Nestlé has elevated its commitment to quality and safety with a $31 million investment in the Nestlé Quality Assurance Center (NQAC) in Dublin, Ohio, which was designed to raise the bar for the verification of food safety and quality standards and provide support for the implementation and maintenance of food safety programs. As a global leader in nutrition, health and wellness, Nestlé has invested in advanced food safety systems and the development of a world-class network of quality and safety experts and laboratories. NQAC Dublin is now the largest and most sophisticated testing facility in the Nestlé network and possibly the world.
The newly expanded NQAC is now the lead quality assurance center for all Nestlé businesses in the Americas. It has nearly doubled in size to 82,000 square feet, including an expanded 32,000 square foot microbiology lab, and completely renovated chemistry lab and associated facilities that increase capacity and efficiency, and improve safety for all products tested.
The NQAC has the ability and capacity to test virtually every Nestlé product, ingredient and manufacturing environment to verify that they conform to all applicable regulatory requirements, and meet Nestlé’s high quality and safety standards. Test results from the Dublin lab are critical to the Americas and often to the entire global supply chain.
“As we celebrate our 150th anniversary, the Nestlé Quality Assurance Center exemplifies what we mean when we say ‘at Nestle, quality means more,’” said Edgar Vanegas, NQAC Regional Manager, Americas. “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.”
As an active supporter of the Food Safety Modernization Act, Nestlé’s investment in the NQAC will help anticipate and exceed regulators’ expectations for the verification of the quality and safety of ingredients, the verification of environmental hygiene and the assurance of finished product quality and safety. To further support food safety efforts, Nestlé is joining the Partnership for Food Safety Education this fall by supporting “The Story of Your Dinner” communication program, which is an invitation to consumers to join the fight against foodborne illness.
“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,” said Gregory Pritchard, Vice President Quality Management for Nestlé USA. “We aim to earn consumer trust by never compromising on quality in anything we do.”
The Dublin NQAC is staffed by more than 220 chemists, microbiologists, food scientists, quality specialists and support staff who offer specialized laboratory services, factory hygiene and food safety systems around the clock to Nestlé production facilities throughout the Americas.
“Together, the NQACs around the world perform more than three million analyses per year for the full range of Nestlé products,” said Aaron Ayres, head of the Americas NQAC in Dublin.
The investment in the NQAC in Dublin is another example of the company’s ongoing commitment to the state of Ohio. Nestlé employs more than 3,400 people across the state in a variety of businesses. Nestlé's Solon, Ohio campus serves as headquarters for Nestlé USA’s Frozen, Baking, and Pizza and Snacks divisions as well as Nestlé Professional and Nestlé Business Services. In 2015, Nestlé supported the frozen and chilled business with a $50 million investment in the Nestlé Research and Development Center, Solon – one of 12 centers of excellence around the world. Nestlé also operates another research facility in Marysville, Ohio, which specializes in ready-to-drink beverage development, premium coffee and tea. Over 250 employees are based there, providing expertise in beverage science, packaging and technology.
The newly renovated center incorporates sustainability efforts through the use of natural refrigerants, complying with many LEED requirements, featuring a variety of MERV and HEPA filtration options, using natural light throughout the facility, and using rapidly-renewable building materials and products.