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Shireen Moodley, QESH Manager at Lallemand Felixstowe yeast plant: “With yeast, there’s always something new to learn!”

Shireen Moodley, QESH Manager at Lallemand Felixstowe yeast plant: “With yeast, there’s always something new to learn!”

The people behind the products: meet Shireen MOODLEY, Quality assurance and control, environmental, health & safety manager at Lallemand Felixstowe yeast plant.

Can you introduce yourself? 

I am the QESH (quality assurance & control, environmental, health & safety) manager at the Felixstowe plant, handling quality control/quality assurance and environmental health and safety. I am actually from South Africa (SA). I joined the Felixstowe team in 2021, prior to that I was working at the Lallemand yeast plant in Durban, SA.

How long have you been working in fermentation?

I was working in Durban before the plant was purchased by Lallemand in 2009. There, my work focused on bacteria fermentation. The plant switched to yeast production with Lallemand. I have held various roles over the years. I initially worked in the lab in R&D, then I moved into industrial microbiology, then into quality. I did QC (quality control) for some years. I was quality manager when Lallemand came on board. I was a process manager for about four years, then I moved back to quality as QA/QC (quality assurance/quality control) manager in 2019 until I moved to the U.K. So, I have a lot of experience in fermentation from different perspectives.

What is a typical day like?

Each day is different same since there are so many aspects to my job. There is no monotony. We get frequent audits. Just yesterday, we had a customer audit. On the health, safety and environmental side, I am still learning the U.K. laws. It is a lot of complex interaction between the different disciplines in my role, and I enjoy it.

On the QC side, we are monitoring processes and final products. If there are some deviations, we (QC team) interact with the different line managers to advise them to help keep our products within our specifications.

Quality Assurance documentation, checks and inspections are required to be consistently updated and maintained to ensure that we are always complying with the various standards to produce a safe, quality product. In my role I am interacting with external people quiet often such as, the environmental agency personnel, customers, and auditors as well as the different business units. There’s always something interesting and different.

What do you like the most about your job?

There’s always something new to learn. The site is slightly different to Durban that I was accustomed to, but the process is the same. With yeast, you are constantly learning because things happen. There is no monotony.

What has been the biggest challenge and achievement in the last year?

We are consistently working towards producing high quality products including selenium Yeast – drying of selenium yeast was recently introduced to Felixstowe with installation of the drum drier. This has been an interesting time when selenium yeast processing was added as there were several additional quality control testing and quality assurance requirements needing to be included into our existing programs. Our site is FAMI-QS accredited for the production of selenized yeast. This last audit went very well, and the auditor was quite happy with our new installation and our documentation to support it.

On the quality control side, the testing criteria for the dried final product are slightly different. We had to implement that. Thus, there’s always been something new coming our way. Now I think we are running well, there’s stability after optimisation on the production line.

One final word on a more personal note? 

It is interesting moving from South Africa to the U.K. It’s completely different. The weather is definitely different! I think I’ve settled in quite nicely into Felixstowe. The people here are quite friendly and very helpful. The team works well together and is very supportive. It helped me a lot considering I came on my own from South Africa. It is very nice because I know I can rely on a lot of people here if I have a work issue or even a personal issue. It’s just a nice team to work with!

Published Jun 9, 2024 | Updated Jun 12, 2024

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