Profession food safety inspector

Food safety inspectors carry out inspections in food processing environments from a food safety standpoint. They are part of official control bodies who check and control food products and processes to ensure compliance with regulations and laws governing safety and health.

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Personality Type

  • Conventional / Realistic
  • Realistic / Conventional

Knowledge

  • European food safety policy

    Assurance of a high level of food safety within the EU through coherent farm-to-table measures and adequate monitoring, while ensuring an effective internal market. The implementation of this approach involves various actions, namely: assure effective control systems and evaluate compliance with EU standards in the food safety and quality, within the EU and in third countries in relation to their exports to the EU; manage international relations with third countries and international organisations concerning food safety; manage relations with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and ensure science-based risk management.

  • Quality assurance methodologies

    Quality assurance principles, standard requirements, and the set of processes and activities used for measuring, controlling and ensuring the quality of products and processes.

  • Food safety principles

    Scientific background of food safety which includes preparation, handling, and storage of food to minimise the risk of foodborne illness and other health hazards.

  • Laboratory based sciences

    Laboratory based sciences such as biology, chemistry, physics, integrated science or advanced laboratory science.

  • Foodborne diseases

    Understand foodborne illnesses and poisoning as to prevent public health problems.

  • Health, safety and hygiene legislation

    The set of health, safety and hygiene standards and items of legislation applicable in a specific sector.

  • Risks associated to physical, chemical, biological hazards in food and beverages

    Interpretation of laboratory tests for parameters affecting food safety taking into account risks associated with physical, chemical, and biological hazards in food and beverages.

  • Food and beverage industry

    The respective industry and the processes involved in the food and beverage industry, such as raw material selection, processing, packaging, and storage.

  • Cultural practices regarding animal slaughter

    Understand cultural or religious rules and traditions regarding the slaughter of animals.

  • Food legislation

    Legislation related to the food and feed industry including food manufacturing, hygiene, safety, raw materials, additives, GMOs, labelling, environmental and trade regulations.

  • Food toxicity

    The causes of food poisoning and spoilage, and the preservation methods of food products so as to prevent toxicity from customers.

  • Food safety standards

    Food safety standards (i.e. ISO 22000) developed by the recognised organisations for Standardization dealing with food safety. For example, the ISO 22000 international standard specifies the requirements for an effective food safety management system. It covers interactive communication, system management, prerequisite programs and HACCP principles.

  • Legislation about animal origin products

    The applicable legal rules on temperature, waste materials, traceability, labelling, trading, and the transport of animal origin products. 

  • Cultural practices regarding animal parts sorting

    The religious and cultural practices regarding animal parts sorting as to not mix meat parts with other parts that may inhibit religion practitioners from eating the meat.

Skills

  • Ensure health, safety and security measures

    Take responsibility for health, safety and security measures in the workplace including posture the body well, safely operate tools and machinery, and wear the right clothes and protection for the climate. Apply health and safety standards. Adhere strictly to the site safety rules and systems and equipment operational procedures.

  • Ensure correct goods labelling

    Ensure that goods are labeled with all necessary labeling information (e.g. legal, technological, hazardous and others) regarding the product. Ensure that labels respects the legal requirements and adhere to regulations.

  • Manage health and safety standards

    Oversee all personnel and processes to comply with health, safety and hygiene standards. Communicate and support alignment of these requirements with the company's health and safety programmes.

  • Work in cold environments

    Work in cold storage and deep freeze facilities. Cooling rooms are around 0°C. Resist temperatures of -18°C in meat processing freezer facilities as required by law, except for the slaughterhouse, where room working temperatures are below 12°C by law.

  • Manage communications with food industry governmental bodies

    Managing communications with regulatory authorities for the food industry for all aspects of food safety, limits on potentially hazardous ingredients, labelling requirements and legislation.

  • Apply requirements concerning manufacturing of food and beverages

    Apply and follow national, international, and internal requirements quoted in standards, regulations and other specifications related with manufacturing of food and beverages.

