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Plant Food Safety Manager

Job Locations 

US-NC-Tar Heel

Job Post Information* : Posted Date 



Food Safety


Regular Full-Time

FLSA Status 



1st Shift

# of Openings 


More information about this job:


The position summary states the general nature and purpose of the job.  Overall accountabilities are defined in this section.


The Food Safety Manager has the overall accountability of ensuring the food safety system at the plant is properly written, documented and implemented - thus ensuring USDA regulatory compliance and the production of safe and wholesome meat and poultry products.  This position has a dual and equal reporting structure to the Vice President of Food Safety and the facility’s General Manager.  This reporting structure ensures a facility’s food safety system continues to flourish without unnecessary decreases in operational productivity and efficiency. The Food Safety Manager is on call 24/7.


"All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, region, sex, national origin, age, protected veteran status or status as an individual with a disability."


Responsibilities and tasks are written as follows:


40% Food Safety System Verification and Regulatory Compliance

  • On a daily basis, during production, the Food Safety Manager is accountable for verifying that all Food Safety and Regulatory programs are functioning as designed, being followed and correctly documented – thus ensuring the facility has the “regulatory evidence” required to prove they have produced safe and wholesome products. 
  • The Food Safety Manager must make scientifically defendable decisions, which ensure USDA regulatory compliance, but does not result in unjustified decreases in operational productivity or efficiency.  
  • Success or lack thereof in food safety is “highly visible” – resulting in a smooth running, highly productive facility or a facility with low productivity with products being tagged etc. 

20% Sanitation

  • Equipment cleaning and facility sanitation at pre-op and during operations is a USDA food safety regulatory requirement.  
  • The Food Safety Manager is accountable for the overall design of the facility’s sanitation program. 
  • This includes, but is not limited to authoring a written USDA regulatory program, microbiological sampling, sanitation performance tracking, training of applicable facility production and management employees and meeting regularly with the USDA to discuss the sanitation findings.
  • The Food Safety Manager will normally be at the facility at least 4 days each week by 4:30 a.m. to verify the effectiveness of the program by visually inspecting the cleanliness of the equipment in the facility.  
  • This verification of equipment cleanliness is essential because it has a direct impact on shelf life.   

20% Employee Training and Personnel Management

  • In order for a facility to be successful from a food safety perspective, the Food Safety Manager must provide solid leadership, plus design and deliver effective, understandable plant wide food safety training to a very diverse employee base. 
  • The training materials for each food safety topic must be carefully designed and tailored to the employee’s skill set and knowledge level. 
  • The Food Safety Manager is responsible for managing HR duties, performance plans/reviews, and work assignments/schedules of other food safety staff members.

15% Problem Resolution, Committee Assignments and USDA and 3rd Party Customer Audits

  • The Food Safety Manager must have the astute ability to quickly, yet thoroughly investigate a product/process failure, determine the root cause and take corrective actions.
  • Thus bringing the system back into compliance while minimizing product exposure and production down time.
  • The employee in this position is so well rounded that they will serve on special company and plant committees and task forces. 
    • Examples are the Health and Safety Committee or a task force to improve a problematic process.  
    • This Food Safety Manager is accountable for the preparation and the execution during USDA daily verification tasks, as well as numerous 3rd party audits and USDA food safety system assessments. 
  • The responsibility also includes any findings generated during these audits and corrective actions, if applicable.

5% Professional Development and Performance

  • Employee should seek continued education to enhance management and technical skills. 
  • Employee is expected to conduct daily activities in a professional manner, dress professionally and be a positive contributor to the company and facility’s goals and objectives. 
  • On behalf of the company and plant it is essential the Food Safety Manager develop and foster a strong working relationship with the USDA.



The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this job. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of personnel so classified. May perform other duties as assigned.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily.  The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals to perform the essential functions. 

  • Bachelor’s degree (B.A.) in Food Science or related field from four-year college or university and 5-8 years of experience in the meat industry and processes; or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • USDA HACCP Certified.
  • SQF Certified Expert.
  • Knowledge and understanding of food science and meat processing.
  • Knowledge of USDA, FSIS, HACCP, and SSOP requirements.
  • Knowledge of SPC and statistics.
  • Working knowledge of quality assurance principles.
  • Ability to uphold regulatory, company and customer standards.
  • Ability to respond to common inquiries or complaints from customers, regulatory agencies, or members of the business community.
  • Knowledge of Database software; Inventory software; Manufacturing software; Excel spreadsheet and Word Processing software; SAP.
  • Must be able to travel 10% of the time.  Travel is limited, however, additional travel may occur if circumstances require.

Supervisory Responsibilities:

  • Manages at least 2 direct reports and may have indirect responsibility over the microbiology and chemistry laboratory staff members.  
  • Will provide direction and guidance as needed to production employees and production supervisors.
  • Responsible for appropriate plant staff coverage to ensure key programs are performed properly.
  • Carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the organization's policies and applicable laws.
  • Responsibilities include interviewing, hiring, and training employees; planning, assigning, and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving problems.

Physical Demands:

The physical demands described here are representative of those an employee should possess to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds
  • Specific vision includes close vision, distance vision, and ability to adjust focus.
  • Frequently required to stand; walk; use hands to finger, handle, or feel; reach with hands and arms; stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl and talk or hear.

Work Environment:

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Office and plant setting.  The plant environment will include wet or humid conditions (non-weather related), extreme cold and heat (non-weather related), working near moving mechanical parts, exposure to fumes or airborne particles, and chemicals.
  • Noise level in the work environment is usually moderate but can be loud when in the production area.

Scope/Impact of Job:

Include any information here that helps define the scope and dimension of the responsibilities indicated above. (E.g. – Sales dollars responsible for, level of purchasing authority, operating expenses responsible for, number of locations managed number of claims or transactions, etc.)


The Food Safety Manager’s position is located at facilities defined per the USDA regulations as being large (>500 employees) and/or “complex” due to wide variety of different products and processes.  Plant size and complexity are key factors – because large/complex facilities require very robust food safety systems. When compared to a smaller plant, these large robust systems are multifaceted, complex in design, intricate in application and without a doubt more difficult to implement, maintain, handle, enhance and execute. 


A large and complex facility will have more than one food safety staff member, thus ensuring the food safety systems are fully functional on multiple production shifts, including weekends and holidays. However, there will only be one Food Safety Manager at each facility.  Other food safety staff members will report to the Food Safety Manager. This distinction in position and job title has been made to ensure there is no confusion regarding “who” holds the overall accountability for the facility’s food safety system.


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