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Meat hygiene inspector

Meat hygiene inspectors make sure processing plants and slaughterhouses follow safety and hygiene standards during food production.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £17,000 to £30,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You’ll need:

  • experience of working in the meat industry, like in a slaughterhouse or meat processing plant
  •  a level 2 certificate in proficiency in meat inspection or level 4 diploma in proficiency in poultry meat inspection

The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) has information on colleges and training centres offering these courses.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • excellent powers of observation
  • attention to detail
  • the ability to deal with difficult people or situations
  • the ability to keep accurate records and write reports

3. What you'll do

You could work in the food trade, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) or with veterinary officials.

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • inspecting the hygiene in slaughterhouses, cutting plants, factories and cold stores
  • checking animal welfare conditions
  • inspecting live animals, game or poultry for signs of disease
  • helping to carry out post mortems on diseased animals
  • checking meat transportation conditions
  • making sure unfit meat is destroyed          
  • suggesting improvements and making sure they’re carried out

4. Salary

Starter: £17,000

Experienced: £20,000 to £27,000

Highly Experienced: £30,000

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll work 37 to 40 hours a week, which may include evenings or weekends.

You’ll spend much of your time travelling between different inspection sites.

Conditions can be cold in slaughterhouses and storage areas, and warm in factory processing areas.

You’ll wear protective clothing when carrying out inspections.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress to become a manager in food retail or manufacturing, or a supervisor or manager in the FSA.

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Last updated: 08 December 2016