Food Safety Specialist Job Description

Food Safety Specialist Job Description, Skills, and Salary

Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a food safety specialist. You can use our job description template in this article to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a food safety specialist.


Who is a Food Safety Specialist?

Food safety specialists are environmental health professionals with specialized training in food safety to detect risks in food safety and supervise companies for food production, packaging, and transportation. These specialists assess agricultural or food production facilities to make sure they adhere to all quality and environmental health regulations. Food safety specialists are also referred to as food inspectors, food science technicians, or food safety managers. Food safety specialists frequently make sure that consumers’ healths are not at risk when eating or drinking. Food safety specialists are involved in observing the methods used to make fruits and vegetables. Most food safety specialists spend their time in food processing companies watching the canning, processing, and packaging processes to keep contaminated food off the market. A food safety specialist supervises how fruits, vegetables, and meats are handled while being packaged. To prevent human contamination, experts examine worker habits and hygiene. The cleanliness of the processing and packing equipment may also be examined by an inspector. Making sure that packaged food matches labelled information is the specialist’s ultimate responsibility. To make sure that local health laws are followed, a municipal authority will often hire a food safety specialist. Restaurant health inspections are the most typical local employment for a food safety specialist. To identify potential sources of contamination, an inspector supervises the kitchen and waits for the personnel of a restaurant. To prevent dropped, improperly handled, and expired products, this job also necessitates a study of the food preparation environment. To verify whether food ingredients are being held at the correct temperature, the food inspector must also record the temperatures in the kitchen, refrigerator, and freezer.

To protect consumers from contaminated food imported from other nations, port and airport officials collaborate with food safety experts. Food safety specialists should be knowledgeable about laws prohibiting particular foods from entering the country to oversee the handling of imported foods. To verify if these laws correspond with the contents of imported food, food safety specialists are required to be meticulous in examining shipping manifests. Food safety specialists may also check expiration dates and alert recipients who have received expired food. To assist a company in achieving and maintaining compliance, you will be expected to analyze complex legislation, present succinct arguments, and provide clear recommendations. Food safety specialists collaborate with a variety of parties with varying objectives and priorities, such as company leaders, workers in manufacturing facilities, regulatory agencies, and health authorities. The work of specialists in food safety directly benefits people’s health and well-being all across the world. The most competent professionals in the area have an intrinsic desire to uphold this responsibility. A bachelor’s degree in chemistry, biology, or food science is required for a career as a food safety specialist. While certain occupations demand a graduate degree, industry experience may be more important for gaining the requisite skills. As you conduct interviews with management and staff frequently on-site, excellent interpersonal and communication skills are a requirement.


Food Safety Specialist Job Description

Below are the food safety specialist job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.

Food safety specialists have a wide range of duties and responsibilities which can include the following:

