JOB TITLE: Director of Food Safety & Quality Assurance (FSQA)

LOCATION: Salinas Valley: Year-round presence at Multi-site – Salinas, CA / Gonzales, CA / King City, CA


For three generations the Braga family has been farming in the western United States from the Salinas Valley to Yuma, Arizona. With more than 20 years of a certified organic farming program in place, we are one of the fastest growing organic produce companies in America. A vertically integrated company, we mix innovation with tradition to grow, ship and process fresh vegetables and salads year-round under the Braga Farms and Josie’s Organics brands.

Job Summary

Braga Fresh Foods is fully committed to the following four priorities:

(1) Employee Safety, (2) Food Safety, (3) Quality, and (4) Service.

In addition to the support of these priorities, the Director of Food Safety & Quality Assurance is designated to be the Braga Fresh Foods SQF Practitioner, responsible for the development, implementation and maintenance of all Braga Fresh Foods Quality and Food Safety Policies, Practices and Guidelines. The individual in this position plays a key role in our company’s commitment to the production of the Highest Quality Safe Foods as outlined in the current SQF code. “The SQF practitioner is the individual designated by senior management to develop,
validate, verify and maintain the company’s Food Safety and Quality Plans, and assume control of the daily operation of the SQF System.” The nature of this position requires a strong sense of urgency, attention to detail and effective leadership. The Director of Food Safety & Quality must be able to interact across inter-departmental boundaries in a professional, proactive manner, exemplifying a collaborative spirit.

Primary Responsibilities

The FSQA Director must manage, coach, train and schedule the QA, Food Safety and Sanitation staff and their various activities. They must be prepared to step in to cover, or ensure coverage is provided for absent staff, including coverage for SQF Practitioner responsibilities, when necessary to ensure the execution of core activities, including but not limited to:

• Ensure the quality and safety of all raw materials and finished products, including sensory evaluations, and microbial status.
• Manage and develop SSOP’s SOP’s and forms for the quality system.
• Develop, maintain, and manage Pre-Requisite programs such as:
• Environmental Monitoring, GMPs, Sanitation, Supplier Approval, Training, Pest Control, Preventive Maintenance.
• Ensure that all non-compliance conditions are reported immediately.
• Enforce Good Manufacturing and Good Hygiene Practices (GMPs & GHPs).
• Maintain a general focus on process improvement and support of the departmental budget and strategic plan.
• Participate in supplier audits and generate supplier performance reports.
• Manage/coordinate all third-party, customer, and regulatory audits.
• Monitor and manage Pre-operational and Operational Inspections and at designated intervals, including ATP Swabs results, titrations, and dip strips per manufacturer guidelines.
• Monitor general upkeep and sanitary status of all facility areas.
• Manage Verification of CCP#1 (ORP/pH/Chlorine levels in wash water) and CCP#2 (metal detection) as described in the Braga Fresh Foods HACCP programs.
• Manage development, implementation, and review of HACCP Plans
• Ensure conformance to specifications through finished product evaluation program & shelf-life evaluations.
• Monitor and verify, through direct observation, the proper operation of metal detectors and other monitoring devices.
• Conduct internal audits of programs, documentation, facilities & employee practices.
• Manage Food Defense and Food Fraud programs.
• Ensure accurate and complete documentation (including electronic documentation in spreadsheets and any other database) for all assigned tasks.
• Effectively manage Hold & Release policy, including prompt communication of disposition.
• Manage inventory and purchasing of consumable supplies, including vendor compliance with applicable food safety regulation.
• Generally, assist in ensuring safety and compliance with all other company rules and policies by way of example and by encouraging and monitoring the behavior of others.
• Review and assure implementation and compliance of the SQF Program, Allergen Controls, Organic Integrity, Kosher, and Gluten-Free
• All documentation must be error-free, properly identified and archived in compliance with SQF standards and regulatory expectations.
• Collaborate with product development, sampling, and improvement activities, and provide support through validation and performance verification activities.

Required Qualifications

• 5+ years of Food Industry experience, leafy greens or fresh-cut processing preferred.
• Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in related discipline.
• Must be qualified as SQF Practitioner by training or demonstrable experience.
• PCQI Certification (Preventive Controls Qualified Individual). Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
• Strong computer skills including MS Office (Outlook, Word, Excel)
• Bilingual (English/Spanish) strongly preferred.
• High degree of professionalism, upholding reputation of the company with all customers, suppliers, vendors, peers, and internal stakeholders.
• Critical thinker with ability to drive innovation & process improvements.
• Basic understanding of food production and food safety fundamentals, including microbiology, FSMA, sanitation, cold chain management, quality management for leafy greens/fresh-cut vegetables, traceability, GMPs and allergen management.
• Ability to converse & interact with regulators, including FDA, CDC, USDA, CDPH, CDFA, and other federal/state/local agencies, including health departments & investigators.
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills with executive leadership, department managers, supervisors, and floor staff from all departments.
• Dedication to a healthy, comfortable, and safe working environment for all staff.
• Must be flexible and willing to work any shift or day of the week as needed.
• Must have strong attention to detail and accuracy.
• Customer service experience – including complaint handling, facilitating tours, responding to customer/consumer inquiries.
• Ability to influence and be influenced, including the ability to gracefully receive new information, perspectives, and constructive criticism.
• Must be passionate about food safety, incorporating consumer protection into decision-making processes, program development and systems management.

Required License/ Certifications and Training

• SQF Certified Practitioner
• PCQI Certified
• Valid Driver’s License

Note: Braga Fresh Foods may train for certification requirements as needed. Braga Fresh Foods places a high value on continuous training. This position has a broad range of proficiency requirements.

Physical Requirements

• Ability to regularly work in a cold environment (Approx. 34-38*F).
• May be required to lift 30 lbs.
• Must be able to walk on uneven and/or wet ground.
• Must be able to sit or stand for prolonged periods, including working at a terminal/desk.
• Ability to travel between facilities regularly.
• Ability to occasionally travel by plane.

Competitive compensation, benefits, and 401-k plan

Salary Range estimate $125K to $145K

Braga Fresh Family Farms is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.

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