School of Food Science and Nutrition

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"Our food industry employs 3.7 million people, contributing almost £90 billion to the economy. But there's a big skills gap across the food chain. The industry must attract more well qualified and ambitious candidates if it is to grow and innovate."

Jim Paice Former Minister of State for Agriculture and Food
Quality assurance - careers in food science and nutrition

Quality assurance careers

Jobs in food quality assurance focus on testing food products to make sure they aren’t faulty.

This can include tasting the food to make sure the right ingredients and measurements were used. 

Chemical tests might also be done to make sure the food is safe to eat and isn’t a risk to anyone’s health.

Job titles in food quality assurance roles can include inspectors, testers, samplers, sorters and weighing specialists. 

Quality assurance specialists are a valuable part of any company, ensuring the company’s continued success by checking the quality of their products.

Why food quality assurance jobs are important

Food quality assurance jobs are important for lots of reasons, including:

  • Customer expectations
    Customers have become more demanding and knowledgeable. They’re more concerned about the ingredients of food products than ever before.

  • Environmental concerns
    People have become more concerned about the environment and environmental protection laws have become more stringent. Using environmental friendly methods in the food industry has become necessary.

  • Organic Foods
    There’s lots of demand for organic foods because people are concerned about the potential bad effects of chemicals, used in farming, on the environment and health. So quality monitoring and guarantee makes sure that the chemicals are within the specified limits in any food product.

  • Technology
    Through technological developments, new methods for food processing have emerged. These methods provide safer and higher quality food to the customers. All food companies have to make sure they have good quality systems.

  • Regulatory requirements
    Food is vital for life, so the regulatory agencies have put in place strict requirements for food safety and quality. Quality assurance systems help the food industry to meet these requirements consistently and deliver food that is fit for eating.

In summary, food quality assurance workers must cover all the aspects related to food quality and safety.

This covers ingredient sourcing through production, packaging and distribution to sale by the retailer or caterer and therefore provide confidence to the consumers.

Food quality assurance salaries

The starting salary for a Quality Control assistant is likely to about £17,000-20,000. This will vary depending on the size of the company. 

Salaries can grow to around £30,000-40,000 for a Quality Control Manager and can be significantly higher for large multi-site operations.