Occ. Code 6410210









New York State Department of Civil Service


Classification Standard




Food Inspectors conduct or supervise food safety inspections of food establishments to ensure sanitary, wholesome, and pure food in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.  They prevent fraud, adulteration and misrepresentation in the processing, packaging, storage, distribution, and sale of food and food products by educating food establishment operators on applicable laws and regulations; sampling food products to verify food safety controls, product labeling, and contents; and issuing written notices, letters, and reports citing food establishment violations and enforcement actions.


Most Food Inspector positions are classified in the Department of Agriculture and Markets.




FOOD INSPECTOR 1:  entry level; independently conducts food establishment inspections in an assigned geographic region.


FOOD INSPECTOR 2:  first supervisory level; supervises six to eight Food Inspectors 1 in an assigned geographic area; schedules, assigns, reviews, and observes the work of Food Inspectors 1.


FOOD INSPECTOR 3:  second supervisory level; plans and administers an entire food safety and inspection program for an assigned geographic area.




Dairy Products Specialists perform or supervise on-site sanitary inspections and investigations of dairy products, producers, laboratories, processors and handlers to ensure that clean and wholesome products are produced and sold in a sanitary manner without deceptive practices.


Farm Products Grading Inspectors perform or supervise the inspection, grading, and certification of farm products such as fruits and vegetables, poultry, and eggs.


Kosher Food Inspectors perform or supervise inspections and investigations of wholesale and retail establishments that process, manufacture, sell or serve food that is labeled, advertised or otherwise represented as kosher to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations.


Sanitarians perform or supervise facility inspections and investigations relating to environmental health, sanitation and safety.  State and local health departments inspect and regulate places where food is consumed on the premises or sold ready-to-eat for off-premises consumption.






Inspects food production, processing, storage, distribution operations and retail food establishments for food product safety, sanitation, labeling, and packaging.


Documents the conditions under which food products are processed, packed, stored, distributed, and sold at retail.


Documents observed violations of the physical plant, food processing equipment and procedures, raw materials, ingredients storage and handling, employee health and hygiene, water supply, waste disposal, food product storage, and distribution areas.


Evaluates food establishments using Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) standards to document food safety control system deficiencies to prevent food spoilage, cross-contamination, and risk to human health.


Performs field testing on food products; collects samples to submit for further laboratory analysis; and isolates food products for seizure or disposal when the products do not meet expected safety or quality standards.


Writes inspection reports and communicates food safety and inspection program requirements, violations, and required corrective actions to regulated food establishments.


Conducts follow-up inspections of food establishments cited for violations.


May investigate consumer complaints, food borne illnesses, and other incidents potentially affecting food quality and health and safety of the public.


May conduct sanitary and economic inspections and investigations of medicated feed mills, grain elevators, bakeries, beverage plants, and egg products plants.


May testify in court or at administrative hearings to provide evidence of food safety and inspection violations.


May inspect food establishments for compliance with Halal laws and regulations.




Performs the more difficult or complex inspections and investigations; authorizes food seizures; monitors all activities in their designated area to determine the scope of a food safety violation including the traceback of foods to its source; and confers with food establishments that frequently violate food safety and inspection laws and regulations.


Selects food establishments for Food Security Vulnerability Assessments; assigns Food Inspectors 1 to document the risk of food tampering or bio-terrorism; and applies agency protocols to manage bio-terrorism programs within an assigned region.


Conducts periodic audits of Food Inspectors 1 as a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) certified auditor.


Assigns work, evaluates performance, counsels staff, approves time off, trains staff, and conducts interviews.


May audit food establishment HACCP plans and serve as a certified trainer for HACCP training classes attended by Food Inspectors and industry representatives.


May serve as a Retail Food Specialist and educate grocery stores and supermarkets to correct frequent violations cited during food inspections.


May develop and approve retail food store operator continuing education courses on food safety for food handlers and audit courses to ensure all required elements are included and an appropriate course is delivered.


May be assigned Statewide responsibility to administer food safety and inspection programs.




Plans and directs food safety and inspection programs for an assigned geographic area.







Administers food safety and inspection program enforcement and regulatory procedures for an assigned geographic area.






Reviews and approves food establishment press releases to notify the media, government officials, and the public regarding product recalls and adulterated food  in conjunction with Division and Department management.


Represents the Department as liaison to industry and maintains close working relationships with officials from federal, State, and local governments. 

Collaborates with federal, State, and local governments to eliminate duplicate inspections and share information on agency programs to promote inter-agency cooperation.

May be assigned Statewide responsibility to administer food safety and inspection programs, in addition to supervising a regional food safety and inspection program.







Open Competitive:  Bachelors Degree in chemistry, microbiology, food quality control, epidemiology, entomology, food technology, food science, food processing technology, food sanitation, dairy science, biology, environmental sanitation or environmental health and satisfactory completion of a one-year traineeship, OR; completion of 18 semester credit hours in chemistry, microbiology, food quality control, epidemiology, entomology, food technology, food science, food processing technology, food sanitation, dairy science, biology, environmental sanitation or environmental health AND any one of the following:


1. Satisfactory completion of a two-year traineeship, OR;


2. Six months of experience in a position in which the primary responsibility involves the application of scientific techniques in the areas of environmental health protection and sanitation of food establishments or quality control of food products at a wholesale food manufacturing facility, AND satisfactory completion of a one-year traineeship.




Promotion:  One year of permanent competitive service as a Food Inspector 1.




Promotion:  One year of permanent competitive service as a Food Inspector 2.



Rev. 7/15





NOTE: Classification Standards illustrate the nature, extent and scope of duties and responsibilities of the classes they describe.  Standards cannot and do not include all of the work that might be appropriately performed by a class.  The minimum qualifications above are those that were required for appointment at the time the Classification Standard was written.  Please contact the Division of Staffing Services for current information on minimum qualification requirements for appointment or examination.