  • Apply GMP

    Apply regulations regarding manufacture of food and food safety compliance. Employ food safety procedures based on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).

  • Lead inspections

    Lead inspections and the protocol involved, such as introducing the inspection team, explaining the purpose of the inspection, performing the inspection, requesting documents, asking appropriate questions, and maintaining a high level of professionalism when investigating subjects.

  • Perform quality audits

    Execute regular, systematic and documented examinations of a quality system for verifying conformity with a standard based on objective evidence such as the implementation of processes, effectiveness in achieving quality goals and reduction and elimination of quality problems.

  • Perform inspection analysis

    Investigate and report on inspection procedures, techniques, equipment and materials.

  • Write routine reports

    Compose routine reports; identify appropriate forms or documents to record data from manual inspections and/or electronic systems. Write clear observations as required. A written report is usually a summary of readings from the routine performance of the reticulation system.

  • Identify the factors causing changes in food during storage

    Recognize the most relevant factors (chemical, physical, environmental etc) that can alter the food during its storage

  • Set quality assurance objectives

    Define quality assurance targets and procedures and see to their maintenance and continued improvement by reviewing targets, protocols, supplies, processes, equipment and technologies for quality standards.

  • Maintain relationships with government agencies

    Establish and maintain cordial working relationships with peers in different governmental agencies.

  • Analyse samples of food and beverages

    Examine if food or beverages are safe for human consumption. Verify the right levels of key ingredients and the correctness of the label declarations and the levels of nutrients present. Ensure samples of food and beverages comply to specific standards or procedures.

  • Identify hazards in the workplace

    Perform safety audits and inspections on workplaces and workplace equipment. Ensure that they meet safety regulations and identify hazards and risks.

  • Manage the use of additives in food manufacturing

    Managing the use of additives or preservatives for food.

  • Apply HACCP

    Apply regulations regarding manufacture of food and food safety compliance. Employ food safety procedures based on Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP).

  • Consider economic criteria in decision making

    Develop proposals and take appropriate decisions taking into account economic criteria.

  • Assess food samples

    Assess samples from a range of sources to draw analyses. For example, microorganisms detection, chemical analysis, and parasitological analysis.

  • Perform food safety checks

    Carry out food safety checks in order to assure compliance with requirements, regulations, and other good food manufacturing practices.

  • Give instructions to staff

    Give instructions to subordinates by employing various communication techniques. Adjust communication style to the target audience in order to convey instructions as intended.

  • Advocate for consumer matters in production plants

    Conduct regulatory oversight activities inside plants in matters relating to areas of consumer matters, e.g. misbranding, consumer protection, etc.

  • Assess HACCP implementation in plants

    Assess the adequate implementation of HACCP in plants. Assure that plants are operating within the specifications of their written plans for HACCP, sanitation, and processing.

  • Maintain updated professional knowledge

    Regularly attend educational workshops, read professional publications, actively participate in professional societies.

  • Keep up-to-date with regulations

    Maintain up-to-date knowledge of current regulations and apply this knowledge in specific sectors.

Optional knowledge and skills

handle communications in the food processing industry assess quality characteristics of food products assess environmental parameters at the workplace for food products be at ease in unsafe environments investigate customer complaints communicate commercial and technical issues in foreign languages follow hygienic procedures during food processing food policy food homogenisation apply foreign language for international trade work in a food processing team label samples interpret data in food manufacturing check the quality of raw materials at reception manage challenging work conditions during food processing operations analyse characteristics of food products at reception check bottles for packaging develop food policy liaise with managers

Common job titles

  • Public health inspector, food safety and community sanitation
  • Food safety professional
  • Food inspector
  • Public health sanitarian 2
  • Food and drug inspector ii
  • Associate public health sanitarian ii
  • Agriculture compliance specialist 1 or 2
  • Environmental protect spcl ii
  • Food safety & quality micro lab supervisor