According to Food Safety (2016) a food inspector’s work is tracking down food contamination and enforcing accurate food labeling. The food inspector deals with both bacteriological and chemical contamination of food products. A food inspector’s jurisdiction is from food packing plants, slaughterhouses, hotels to a public food selling parlors. The food inspector checks on wherever food gets prepared according to proper health guidelines and health codes.
Duties of a Food Inspector
a) Procure sample for analysis
Food Inspection (2016) demonstrates that sample taking by a food inspector gets done through taking a portion of food to represent the whole product for testing and analysis. The process of sample taking involves visiting and inspection of a food premise. After food premise owner or manager signs the sampling form, the food inspector proceeds to take the sample. Consignment inspection and sample taking are done according to the food safety procurement form. The food inspector then takes the sample to the laboratory for analysis and after which there is production of a Certificate of Analyses. The Certificate of Analysis tells if the foodstuff should be approved or rejected.
b) Investigate a complaint
When the office of food safety gets a food quality complaint, the food inspector is mandated by law to investigate. The objective of a food safety investigation is to determine if there is an existence of food safety hazard, nature of the hazard and the extent of the hazard. If there is a reason to cause alarm, then appropriate actions are taken to eliminate or minimize potential risks. If food is found to have a risk and is already in the market, there is a recall of the contaminated food from the marketplace. However, there is no food safety system which guarantees zero risks at all points of production and transit (ISO 2016).
c) Inspection of vehicle suspected to contain any unsafe food
According to Study (2016), a food inspection officer also investigates requirements for food transportation vehicles, transit operations, and transportation equipment. In case there is a sanitary concern the food inspector will stop the use of the food vehicle and also stop the use of food transportation equipment before loading food. Thorough cleaning and inspection are top priority for the food inspector before allowing the food vehicles and transportation equipment to be in use.
Food transportation laws require the food inspector to check that transportation of foods gets done under time and temperature control for safety maintenance during cold chain transportation operations. The food transport law which is implemented by the food inspector ensures that exchange of information about temperature control and high sanitary level maintenance is done between the transporter and receiver. This transportation information is used to facilitate upholding of adequate sanitation practices to prevent adulteration of food products during transit (Study 2016).
d) Carry out food safety surveillance and address the safety hazards
Motarjemi and Lelievefeld ( 2014) illustrated that prevention of food contamination gets done through promotion of potential risk awareness. The food inspector surveys help in handling such threats through the implementation of basic security and precautionary measures. Food safety inspectors ensure necessary guidelines are used in the case of product tracing and recall. During emergency response of a contamination incident, a food inspector is mandated to investigate and address the food safety hazard as per law stipulation. He/she may recall food in the market and facilitate proper disposal of contaminated food.
FDA (2016) illustrates that an inspector of food security follows detailed and thorough tested preparedness plans. The responsibility of a food inspector is to do surveillance as he/she responds to a medical emergency. During this emergency response to food contamination risks, a food safety inspector will enforce public health and law to ensure no safety hazard is left undetected. Implementation of food laws may involve tracing contaminated food, food recalls, and rapid removal of unsafe food from circulation. Therefore, the food inspector will also conduct a survey to help in safe restoration food to the market. A close working relationship between the public and the food inspectors helps in quick response to food hazards.
Food Safety,. (2016). Inspections | FoodSafety.gov. Foodsafety.gov. Retrieved 12 November 2016, from https://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/government/inspections/
Food Inspection,. (2016). Food Safety Investigations – Food – Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Inspection.gc.ca. Retrieved 12 November 2016, from http://www.inspection.gc.ca/food/information-for-consumers/food-safety-investigations/eng/1332299626115/1332299812611
ISO,. (2016). ISO 22000 – Food safety management. ISO. Retrieved 12 November 2016, from http://www.iso.org/iso/home/standards/management-standards/iso22000.htm
Study,. (2016). Begin a Career as a Food Inspector: Requirements, Duties and Outlook. Study.com. Retrieved 12 November 2016, from http://study.com/articles/Begin_a_Career_as_a_Food_Inspector_Requirements_Duties_and_Outlook.html
Motarjemi, Y. & Lelievefeld, H. (2014). Food Safety Management (1st ed.). London: Academic Press
FDA,. (2016). Frequently Asked Questions on FSMA. Fda.gov. Retrieved 12 November 2016, from http://www.fda.gov/food/guidanceregulation/fsma/ucm247559.htm#Sanitary_Transportation
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