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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

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.

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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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