Job Code Pay Scale Group Pay Scale Type Bargaining Unit Civil Service or Non-Civil Service Last Executive Board Change Executive Board Change History
51820 06 ST G4 C 779-06 11/12/2020
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JOB CODE: 51820

SERIES NATURE OF WORK: The Food Inspector job series describes work in the inspection and enforcement of regulations involving food products and facilities.

DEFINITION: This is professional investigative and enforcement work in the inspection of facilities including milk and juice production and egg processing within an assigned geographic area for the Department of Agriculture.

An employee in this job is responsible for inspecting and monitoring pasteurized and raw milk farms and facilities, juice processing facilities, egg processing facilities, and produce farms to determine and enforce compliance with state and federal laws and regulations. Work involves inspecting farms and processing facilities to evaluate construction, sanitary conditions, type and care of equipment, and proper operating procedures; inspecting milk facilities to ensure accuracy of procedures, the frequency of tests, and to verify proper reporting of test results for compliance with public health service standards of sanitation and food safety; conducting on-farm bottling and processing inspections for intrastate milk shipping operations to determine if participating facilities are conforming to the state standards of milk safety; and investigating complaints involving sanitation and labeling. Work also includes conducting Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) inspections in both milk and juice processing facilities; evaluating the performance of certified approved inspectors employed by the milk industry; administering written and practical tests for individuals applying for a certified approved inspectors certificate; inspecting seasonal farm labor camps to ensure adequate housing for farm workers; and reviewing plans for construction or new equipment in dairy plants for compliance with state regulations and recommending approval or disapproval of associated permits. Work may also involve regulatory inspection and grading service duties related to agricultural commodities at wholesale and retail food stores, distributors, warehouses, growers, and processing plants. Work is performed with considerable independence but is reviewed by a Regional Food Safety Supervisor through regular conferences and written reports.

EXAMPLES OF WORK: (NOTE: The examples of work are representative of the work, but every position classified to this job may not perform all examples of work listed. Conversely, this is not an all-inclusive list of work examples.)

• Inspects dairy and produce farms, milk receiving stations, raw milk dealers, ice cream plants, milk and juice processing plants, retail food establishments, and food distribution, warehousing, and manufacturing facilities to determine and enforce compliance with state and federal regulations pertaining to standards of food safety, processing methods, quality, and sanitation.

• Monitors work of Pennsylvania approved inspectors engaged in inspecting and maintaining milk safety standards at dairy farms.

• Reviews Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point plans, verifies critical control points, and ensures implementation of corrective action plans at milk and juice facilities.

• Conducts sanitary inspections of egg plants and processing equipment and evaluates egg processing procedures, including proper water temperatures, pH levels, proper sanitizing procedures, vector control programs, and water supply.

• Determines the quality of eggs packed for consumers and makes determinations relating to the safety of those eggs and the disposition of restricted eggs.

• Conducts sanitary inspections of farms covered under the Federal Produce Safety Rule.

• Examines and approves applicants for Pennsylvania approved milk inspector certificates.

• Performs U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) good agriculture practices/good handling practices and harmonized food safety verification audits for fresh fruit and vegetable growers, packers, and others in the marketing chain.

• Samples and inspects agricultural commodities to enforce compliance with regulations pertaining to quality and grade.

• Determines violations of food laws and regulations.

• Prepares written reports of inspections and recommends action concerning violations.

• Testifies as a representative of the department at legal proceedings.

• Conducts investigations into suspected cases of foodborne illnesses to aid in determining source(s) of potentially contaminated products and to eliminate the cause of the outbreak.

• Investigates and resolves consumer complaints regarding sanitation, quality, and labeling of products.

• Meets with the public and industry representatives to provide program information.

• Prepares correspondence to facility operators, owners, and local and federal governmental officials.

• Inspects seasonal farm labor camps to include verifying availability of proper water supplies, sewage disposal facilities, and housing accommodations.

• Investigates complaints of safety violations involving seasonal farm labor camp housing.

• Approves permits for seasonal farm labor camps.

• Responds to emergency situations involving food safety, such as floods, fires, power outages, toxic chemical spills, and vehicular and rail accidents, to ensure that unsafe food is identified and properly disposed of.

• Performs label reviews to verify items have appropriate labeling and packaging, as prescribed by federal law.

• Collects and submits samples of food products for laboratory testing.

• Seizes or detains food products or ingredients suspected of being adulterated or unfit for human consumption.

• Assists with training lower-level technicians and interns on basic food safety practices and principles.

• Operates a motor vehicle.

• Performs related work as required.


• Knowledge of adulterants, preservatives, and visual characteristics pertaining to food for human consumption.

• Knowledge of laws, rules, and regulations concerning food safety standards.

• Knowledge of the principles of food safety and sanitation.

• Knowledge of the general principles, methods, and equipment used in food production and processing.

• Knowledge of the methods used to perform inspections of food and food processing equipment.

• Knowledge of the methods and practices of sample collection and preservation.

• Ability to read and interpret written information.

• Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships.

• Ability to communicate effectively orally.

• Ability to communicate effectively in writing.

• Ability to operate a motor vehicle.

MINIMUM EXPERIENCE AND TRAINING: (NOTE: Based on the Entry Level Knowledges, Skills, and Abilities)

• One year of experience in the inspection of produce farms, egg processing facilities, dairy farms, milk processing plants, or related food processing facilities, and a bachelor’s degree in food science, food technology, dairy or animal science, or a closely related field;


• An equivalent combination of experience and training.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENT: All positions require possession of an active motor vehicle license.