In August, Food Manufacturing was on hand for a grand re-opening ceremony marking the completion of a significant renovation and expansion of the Nestlé Quality Assurance Center in Dublin, Ohio.
The $31 million project, which began in 2014 and finished up earlier this year, expanded the facility to 82,000 square feet — almost double its previous size — and included a significant microbiology laboratory expansion and chemistry laboratory renovation. Along with a sizable investment in additional state-of-the-art equipment, the growth has increased the facility’s capabilities, capacity and efficiency. The NQAC, which has the ability to test any Nestlé product and ingredient for safety and quality, is now the largest and most sophisticated testing facility in the company’s network, and serves as the lead quality assurance center for Nestlé businesses in the Americas.
“As we celebrate our 150th anniversary, the Nestlé Quality Assurance Center exemplifies what we mean when we say ‘at Nestle, quality means more,’ ” Edgar Vanegas, NQAC Regional Manager, Americas, said in a news release issued the day of the event. “We recognize that we have a responsibility to the public and hold all of our foods and beverages to the highest safety and quality standards. This is a responsibility we never take lightly.”
The NQAC, which opened in 1991, now has 220 employees — 70 jobs have been added over the course of the expansion and renovation according to company officials — ranging from microbiologists and chemists to food scientists, quality specialists and support staff. The facility is expecting to perform one million food safety tests in 2016, an increase of 30 percent over the previous year.
“At Nestlé, each and every employee is accountable for food quality and safety, and we are investing in the leading tools in the world to ensure quality that allows our millions of consumers to have confidence in our products,” Gregory Pritchard, Vice President Quality Management for Nestlé USA, said in the news release. “We aim to earn consumer trust by never compromising on quality in anything we do.”
The photo gallery above takes a closer look at what goes on inside the NQAC.