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Environment

Food manufacturing inspector

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

Annual Salary

£20,000 to £35,000

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

8.3%
Future employment

There will be 8.3% fewer Food manufacturing inspector jobs in 2026.

Day to day tasks

In this job, you will:

  • inspect conditions in slaughterhouses and processing plants
  • carry out quality control checks
  • test samples of raw ingredients and processed products
  • analyse and present test results
  • make sure production processes meet hygiene regulations
  • train production staff in the importance of safety standards
  • check labelling and packaging
  • write quality reports
  • advise companies about making improvements, and issue warning notices

Working environment

You may need to wear protective clothing.

You could work at a manufacturing plant 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
College

You could do a college course to get some of the skills and knowledge you need for this job.

Courses include:

  • Level 3 Diploma in Food and Drink Operations
  • T Level in Science

Once working, you would complete further training to become an inspector.

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
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T level
For more information
Apprenticeship

You can work towards this job by doing an advanced apprenticeship for:

  • food technologists
  • food and drink process operators

You would complete further training in food quality and inspection after your 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

If you're working in the food and drinks industry, you can take training for a:

  • Higher Certificate in Food Control
  • Advanced Professional Certificate in Food Hygiene and Standards Control

You will also complete a portfolio of work for assessment as part of the training. These qualifications are awarded through the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.

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 and training 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:

  • the ability to analyse quality or performance
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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