Food Safety Specialist

More than 70 million Americans contract a foodborne illness annually. Federal and state agencies responsible for food safety develop regulations designed to improve food production standards. Food safety specialists inspect food production facilities and restaurants to ensure these regulations are followed.

Food safety specialists are environmental health experts trained to identify food safety risks and monitor food production, packaging, and transportation companies. Likewise, they inspect equipment at large food production companies to ensure it adheres to food safety standards.

Education and Training

Food safety specialists typically study science as undergraduates. Some states offer food safety certification programs. Food safety specialists frequently hold master’s degrees in environmental science or agriculture.

The Department of Agriculture (USDA) has many entry-level positions available for food inspectors with bachelor’s degrees and some applicable work experience.

Food safety specialists certified as Registered Sanitarians (REHS/RS) or Environmental Health Specialists typically get more job offers and make more money.

Additionally, food safety specialists with graduate degrees in environmental toxicology, health risk evaluation, food safety, infectious diseases, or epidemiology also usually enjoy enhanced career opportunities.

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