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In-depth learning from industry placement

Hristina Georgieva talks about what she has learnt during the placement in the food industry. 

As part of my undergraduate course at Abertay University (BSc (Hons) Food and Consumer Science) I undertook a 10-week work placement in the food industry. My main aims were to improve my confidence to work independently, to have an opportunity to be involved in the development of new products using the theoretical knowledge and practical skills that I have gained during the NPD module at University and to gain practical experience in applying knowledge and academic skills for food safety and quality.

I was placed in a small family bakery in Perth, Scotland that manufactures a variety of products including bread, rolls, cream cakes, confectionary products and biscuits.

My role within the organisation was to assist the Technical Manager with the day-to-day tasks including the daily quality assurance checks. I had to ensure that all the received products were booked in the traceability system and the paperwork was collected and filed. Moreover, I worked on a project for updating the current food safety management system, as well as assisting in the development of a new system based on the SALSA standard for a sister bakery in Aberdeen, including the setup of pre-requisite programmes and HACCP.

Every day I learned something new..'

I was also involved in the steps for setting up a new product, including how to create a specification and what is necessary for the product to be approved and sold in one of the biggest retailers in the UK. I attended meetings, audits and food safety training sessions.

Another project was to create an Audit Plan for the bakery shops that are located within Perthshire. I assisted the technical manager in auditing the first one and was then was given the opportunity to audit the rest and to create written reports on the shop food safety and hygiene performance.

My passion for food safety and quality drove me to take all the opportunities I was offered to increase my knowledge. Every day I learned something new.

I enjoyed every aspect of my placement. I found the world of food safety very exciting, as well as the auditing, training and new product development. After I finished my placement, I was offered a permanent position as technical manager, as the previous incumbent made a career move. I was very excited to be given this opportunity as a graduate and I believe that the food industry is an amazing sector to work for and has a lot to offer.

 

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