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Agriculture

Food manufacturing inspector

Food manufacturing inspectors make sure companies meet hygiene and safety standards, and that products are safe to eat.

Annual Salary

£15,500 to £30,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

40 to 42 a week

You could work: on call; away from home

9%
Future employment

There will be 9% fewer Food manufacturing inspector jobs in 2025.
In your local area

What's it all about?

Day to day tasks

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • inspecting conditions in slaughterhouses and processing plants
  • carrying out quality control checks
  • testing samples of raw ingredients and processed products
  • analysing and presenting results
  • making sure production processes meet hygiene regulations
  • training production staff in the importance of safety standards
  • checking labelling and packaging
  • writing quality reports
  • advising companies about making improvements, and issuing warning notices

Working environment

You may need to wear protective clothing.

You could work at a manufacturing plant, in a factory or in an office.

Your working environment may be noisy and you'll travel often.

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly
College

You could do a college course, like the Level 3 Diploma in Food and Drink Operations. This would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
For more information
Apprenticeship

You can work towards this job by doing a food and drink process operator advanced apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
For more information
Work

You could start out in a food manufacturing operator role and move into inspection after further training.

Direct application

To apply directly you'll usually need:

  • a minimum of 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English, science and maths
  • experience in food production
  • excellent knowledge of food laws

Some employers will also expect you to have qualifications in food technology, biology or chemistry. Others may ask for experience as a qualified environmental health officer.

You’ll also need food hygiene certificates.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

  • You'll usually need a driving licence to travel between sites.

More information

Further information

You can find out more about careers in food safety from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.

With experience you could become a food safety manager, co-ordinating the work of a team of inspectors.

You could also move into environmental health or food science after training.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • the ability to analyse quality or performance
  • the ability to monitor your own performance and that of your colleagues
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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