Kerry investing in making food and drinks safer

Kerry investing in making food and drinks safer Main Photo

10 Jul 2024

BELOIT — Kerry Inc., one of the worldwide leaders in adding flavor to food and drinks, is investing in making food safer as well.

On June 19, Kerry celebrated the opening of a 2,000-square-foot biosafety certified food and preservation laboratory at the company’s Beloit Innovation Center.

Scientists are going to use the lab to study food intentionally contaminated with such deadly microorganisms as Listeria, Salmonella and E. coli to develop better safety protocols.


“We are focusing on food sustainability and food preservation as part of our strategic goals,” said Saurabh Kumar, a senior business development director for Kerry.

The lab will allow Kerry to develop and test better preservation and safety methods not only for its own products, but also for products it’s developing in conjunction with its major customers.

“This will accelerate research and development both for us and our customers,” Kumar said.

Food safety and food waste are two major issues worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, about 600 million people get sick from contaminated food each year and about 420,000 die each year.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than 4 million pounds of food was recalled in 2023 because of contamination. This year, in June, alone, the USDA announced recalls of liquid eggs, southwestern style chicken salads and Thai-style curry chicken because of allergens. Pork and beef products were recalled because of high sodium nitrate levels.

Kerry is part of Kerry Group, a publicly-traded company based in Ireland. The company has 21,000 employees worldwide, including more than 1,100 scientists. The company had $8.6 billion in sales last year.

Beloit is home to both Kerry’s North America headquarters on Millington Road and its innovation center. The company employs about 600 in Beloit, making it one of the city’s 10 largest employers. About 20 of those Beloit workers will work in the new lab.

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