  • Implement rules and procedures for food handling, sanitation, and personnel health precautions to ensure compliance with state and federal standards.
  • Teach food handlers the right methods and strategies for food safety.
  • Engage in cross-departmental communication to raise employee understanding of potential dangers and encourage food safety awareness
  • Work with vendors to make sure they abide by local, state, and federal laws governing food safety.
  • Verify that the establishments that prepare food, such as restaurants, supermarkets, warehouses, and others, are adhering to the correct protocols by inspecting them.
  • Inspect the cleanliness and functionality of the restaurant’s facilities and equipment, such as the burners, ovens, sinks, and freezers.
  • Analyze food samples in a lab to check for the presence of bacteria, parasites, or other disease-causing organisms.
  • Help to prevent perishable food items from spoiling too soon by supervising how they are stored.
  • Provide advice to business owners on how to strengthen their food safety protocols to prevent legal issues with the government.
  • Provide a point of contact for regional and local regulatory organizations about food safety issues
  • Ensure legal compliance by overseeing regulations, implementing them for all monitoring systems, and regularly assessing the results.
  • Provide effective solutions to all management issues in coordination with sourcing and product management.
  • Build strong professional ties with the learning and development team to enhance the storage situation by forming different collaborations.
  • Investigate violations of the rules and the Health Code, and submit reports to management as needed.
  • Create strategies, put them into effect, and offer support for growth-oriented initiatives that will raise standards and guarantee the integrity of commercial transactions.
  • Participate in numerous product research training programs and get expertise in the company’s products.
  • Establish and maintain strong relationships with your staff, and upgrade as needed.
  • Maintain and develop product protection measures, and be sure to create plans to improve product quality.
  • Create and keep an archive of all policies, procedures, and training materials to guarantee better healthcare for all patients.
  • Participate in the responsibility of issuing policies and working with multiple departments to coordinate.
  • Maintain all product safety programs, and regularly evaluate all advertising campaigns, both indoor and outdoor.
  • Analyze and improve people’s lives and deliver benefits by storing food and soft drinks safely.
  • Monitor numerous auditing programs to ensure correct supply and implantation.
  • Analyze the regulatory compliance of facility upgrades to improve the quality of food and beverage goods.
  • Work together with supply chain partners to promote product innovation and improvement.
  • Ensure that major food production facilities’ equipment complies with food safety regulations.
  • Perform food safety audits and inspections at all types of food service businesses, including eateries, grocers, caterers, and other food handlers.
  • Take necessary action after looking at foodborne illness complaints.
  • Inform staff members who serve meals about best practices for food safety, including proper hand washing, cooking temperatures, and food storage
  • Work with public health professionals to create and implement food safety regulations.
  • Keep track of food recalls and make sure any impacted firms are compliant.
  • Stay informed about fresh advancements in the area of food safety.
  • Ensure that audits and inquiries into food safety are accurately documented.
  • Create reports outlining your results and suggestions.
  • Educate future food safety inspectors
  • Aid in the creation of educational materials for food safety
  • Represent the public’s interests in the food industry.



  • Bachelor’s degree in food science, public health, or a similar discipline.
  • A minimum of 3 years of experience working in food safety or quality assurance
  • Practical knowledge of HACCP principles
  • Outstanding analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Excellent attention to detail skills
  • Must be able to perform efficiently independently and in a team.
  • Previous experience with auditing and developing food safety programs
  • Familiarity with BRC, SQF, IFS, and other international food safety standards


Essential Skills

  • Food safety knowledge: A food safety specialist’s skill set is built on understanding food safety. They will be more able to understand the laws and criteria that govern the food industry when they have adequate knowledge of food safety standards and protocols. Food safety specialists use their knowledge of food safety to discover potential dangers and risks that could degrade the quality of food commodities.
  • Leadership skills: Because they typically supervise other employees at work, food safety specialists need strong leadership capabilities. When it comes to adhering to health rules, upholding cleanliness standards, and guaranteeing the safety of the food provided at the restaurant, having excellent leadership skills can help motivate your staff and urge them to follow your example. Your ability to lead others will be useful if you need to facilitate training sessions or workshops on food safety issues.
  • Communications and interpersonal skills: Food safety specialists need to be able to communicate with their coworkers and superiors about changes in safety and health standards as these changes occur frequently. To make sure that the staff members understand the significance of adhering to food safety rules, they also need to be able to communicate effectively with them. As a food safety specialist, you would have to explain the laws and practices governing food safety to restaurant owners, farmers or other food suppliers, and staff members of kitchens. Also, you would have a lot of interaction with the authorities who control laws about food safety. It’s essential to have strong interpersonal skills so you can get along well with these people and make sure your recommendations are implemented.
  • Problem-solving skills: Food safety specialists need problem-solving skills to identify and solve any problems that could compromise the quality of food. When examining a restaurant’s kitchen, storage spaces, or food supply chain to make sure they adhere to health regulations, they apply their problem-solving skills. Food safety specialists also use these skills to address any issues that come up while conducting training sessions for restaurant staff members.
  • Time management skills: Food safety specialists need to be good at managing their time to accomplish all of their tasks on schedule. Effective time management skills entail checking the facility for potential dangers as well as making sure they have adequate time to properly teach staff members about food safety procedures and standards. To know when it’s necessary to discard specific items, food safety experts must also keep track of how long particular foods can be kept at acceptable temperatures.


