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FSQA Manager


Northlake, IL, US, 60164

Job Type:  Food Safety & Quality Assurance

Aspire Bakeries is a North American baking company with a leadership position in specialty frozen baked goods. Formed from leading bakery companies, its innovative food portfolio includes breads, artisan breads, buns, cookies, donuts, muffins and pastries from beloved brands like La Brea Bakery®, Otis Spunkmeyer®, and Oakrun Farm Bakery®. With 15 bakeries in North America, we are committed to driving innovation, predicting upcoming consumer trends and flavors, and exceeding our customers’ expectations. Aspire Bakeries champions the values of Integrity, Ownership, Customer Focus, Creativity and Care to help us deliver on People Safety, Food Safety, Quality and Collaboration.





  • Accountable for understanding and adhering to relevant food regulations; international, national, state, and local. Examples include Food and Drug, local health department inspections, weights and measure inspections, and Preventive Controls.
  • Accountable for leading the HARPc Food Safety Plan team in the evaluation and implementation of controls on all biological, chemical (including radiological and allergens), physical, and economically motivated hazards to our foods. This should also include consideration for the development of defect action limits, hygienic zoning, and adequate by-product controls.
  • Accountable for identifying food safety adulteration hazards associated with their foods and process, implementing controls to minimize those hazards, verifying that the controls are working, and designing and implementing corrective actions to address any deviations from the controls that might arise.
  • Accountable for undertaking the responsibilities of a Preventive Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI) as outlined in the Food and Drug Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls regulation. This includes the development and oversight of the food safety plan, the validation of Preventive Controls, the review of records, and the reanalysis as required. The FSQA Manager supports the bakery director to ensure compliance. As such the role requires current PCQI certification or completion of this certification upon acceptance of the FSQA Manager role.
  • Accountable for updating and re-evaluations of existing food safety plan(s) to incorporate current cGMP, Process Preventive Controls, Allergen Preventive Controls, Sanitation Preventive Controls and Supply Chain Preventive Controls, and current regulatory requirements.
  • Accountable for complying with the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) standards in which the bakery location participates in (i.e. BRC, SQF). Assists the bakery director in leading the bakery team reviews of the AIMS programs and compliance to the standard.
  • Accountable for ensuring that all employees are trained to effectively perform their food safety and quality responsibilities, within their department. Establishes a talent training and skills matrix with clear planning and development for the FSQA team.
  • Actively leads the food safety culture of the bakery, with a clear understanding of SIFIRI (See It, Fix It, Report It) program. Includes regular communication, education, events, and employee recognition programs.
  • Accountable for the strict adherence to the Integrated Management System (AIMS) programs.
  • Able to quickly and thoroughly investigate a product/process failure, determine the root cause and take prompt corrective actions while minimizing product exposure and production downtime (e.g. foreign material investigations).
  • Able to identify opportunities to enhance technology and innovation that will improve department effectiveness.
  • Manage relationships with intra- and inter-departmental colleagues and suppliers to ensure the achievement of departmental and company-wide targets.
  • Works to maintain and improve the safety, legality, and quality of each food and the processes used in their manufacture.
  • Protect the company and customer brands by uncovering opportunities, and providing solutions to potential food safety and quality concerns.
  • Accountable for leading investigation of customer/consumer complaints for foods manufactured on-site using root cause analysis, determining corrective actions and preventive measures, responding to complaints in the required timeframe, and analyzing complaint trends for continuous improvement.
  • Accountable for the day-to-day management of the Food Safety and Quality Assurance team including clear identification of objectives to meet the bakery department KPIs.
  • Accountable for reporting all food safety and quality nonconformities, corrective actions, and preventive measures to the bakery management team, and direct report.
  • Accountable for effectively communicating to the bakery director, and management team training needs for operations, sanitation, warehouse, and maintenance staff in basic food hygiene, cGMPs, preventive controls, allergen control, foreign material control, and other food safety and quality requirements.
  • Accountable for monitoring and adherence to the Food Safety and Quality Assurance budget.
  • Measures plant process capabilities, sampling plans, and statistical analysis to assure compliance.
  • Authorized to hold and release products based on food safety or quality nonconformity, and is required to place all food on QA hold in SAP as well as physical hold.
  • Ensures daily food sensory evaluation(s) are conducted, with the participation of the bakery team, to identify possible defects and provide direction for improvement.
  • Ensures physical bakery inspections are conducted on a weekly basis and reports are maintained in AIMS on each area (pest control, operational methods, maintenance for food safety, sanitation, personnel practices, etc.).
  • Contract review, approval, and performance monitoring of external suppliers/services relating to FSQA.
  • Technical expert during regulatory, customer, and third-party bakery audits.
  •  Responsible for assuring materials are received from approved suppliers and assisting with conducting raw material supplier performance monitoring.
  • Responsible for the effective implementation of Traceability, Stock Recovery, and Recall Program including accurate, timely mock traceability exercises. This includes escalating concerns to their direct report.
  • Accountable for providing technical advice and direction with respect to food safety and quality policies and keeping bakery team informed of applicable scientific, industry, and regulatory changes.
  • Accountable for upholding the values of integrity, ownership, customer focus, creativity, and care bringing these values into their daily work.
  • Exemplifies a safe and healthy work environment and to conduct activities in a safe and healthy manner, reporting unsafe conditions to their direct report and bakery director.
  • Accountable for leading/building a bakery FSQA team, developing a capable and promotable staff with a focus on assuring succession planning is in place.
  • Other duties may be assigned by their direct report, and the FSQA Manager is expected to effectively manage and execute changes.



  • A high school diploma, some college science courses, or experience in the food industry preferred
  • Bachelor of Science Degree in Microbiology, Chemistry, Food Technology, or Food Science, preferred or sufficient experience in the food industry to cover the technical skills needed.
  • 5-7 years of food industry manufacturing or quality experience including leadership experience
  • Minimum of 5 years comprehensive food processing, food safety and quality experience with an extensive background in manufacturing food industry, HACCP, USDA, or FDA preferred
  • FSPCA, Preventive Control Qualified Individual (PCQI) certified.
  • Training in HACCP (Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points).
  • Certified in a Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) standard such as BRC or SQF
  • Understanding of microbiology aseptic sampling, methods, and interpretation
  • Knowledge of food hygiene, hygienic zoning, cGMPs, and environmental monitoring.
  • Good writing, statistics (SPC and charting), analytical, and critical thinking skills
  • Proficient in computers including spreadsheets, statistical programs, and SAP applications
  • Previous experience with GFSI, BRC, SQF, and/or USDA audits is desirable.



Aspire Bakeries is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or veteran status.