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Health Inspector

Health Inspectors serve a crucial role in the food service industry. Their responsibilities include observation and monitoring of food handling practices, inspecting and testing food temperatures in refrigerators and storage areas, testing water temperature, levels, and usage of food sanitizers. Once problems are discovered, they utilize their expertise and training to prepare written reports and instruction for correcting procedures and methods that insure food safety.

Health Inspectors conduct investigations of work environments to insure that safety and health requirements are met. Specifically, a typical visit from a restaurant health inspector might include observation and monitoring in one of several areas:

  • Dry Storage – inspectors will insure that all foods and dry ingredients are stored in an appropriate designated area away from furnace rooms, and restrooms and that chemical are labeled and stored away from foods to prevent chemical contamination.
  • Cooking – insuring that foods are heated at sufficient temperatures that prevent microorganisms from infecting the food.
  • Assessing to insure Cooling Procedures are appropriate and that heat is removed from the food quickly enough to prevent microbial growth.
  • Observing food handling to insure that employees minimize use of bare hands when handling cooked foods and monitoring equipment, utensils, and determining effectiveness of procedures used relative to food contact surfaces to insure they are washed and sanitized before and after use.
  • Prepares written reports summarizing all issues observed and corrective actions that need to be taken.

A Health Inspector may be required to complete a 2-4 year degree, preferably in an area related to food safety. The must possess excellent verbal communication skills, good writing abilities and be able to organize travel itineraries for travel inspection sites. They must be able to work independent of direct supervision, and have a mastery of time management. In addition, they must have good eyesight or corrected eyesight in order to work safely around equipment as well identify insect pests and to prepare necessary report without assistance. The salary range for this career position is $28,000-$50,000 depending on locale, education, and work experience.

Schools to consider: