A lot of food goes in and out of Dublin for testing.

A lot of food goes in and out of Dublin for testing.

Nestle's only lab that tests the safety and quality of products in the U.S. is in Dublin and construction starts this week on an expansion.

The Eiterman Road Nestle Quality Assurance Center will be expanded by 35,000 square feet.

"It's a micro biology lab expansion," said center Director Aaron Ayres. "The purpose of it is primarily for improving the bio safety procedure."

The expansion is expected to let more products from Nestle factories throughout the nation send items to Dublin for testing and improve conditions for employees, Ayres said.

"A secondary benefit is we're accommodating additional business so there's additional room for growth for business as well as jobs in the local area," he said.

The Nestle Quality Assurance Center was established in Dublin in 1990 and is the only one in the U.S.

"NQAC serves the entire U.S. Market, a $10 billion market," Ayres said. "We are supporting the release of products for factories throughout the U.S. It's a lab setting here."

Many people don't know about the Dublin Center or the large role it plays in the company, Ayres said.

"We're testing samples to make sure they all meet the quality parameters required so we can release them," he said.

"We're more than just a little lab when you look at it this way. We're the largest NQAC globally for the company worldwide."

The Dublin location will get a little bit bigger when the expansion is finished in March.

The company hired 50 new employees for the Dublin location earlier this year in advance of the expansion.

"We're not necessarily going to be hiring new people as a result of the expansion," Ayres said. "The persons already hired will work in the new area."

The Dublin location opened with 45,000 square feet and expanded in 2001 with an 8,000-square-foot controlled-storage building, information from the company said.

In 2004, the Dublin location began to support factory hygiene and food safety systems for the company.

The Dublin NQAC employs about 150 people and the world headquarters is located in Switzerland.