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Food manufacturing inspector

Alternative titles for this job include Food quality control inspector, food safety officer

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

Average salary (a year)

£15,500 Starter


£30,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

40 to 42 a week

You could work

on call away from home

How to become a food manufacturing inspector

You can get into this job through:

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


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

More Information


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

More Information


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.

More Information

Further information

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

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

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
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and Requirements

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

What you'll do

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 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 may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

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.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Operations Apprentice

  • Wage: To be agreed upon appointment Unspecified
  • Location: Market Drayton

Operations Apprentice

  • Wage: To be agreed upon appointment Unspecified
  • Location: Shrewsbury

Courses In England

Food Safety in Catering

  • Start date: 31 July 2021
  • Location: Waterlooville

RSPH Food Safety and Hygiene Award

  • Start date: 27 April 2021
  • Location: Birkenhead

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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