The company has hatched plans to officially open the foodborne germ detection hub, which will employ 60 people and can conduct 16,000 tests a week, in Bio-City, Nottingham, later this month. It has confirmed it has created 20 new jobs.
The facility is the latest in a string of initiatives to bolster 2 Sisters’ food science and technical capabilities. It will cover a range of products, though not raw poultry.
“The lab only does microbiological testing for all ready-to-eat, ready-to-reheat food, ready meals, biscuits, sandwiches and bakery products,” said Neil Khandke, group technical director and head of laboratories.
Double the size of existing facility
The unit was close to the former Northern Foods microbiological laboratory, he said. “With the growth of 2 Sisters we decided to build a brand new lab at double the size of the existing facility.”
He stressed it would cover testing for about 16 of the manufacturer’s sites across Britain. 2 Sisters Food Group would continue using approved third-party testing to cover raw poultry, sites in Ireland and non-microbiological contaminants, he added.
The Nottingham site would focus on traditional microbiological testing of samples on agar-based media, but it also employed more modern equipment, he said. He welcomed the fact that, because of its location, it could draw on a central pool of graduates from Nottingham University for talent.
Training and development hub
News of the lab follows revelations in our sister title Food Manufacture magazine last week that 2 Sisters was partnering Campden BRI to create a training and development hub for technical staff in Birmingham.
Bertrand Emond, Campden BRI’s head of training, said: “We are delighted to be working with 2 Sisters to not only raise the bar by providing the best training and technical career development in the industry but create a quality benchmark for technical managers the world over.”
2 Sisters has 54 sites across the UK, Ireland, Holland and Poland and employs around 24,000 people.