Job Overview


The mission of the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is to increase food security and reduce hunger in partnership with cooperating organizations by providing children and low-income people with access to food, a healthy diet, and nutrition education in a manner that supports American agriculture and inspires public confidence. FNS provides excellent opportunities for specialized training through its own facilities and outside resources. Career guidance and on- and off-the-job training programs are tailored to an individual employee's needs. If you want to apply your knowledge and skills to food program activities that seek to strengthen America, there is a challenging and rewarding career waiting for you with FNS!

This position is located in the Supplemental Nutrition and Safety Programs (SNAS), Office of Food Safety.

This position is being concurrently announced under Merit Promotion procedures on FNCS-16-SNAS-020. Disabled Veterans, candidates with 3 or more years of active duty military service, and candidates eligible for special hiring authorities can apply to the Merit Promotion announcement if they meet criteria for the above and include supporting documents. Depending on a variety of circumstances, telework may be available.


These duties are described at the FPL GS-13, the GS-12 is developmental leading to such performance.

As a Food Safety Specialist, the incumbent will perform the following duties focusing on food safety education and training:

  • Serve as an expert on agricultural production, food industry practices, and new technologies in food processing as they relate to food safety issues, and is knowledgeable of public health issues relative to food safety in order to identify, summarize, and present possible solutions to issues that might have an impact on the food quality, safety, and acceptability of foods distributed through the FNS nutrition assistance programs.
  • Understand important and emerging food safety issues and research in order to resolve critical situations regarding USDA nutrition assistance program food products and food packages
  • Regularly monitor the complaint system and uses professional judgment to determine the food safety significance of those complaints and the risk of foodborne illness or injury
  • Use knowledge and experience in food safety, agricultural production, and food science and technology to respond to complex and highly technical food safety questions and issues, and develop educational materials on food safety and agricultural issues for a general audience
  • Utilize strong writing and organizational skills to advance project tasks such as planning and coordinating meetings and conference calls or drafting, reviewing and editing documents.
  • Coordinate all food safety-related activities with other agencies
  • Develop educational materials on food safety and agricultural issues for a general audience.

Travel Required

  • Occasional Travel
  • Travel up to 25% may be required.

Relocation Authorized

  • No

Job Requirements

Key Requirements

  • US Citizenship is required.
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.
  • A 1-year probationary period may be required.


All documents must be received and eligibility requirements must be met by the closing date of the announcement.

EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS: You must possess a degree with a major study in food science/food safety or public health with a food safety emphasis, nutrition, public health, epidemiology, veterinary medicine, and agriculture sciences. Please submit a copy of your transcripts that supports this requirements. A Master's degree is preferred.

GS-12: Specialized experience at the GS-11 level, or equivalent, which is directly related to the position as listed in this announcement and has equipped the candidate with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the duties of the position successfully. Specialized experience includes knowledge of and familiarity with local and regional food systems policy and practice, including experience participating in the design of programs related to local and regional food systems. Specialized experience also includes knowledge of federal child nutrition assistance programs, including experience supporting the implementation of school meal programs.

GS-13: Specialized experience at the GS-12 level, or equivalent, which is directly related to the position as listed in this announcement and has equipped the candidate with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the duties of the position successfully. Experience for this position includes researching and identifying information related to food safety sufficient to provide technical guidance on food safety issues; providing informative and technically accurate written responses to food safety crises, or emergency situations; and assisting with planning, developing, writing, and executing educational programs based on sound food safety science with the goal of preventing food borne illnesses and injuries.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

•  Have your salary sent to a financial institution of your choice by Direct Deposit/Electronic Funds Transfer.
•  If you are newly hired, the documentation you present for purposes of completing the Department Homeland Security (DHS) Form I-9 on your entry-on-duty date will be verified through the DHS "E-VERIFY" system. Federal law requires the use of E-VERIFY to confirm the employment eligibility of all new hires. Under this system, the new hire is required to resolve any identified discrepancies as a condition of continued employment.
•  To be eligible for appointment to this position, the new hire must be cleared to come on board once the results of the fingerprint check, review of the OF-306, Declaration for Federal Employment, and the candidate’s Electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing (eQIP) entries have been reviewed and determined to be satisfactory.  This position requires a favorable credit check as part of the background investigation.

Security Clearance

Q - Nonsensitive

Additional Information

What To Expect Next

If you set up your USAJOBS account to send automatic email notifications, you will receive an email acknowledging: 1) the submission of your online Occupational Questionnaire and resume was successful,  2) if you were referred to the selecting official for consideration, and  3) if you were selected or not selected. If you choose not to set up automatic email notifications, you must check your USAJOBS account for the latest status of your application. Your application may be reviewed to verify that you meet the qualifications and eligibility requirements for the position prior to issuing lists to a selecting official. If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted. Normally, a final job offer to the selected candidate is made within 30-60 days after the issuance of the certificate.



The Federal Government offers a comprehensive benefits package.  Explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees at: .


Other Information

  • Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP), Reemployment Priority List (RPL), or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): For information on how to apply as a CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP eligible see To be well-qualified and exercise selection priority for this vacancy, surplus or displaced Federal employee must meet the basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors, and be rated and determined to be well qualified (or above) based on an evaluation of the competencies listed in the How You Will Be Evaluated section. When assessed through a score-based category rating method, applicants must receive a rating of at least 85 out of a possible 100.
  • This position is eligible for telework and other flexible work arrangements. Employee participation is at the discretion of the supervisor.
  • This is a bargaining designated position
  • This announcement may be used to fill additional like vacancies should any occur in the announced duty location.
  • Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact: USDAs TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD).
  • It is the policy of the Government not to deny employment simply because an individual has been unemployed or has had financial difficulties that have arisen through no fault of the individual. See more information at:

This job originated on For the full announcement and to apply, visit Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at will be considered.