Safety Measures

Producers Nestle Center pathogens lab copy

Nestlé puts its money where its customers' mouths are by investing $31 million in its Ohio quality assurance center.

Dublin, Ohio is now the center of quality and testing for food giant Nestlé. The $9.7 billion company, best known as the makers of Butterfinger, Nesquick, Lean Cuisine and Toll House chocolate chips, recently completed a $31 million investment in the Nestlé Quality Assurance Center (NQAC) in the Columbus suburb. The expanded facility doubled in size to 82,000 square feet and now boasts a 32,000 microbiology lab, renovated chemistry lab and facility to increase the capacity and safety of tested products.

“As we celebrate our 150th anniversary, the Nestlé Quality Assurance Center exemplifies what we mean when we say, ‘at Nestlé, 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.”

The Dublin NQAC has the capability to test virtually every Nestlé product, ingredient and manufacturing environment to verify they conform to regulatory requirements and the company’s quality and safety standards, the company says. More than 220 chemists, microbiologists, food scientists, quality specialists and support staff specializing in laboratory services, factory hygiene and food safety systems work at the facility. Following the expansion, the Dublin NQAC is the largest and most sophisticated testing facility in Nestlé’s global network. Many of the test results and quality advancements made at the Dublin facility are expected to impact the company’s global supply chain.

“At Nestlé, each and every employees 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 of quality management for Nestlé USA, said. “We aim to earn consumer trust by never compromising on quality in anything we do.”

The company says the renovated center incorporates sustainability efforts through the use of natural refrigerants, complying with many LEED requirements, a variety of MERV and HEPA filtration options, natural lighting and rapidly-renewable building materials.

Nestlé is a supporter of the Food Safety Modernization Act, a 2011 law that aims to ensure a safe food supply by shifting the focus from responding to contamination to prevention. The investment in the Dublin NQC will help the company exceed regulator’s expectations for the verification of the quality and safety of ingredients, the verification of environmental hygiene and the assurance of finished production quality and safety, the company says. To further enhance food safety efforts, Nestlé is joining the Partnership for Food Safety Education by supporting “The Story of Your Dinner” communication program. The program is an invitation to consumers to participate in eliminating foodborne illnesses.

“Together, the NQACs around the world perform more than 3 million analyses per year for the full range of Nestlé products,” Aaron Ayres, head of Americas NQAC, said.

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