How to Become a Food Safety Specialist

Step 1. Obtain a degree in the field

A bachelor’s degree in food science, public health, or a closely related discipline is required for food safety specialists. For some positions, a graduate degree may be required for employment. Microbiology, chemistry, and nutrition should be covered in the program. Through internship or volunteer opportunities, students can obtain experience in managing food. Candidates with a master’s degree in food safety or a closely related discipline are preferred by several businesses. Some institutions offer a Master of Science in Food Safety and Technology program for students interested in earning a master’s degree. Advanced knowledge of foodborne pathogens, risk assessment and management, quality assurance, and regulatory compliance are among the topics that this program is intended to cover for students.

Step 2. Obtain work experience

Work experience in the field of food safety can be obtained through internships. Although internships can also be completed after graduating, many students complete them before or during their bachelor’s degree program. When looking for positions as a food safety specialist, internships give you beneficial practical experience. Both commercial businesses and governmental organizations are options for your internship. Compared to those at a government agency, duties and responsibilities at private companies are typically more specialized. Working for a government organization, however, can aid in the development of skills that are essential in all facets of food safety. In their first jobs, food safety specialists undergo on-the-job training. They can learn the specific policies and practices of the business due to this training. Moreover, they get knowledge of the company’s policies and practices. Conferences and seminars are additional training opportunities for food safety professionals. The most recent information on food safety laws and procedures is made available to specialists through these events. Also, they can learn about modern approaches and technologies for assuring food safety.

Step 3. Obtain certifications

Certifications are not usually a requirement to become a food safety specialist, but they can show your commitment and dedication to the industry. The Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA) offers certification in the field. The FSPCA is a corporate, nonprofit organization that trains and certifies individuals who work in the field of food safety. You must pass the FSPCA’s Certified Food Protection Professional (CFPP) course to be certified as a food protection manager or supervisor. Online learning modules and a written test are also part of this course. You also need to have at least a year of experience in a management position overseeing food protection to be eligible for the CFPP certification. If you want to learn more about risk assessment, recordkeeping, and other managerial skills, you can enrol in the Certified Food Protection Manager (CFPM) course. You can also consider obtaining your Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) auditor certification. A food safety management program known as the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system identifies and manages biological, chemical, and physical dangers in the production process. You can finish training through institutions like the International HACCP Alliance or the Food Safety Consortium to become a HACCP auditor. You can evaluate if food facilities conform to laws and best practices by becoming a HACCP auditor. Additionally, you would be able to conduct on-site audits of the food safety policies of businesses.

Step 4. Join a professional association

Professional organizations like the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) are a good option. The International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) is a professional organization that offers training and networking opportunities to food safety specialists. The IAFP provides certification courses in a variety of topics, including HACCP, food safety and risk management, seafood inspection, food law and regulations, and more. You would get access to the IAFP’s online collection of resources and journals if you are a member.


Where to Work as a Food Safety Specialist

Food safety specialists are employed in a variety of places such as food processing and manufacturing plants, restaurants, grocery stores, and other food service establishments. Food safety professionals may also work in laboratories or office settings. They typically work full il time some may have to work evenings or weekends to meet up with demands and get tasks done. They may also need to work overtime occasionally to fulfill deadlines or to respond to emergencies like foodborne disease outbreaks.


Food Safety Specialist Salary Scale

The salary scale of food safety specialists varies drastically based on some factors such as years of experience in the field, skills, level of education,  location, and employer. In the US, the salaries of Food Safety Specialists are from $52,000 to $75,000, with a median salary of $55,561 per year. A Food  Safety Specialist in Nigeria typically earns around 5,570,000 NGN per year. The range is from 2,780,000 NGN to 8,630,000 NGN. In Canada, the median annual salary of a Food Safety Specialist is $70,585, with a range usually between $51,199 and $86,672. The salary scale of Food Safety Specialists in the UK ranges from £32,437 to £72,836, with an average annual salary of £40,000 per year.

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