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Food Inspection Series 1863

Food Inspection Series, 1863

Individual Occupational Requirements

Experience and Education Requirements


For GS-5 positions, applicants must have one year (52 weeks) of specialized experience. Qualifying specialized experience must demonstrate the applicant's knowledge, judgment, interpretative ability, and technical skill associated with the production of a finished product which meets all prescribed standards of quality and conforms with approved production methods. Such experience may have been gained in the following:

  • Experience in a slaughter or processing plant, or a comparable manufacturing or production activity which prepares food for human consumption. This experience must demonstrate skills in sorting good from bad; applying, interpreting, and explaining standards, making decisions, and communicating with others.
  • Experience as a meat cutter/butcher in a wholesale or retail meat/poultry business, provided a full range of responsible duties are performed such as cutting or butchering, sanitation, dealing with customers, meeting customer standards, use of judgment, interpretation of various requirements, and sorting acceptable from unacceptable.
  • Quality control or laboratory analytical experience in the food industry or other similar production environments.
  • Supervisory responsibilities in the food or livestock industry, which demonstrates the applicant applied and has effective skills in communicating job requirements, evaluating results of work methods or processes, applying instructions, and interpreting standards or regulations.
  • Responsibility for management or supervision of a full scale commercial or industrial livestock or poultry enterprise.
  • Work experience as a chef or cook in a commercial establishment which demonstrates responsibility for proper food preparation, handling, and sanitation practices.



Undergraduate education (for GS-5 positions): Successful completion of a full 4 year course of study leading to a bachelor's degree in an accredited college or university, that included 12 semester hours in the biological, physical, mathematical, or agricultural sciences.

NOTE: Education is not creditable for positions above the GS-5 level.

For positions above GS-5, applicants must have demonstrated one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the next lower grade level in the normal line of progression in the organization in which the position is being filled.

Specialized experience is regulatory food inspection work which involved either ante- and post-mortem inspection of red meat animals, poultry, fish, or seafood; or inspection of production of processed products involving red meat, poultry, fish, seafood, or egg products.

This experience must have demonstrated:

  • knowledge of general sanitation practices, laws, and regulations governing the food industry;>
  • knowledge of Federal laws and regulations pertaining to fitness of red meat animals,poultry, fish, or seafood for human consumption; or knowledge of Federal laws and regulations applicable to the processing of red meat, poultry, fish, seafood, or egg products; and
  • ability to communicate effectively with supervisors and workers in the food industry.

Applicants for food inspector (processed products) positions at grades 10 and above must have one year of experience in the inspection of processed products. This experience must have demonstrated knowledge of Federal laws and regulations applicable to the processing of red meat, poultry, fish, seafood, or egg products. Such processed products inspection must have been at the medium level of complexity or higher.

Medical Requirements

The duties of positions in this occupational series require constant, rapid, and repetitive physical exertion in a hazardous working environment. Persons appointed will be subject to extreme physical demands and protracted hours of work in various environmental conditions ranging from excessive cold to damp, to dry, and extreme heat and humidity.

Before entering on duty, all individuals must undergo a medical examination. Failure to meet any of the required medical qualifications will usually be considered disqualifying for employment except where substantial evidence is presented that the individual can perform the essential functions of the job efficiently and without hazard to themselves or others, with or without reasonable accommodation.

The following medical conditions must be met:

Eyes: Individuals must not have disqualifying acute or chronic eye disease, including, but not limited to, diabetic retinopathy. Corrected distant vision must test at least 20/40 in one eye. Individuals must be able to read printed material the size of small type used in newspaper tabulations. Individuals must have clear and accurate depth perception.

Ears: The ability to hear and understand the conversational voice is required. Individuals with some hearing loss and/or requiring hearing amplification will be assessed on a case by case basis.

Color Vision: Individuals must have the ability to distinguish shades of color. Any significant degree of color blindness (more than 25 percent error rate on approved color plate test) may be disqualifying.

Heart and blood vessels: Individuals must not have organic heart disease (i.e., blood pressure that consistently exceeds 155 systolic or 95 diastolic). High blood pressure that is regulated with no side effects to no more than the above systolic and diastolic readings may be qualifying.

Full range of motion: Individuals must have the ability to twist from left to right at a rapid repetitive rate; work with arms at or above the shoulder level; lift and carry 30 pounds with occasional lifting up to 50 pounds; stand and walk on slippery and uneven floors and catwalks, and climb stairs and ladders. Individuals must be able to perform all of the above for eight (8) or more hours per day.

Manual dexterity: Individuals must have dexterity of the upper body, including arms, hands, and fingers. Individuals must have a normal sense of touch in both hands. Any evidence of repetitive motion conditions (e.g., carpal tunnel syndrome or lateral epicondylitis) may be disqualifying.

Arms and hands must be intact. Individuals with amputations of the lower extremities must have an appropriate prosthesis that allows long periods (eight or more hours per day) of standing or walking on rough, wet, and slippery surfaces (floors, stands, etc.).

Respiratory Disorders: Individuals with evidence of lung disease and/or active tuberculosis may be disqualified.

Seizure Disorders/Hypoglycemia with Stupor or Unconsciousness: Individuals with a history of seizures or episodes of hypoglycemia with stupor or unconsciousness may be disqualified.

Consideration will be given to frequency, duration, and severity of the condition, and use of medication to control the condition. This includes side effects from using the medication and the individual's ability to maintain the treatment regime. Individuals must be seizure/episode free for a one (1) year period of time to be considered eligible for appointment to the food inspection occupation.

Hernias: Inguinal and femoral hernias with or without the use of a truss may be disqualifying. Other hernias may be disqualifying if they would interfere with performance of the duties of the position.

Skin: Individuals with chronic dermatitis of the hands may be disqualified.

Nose, Mouth, and Throat: Chronic diseases or conditions that interfere with distinct speech or with free breathing (with or without a breathing apparatus) may be disqualifying. Normal sense of smell is required.

Nervous System: Individuals must not have mental, nervous, organic, or functional neuro-psychiatric disorders likely to interfere with performance of the duties of the position.

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