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Position Summary: Under limited supervision, analyze and study the general properties of bacteria and other microorganisms in both food and food processing environments through applied research and routine testing at the ConAgra Foods Corporate Microbiology Laboratory. May independently conduct a wide range of tests to assess that quality specifications have been met. Conducts analyses in a timely, accurate, and cost-effective manner according to the written laboratory methods, quality control standards and practices, and safety practices and procedures.
Maintains requirements for ISO 17025 (International Organization for Standardization, global quality standard for testing and calibration laboratories).
Develops, documents, updates, and maintains Lab SOPs and approved procedures.
Analyzes ingredients, products and related samples for populations of spoilage and pathogenic microorganisms using various techniques including VIDAS, PCR and other genetic based methods.
Plans and conducts applied research projects such as shelf life studies, challenge studies and other special projects on request.
Assists with troubleshooting microbiological issues related to food manufacturing.
Identifies and evaluates new methods for detecting, enumerating and identifying microorganisms of concern.
Generates monthly reports describing laboratory activities, trends, learnings and expenditures.
Guides and trains laboratory technicians and associate microbiologists.
Maintains accurate and detailed laboratory data and notebooks.
Maintains and calibrates laboratory equipment as well as a clean laboratory work environment.
Prepares and edits technical reports.
Stays current with pertinent scientific literature, performs literature searches.
Performs other assorted duties related to quality assurance, research, and laboratory operations as assigned.
Orders or assists in ordering lab supplies.
Serves as leader and go-to person in their work area.
Interact and guide/train plant laboratory personnel.
BS Degree with major studies in Biology, Microbiology, Food Science or Biochemistry required. MS preferred.
Minimum 3 years related laboratory experience.
Proficient in Microsoft Word and Excel.
Knowledge of food safety, food development processes, and aseptic technique.
Knowledge of molecular microbiology techniques including PCR, RT-PCR, genetic subtyping, etc.
Ability to critically examine and follow technical procedures.
Capacity to collect and analyze data using basic statistics, draw conclusions based on facts, and write concise reports.
Ability to work in an environment of changing priorities and levels of intensity.
Capability of working independently and with limited supervision, as well as working with others as a member of a team.
Sound interpersonal and relationship skills.
Experience presenting and communicating scientific data to many audiences.
Weekend/overtime work required.
Travel to plant locations as necessary.
Ability to operate autoclaves, dishwashers, computers, analytical equipment.
Walking or standing: 60%, Sitting: 40%.
Lifting and/or moving up to 40 lbs.
Ability to work around lab equipment noise.
Ability to tolerate odors associated with microbiological testing.
This position description is not intended, and should not be construed to be, an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, skills, efforts or working conditions associated with the job. It is intended, however, to be an accurate reflection of those principal job elements essential for making decisions related to job performance, employee development and compensation. As such, the incumbent may perform other duties and responsibilities as required.
ConAgra Foods, Inc., is an equal opportunity employer and considers qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, disability, veteran status or any other protected factor under federal, state or local law.