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 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours


Future employment

There will be 5% fewer Food manufacturing inspector jobs in 2024.
In your local area

What's it all about?

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

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, biological science or chemistry. Others may ask for experience as a qualified environmental health officer.

You’ll also need food hygiene certificates.

£15,500 to £30,000

Starter salary: £15,500 to £19,000

Experienced salary: £20,000 to £25,000

Some inspectors are paid based on the number of premises they visit, with a rate of between £30 and £50 an inspection. 

These figures are a guide.


You’ll usually work up to 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday, although spot checks could be made at any time.


You’ll travel between food production premises, so you’ll need a driving licence and access to transport.

With experience you could become a food safety manager, coordinating 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:

  • attention to detail
  • communication skills
  • IT skills
My top 5 skills from the skills bank
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