeling of staleness I've had in previous roles where it has been the same tasks to be done daily.

That also provides a great opportunity to learn and increase my knowledge and competence - I feel that by having a best understanding  of all the requirements (site/BRC/customer etc) will allow me to audit as best as possible, combined with a sense of reality and understanding of the process of course. It's a lot of reading but I'm a bit of a nerd so it's all good. 

Income is stable, and it's nice to be based with the same team. Fortunately I get on very well with the others based in the Tech office.

I don't have a huge amount of interaction with the general public, which is a pro for me as in general they annoy me  :lol:

 

Cons:

The Food Scientist and pHruit have touched on this, and I think the majority of food safety/technical people would agree - clashes with production and senior management is an ongoing battle that can be tiresome. As long as the priorities of different groups contrast - food safety & quality vs production targets vs financial restrictions and cost saving - I imagine this will always be the case. But it certainly helps if you're working with others who are on the same page as you. I think working Technical alone in a company that struggles to see the value of food safety would be a bit soul destroying; it's nice that I can blow of steam with my Tech colleagues whenever production or senior management are being "less than helpful". That's one of the things I like on the forum here too, everyone can relate  ;)



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#8 Janset

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 05:56 PM

I'm currently a Technical Manager. My job has morphed as the business that I work for has grown significantly over the time I've worked there. These days I'm responsible for regulatory, QA, QC, elements of environmental and ethical trading etc.

I'm still HACCP/TACCP/VACCP etc team leader and have overall oversight over quality systems, but have a technical systems manager who looks after day-to-day running and development of systems, a QA manager for shop floor stuff and internal auditing, a lab supervisor etc.

Honestly it's not what I'd intended to do as a career - prior to working in food I was a physicist, and I accidentally became involved in the industry and subsequently technical things when I took an admin job at a food company to keep the rent paid. I picked up the scientific side of things fairly quickly and just kept learning and getting promoted.

I really value the variety, the continual challenge, and continuing to learn. I come across new things every week, my brain is stimulated, and in general I feel that it makes a broadly positive contribution - people need safe food.

I can't emphasise the learning aspect enough. This week alone I think I've read six papers to get more background on an issue that I (and indeed everyone with whom I've discussed it, including external specialists) haven't encountered before.

I'm not badly paid, the job stability is good, and demand for capable technical people isn't likely to reduce as the industry becomes ever more complex.

Doing things well is also extremely satisfying - resolving a problem, finding an elegant solution to an issue, the half-dead but elated feeling of getting a good result at the end of an arduous audit.

 

Some of the people management aspects can be frustrating, but that is the case in absolutely all management-level jobs, and at least I know my team are genuinely committed to the same general goal (rather than just turning up to get the pay cheque at the end of the month). Helping them develop and seeing them make progress is very rewarding though.

Balancing the business goals vs. safety aspects can be hard work. As The Food Scientist noted, and has been discussed in the forum quite a few times, the agenda of commercial departments in spending as little as possible and scrapping nothing does not always sit comfortably with the goal of doing things correctly ;)

Between that and the multiple audits and inspections, it can be very stressful work. I certainly also feel the weight of responsibility at times - food has a significant effect on people, not only terms of basic nutrition but in the sense that if we get it wrong then the consequences for consumers can be very high.

Customers can also be damned annoying, but again I think that is probably the case in any business anywhere - customers are universally annoying :happydance:

Thank you so much for your reply. I definitely agree with you "People need safe food'. That's why I wanted to be a food engineer. 



#9 Janset

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 06:03 PM

Hello Janset,

 

I'm an internal auditor for a large meat slaughter, cutting and processing site. My role is essentially auditing all aspects of the food safety systems for site, BRC and retail customer requirements throughout the year on defined frequencies, from HACCP to foreign body to allergens and so on, about 40 sections in all. I'm  responsible for issuing reports, non-conformance and chasing them up to maintain a database and schedule, and also assist with external audits.

 

Pros: 

The wide range of sections I audit against means there's a good variety; each week is different so I don't get the feeling of staleness I've had in previous roles where it has been the same tasks to be done daily.

That also provides a great opportunity to learn and increase my knowledge and competence - I feel that by having a best understanding  of all the requirements (site/BRC/customer etc) will allow me to audit as best as possible, combined with a sense of reality and understanding of the process of course. It's a lot of reading but I'm a bit of a nerd so it's all good. 

Income is stable, and it's nice to be based with the same team. Fortunately I get on very well with the others based in the Tech office.

I don't have a huge amount of interaction with the general public, which is a pro for me as in general they annoy me  :lol:

 

Cons:

The Food Scientist and pHruit have touched on this, and I think the majority of food safety/technical people would agree - clashes with production and senior management is an ongoing battle that can be tiresome. As long as the priorities of different groups contrast - food safety & quality vs production targets vs financial restrictions and cost saving - I imagine this will always be the case. But it certainly helps if you're working with others who are on the same page as you. I think working Technical alone in a company that struggles to see the value of food safety would be a bit soul destroying; it's nice that I can blow of steam with my Tech colleagues whenever production or senior management are being "less than helpful". That's one of the things I like on the forum here too, everyone can relate  ;)

Thank you so much your reply. I think main pros of being auditor is not to do same task everyday and learn and increase your knowledge in anytime. 



#10 QAGB

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 03:25 PM

QA Manager here. Previously in the food industry, now in the "food-adjacent industry". Before moving into full QA, I worked as a chemist, where a lot of the same processes aligned. I didn't choose QA, so to speak; QA chose me. While looking for something in a non-chemist position, I found a role within a company that sounded interesting, and then decided to give it a shot. I've been doing this ever since.

 

Pros: The work is different day-to-day; those of us in QA hardly ever know a dull day (and sometimes we're thankful for those). It can be rewarding to find solutions to problems; whether production problems, product problems, or answering customer questions. I find it more rewarding to know that I have done my best to ensure our company ships safe products. It's also really fun to see your products out in the real world; to see people actually using the stuff your team made. I'm not currently a people manager, but I was one; and I actually did like that. I wanted very much for my team to care for each other and tried to promote teamwork efforts as much as possible. If it weren't for my team, I wouldn't have stayed as long as I did, where I was previously.

 

Cons: I don't much care for dealing externally with folks. I'm not very outgoing, so I tend not to like dealing with that factor. I'm also not crazy about audits (I'm fine with the 3rd party ones usually). It's the customer audits that drove me batty. Everyone had their own rules and regulations, which weren't even rules and regulations. The STRESS is awful. There is so much pressure from so many directions. Working in QA, I've always found myself working very cross-departmentally, which is a challenge. Everyone wants or needs something, when they want or need it (no matter how many fires you are fighting at the same time). There's a constant battle between Ops and QA, and can be difficult to get buy-in from people that don't understand food safety.






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