When it comes to food-related careers, the multi-million pound industry of food and drink manufacturing is a significant UK employer.
Food manufacturing is perhaps not always associated with technical roles, yet science-based jobs are essential to the industry.
Sarah Mearns started out in an administration role, and worked her way up to Quality Technician at Britvic Soft Drinks. She works at their manufacturing site, and is responsible for ensuring products meet the required standards, “I make sure that it’s all as it should be,” she explains, that “it tastes right, it looks right, it’s in the right packaging…that the quality is 100 per cent.”
Following a degree in Biochemistry and Forensic Science, Leanne Patrick is now a Microbiologist and also works at Britvic Soft Drinks, “I check the quality of the drink, checking that they are safe for the consumer, checking for micro-organisms, making sure there’s not yeast, mould or bacteria in there, and insuring that the hygiene of the factory is to an acceptable standard,” she says.
He started out in the Quality Assurance section, working his way up to his current role as Technical Team Manager, “We prepare and pack for various retailers and food service companies, “ he explains. “ We have three sites and I look after the day-to-day running of the technical function of one site. We look after food safety, quality, dealing with customers’ specifications, and customers’ complaints.”
Senior Laboratory Technician Jacek Jarosz and Laboratory Technician Katherine Green both work for Exova, a specialist testing company which works in food science. Katherine tests food samples, making sure food is safe to eat. She got her job after university, although says at her level you don’t need a degree – she has a more senior colleague who started straight from school. Jacek works in the pesticides department, and is responsible for monitoring the amount of pesticides found in food. After studying in Poland he moved to the UK and started in a technician role, before successfully applying for his current position.
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