Kellogg has signed a deal with US food testing group Covance to use a soon-to-be built food safety lab in the cereal giant's home town of Battle Creek, Michigan.

The US food group will be the "anchor client" in the US$14m facility, which is set to get up and running in late 2010 and create 40 jobs "over time", Covance said.

A $42m deal between Covance and Kellogg will see the cereal and snacks maker "consolidate much of the food company's analytical chemistry, microbiology, and stability testing with Covance".

Kellogg told just-food that the site was close to its W.K. Kellogg Institute for Food and Nutrition Research. In September, Kellogg completed a $54m expansion to the institute, which opened in 1997.

"The agreement with Covance will allow Kellogg to continue to focus on producing great-tasting products that consumers love while ensuring the highest quality standards," Kellogg spokesperson Adaire Putnam said.

Putnam added that no Kellogg jobs would be affected by the Covance deal. "Covance has worked with Kellogg for more than 30 years helping us monitor the quality of our current products and develop new products. The testing services they provide are not performed by Kellogg employees."