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Job Title: Food Inspector

Department: Department Of Agriculture

Agency: Food Safety and Inspection Service

Job Announcement Number:FI-378021


$31,315.00 to $50,431.00 / Per Year


Monday, December 12, 2011 to Tuesday, December 11, 2012




Full Time - Permanent




Many vacancy(s) - Location Negotiable After Selection, US


United States Citizens



• Do you want to make a difference in helping protect our nation’s food supply?
• Are you interested in safeguarding public health?
• Does working in meat and poultry industry interest you? 

**Important Information about this Open Continuous Announcement**

The Open Period of this announcement has been updated (opening and closing dates have been changed).  If you have already applied to this announcement, you do not need to reapply at this time

This is an open continuous announcement which will be used to collect applications from applicants and will be used to fill vacancies as they become available.  

We are not able to predict if or when vacancies will be filled in specific geographic areas.  You will be contacted when a position matching your geographic preference becomes available and you are among the best qualified applicants being considered for a position.  Although you may select up to five (5) geographic codes, you will not be referred for multiple locations simultaneously.  Continue to monitor the list of available geographic areas as they may be updated at any time: List of Current Available Locations (Geographic Codes)    

Our mission is to protect public health by ensuring that the commercial supply of meat, poultry, and egg products moving in interstate commerce or exported to other countries is safe, wholesome, and correctly labeled and packaged.


As a Food Inspector you will be providing the first line of defense by ensuring that regulated meat*, poultry and egg product establishments produce safe products by executing appropriate inspection methods in privately-owned meat or poultry slaughter and processing plants.  Food Inspectors ensure that the product is fit for human consumption in compliance with Federal laws governing the wholesomeness and purity of meat and poultry products.   

This position is appropriate for new or mid-career professionals seeking to start their career with the Food Safety and Inspection Service.  However, many career paths are possible.  The majority of our Inspectors are eventually promoted into positions that inspect processed meat and poultry products including frozen dinners, canned goods, and cured and smoked products.  In processing plants an Inspector reviews, verifies and monitors plant operations and records, and determines compliance with regulations. If you are also interested in Intermittent (temporary, on call) opportunities, please click on the following link: Intermittent Job Vacancy Announcement.

*The "Food Conservation and Energy Act of 2008", also referred to as the "2008 Farm Bill", was signed into Law on June 18, 2008.  The Farm Bill amends the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) to include catfish as an amenable species under the Act.



·         U.S. Citizenship

·         Specialized experience or education (See Qualification/Evaluation)

·         Resume and supporting documents

·         Registered for Selective Service, if applicable (See Benefits/Other)

·         Occupational Questionnaire completion (See How to Apply)

·         Background Suitability Investigation and fingerprints


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Major Duties:

Entry-level positions filled through this announcement generally work in slaughter plants.  As a Food Inspector examining food animals in privately-owned meat or poultry plants, you are a valued member of a dynamic team that ensures the product is fit to eat and compliant with Federal laws.  Inspection is performed before and after slaughter to guarantee the product is not contaminated and sanitation procedures are maintained. Overtime/rotating shift work may be required.

To view examples of the types of work performed, please click on: Inside Look


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You may qualify based on either education OR experience, but not a combination of the two.

GS-5 grade level based on EXPERIENCE:

You must have the equivalent of at least one year of full-time specialized experience that was obtained after your 16th birthday. Your experience must show specific examples of qualifying knowledge, judgment, interpretive ability, and technical skills and be related to a finished product.  To be certain all related experience is considered, you MUST provide detailed examples of your qualifications including dates and hours worked. Specialized experience may include, but is not limited to, the following examples of work experience:

*Processing food in a slaughter, processing or manufacturing plant, or a comparable production activity which prepares food, beverages or pharmaceuticals for human consumption. 
*Meat cutter/butcher in a wholesale or retail meat/poultry business that includes a full range of responsible duties such as sanitation, product judgment, determinations, and/or using formulas and recipes. 
*Performing Quality Control tests and/or laboratory tests in the food, beverage, pharmaceutical or pet food industry or other similar environments, assuring that standards are met with products that are consumed by humans or animals.
*Managing or supervising staff in the food or livestock industry demonstrating effective skills in communicating job requirements, evaluating employees' results of work methods or processes, interpreting standards or instructions and budget or payroll responsibilities.
*Commercial restaurant or kitchen chef or cook responsible for proper food preparation, safe food handling and sanitation practices and judgment recognizing abnormalities in food.
*Veterinary Technician conducting lab tests, assessing animals and/or partial examination of animals, performing necropsies, monitoring animals under anesthesia and administering medications.

GS-7 grade level based on EXPERIENCE:

Applicants must have the equivalent of one year of full-time regulatory experience as a state, federal or military Food Inspector responsible for sanitation practices, laws and regulations governing the food industry and processed products, product judgment determination and the ability to communicate with food industry personnel.   


Qualifying Education for the GS-5 Grade Level Only:


You may substitute the successful completion of a Bachelor's degree or full 4-year course of study in any field leading to a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university for the experience at the GS-5 level.  Courses MUST include 12 semester or 18 quarter hours in the biological, mathematical, physical or agricultural sciences. If you are within 9 months of graduating you may apply. 


If you are qualifying based on education, you must submit a copy of your official college transcripts.  Failure to do so will result in an ineligible rating.


Note: There is no education substitution at the GS-7 level.


The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Qualification Standard for the Food Inspector position may be reviewed by clicking on the following link: Food Inspector (1863) Qualifications



Medical Requirements:  The duties of a Food Inspector are performed in a hazardous working environment. Therefore, applicants must be physically and mentally able to efficiently perform the job functions, without hazard to themselves and others.  Specifically, full range of motion is required for rapid repetitive twisting and working with arms above shoulder level as well as standing and walking on slippery and uneven floors and catwalks, and climbing stairs and ladders. Applicants must be able to lift, carry, push and pull up to 44 pounds. Manual dexterity of the upper body, including arms, hands, and fingers with a normal sense of touch in both hands is mandatory. In addition, applicants must be free of chronic eye disease, have good near and distance vision and have the ability to distinguish shades of color. Any significant degree of color blindness (25 percent or more error rate on approved color plate test) is disqualifying. The ability to hear and understand conversational voice is required. The above requirements are not all inclusive. This position requires a successful passing of a pre-employment physical.


After completing the online Assessment Questionnaire, View Occupational Questionnaire you will automatically be assigned an initial self-assessed rating based on your answers.  The Human Resources Office will not evaluate your application until your name appears on a requested list of candidates for any specific location(s) you indicated.  At that time, you will be evaluated on your relevant education, work experience and training as it relates to the fundamental competencies (communication, decision making, flexibility, self management and conscientiousness), required for this  job.  All requirements for this position must be met, including a completed application package that supports your answers to the Assessment Questionnaire.  Your résumé MUST demonstrate that you possess the specialized experience or educational requirements described above AND should include detailed information on your job duties, dates (month/year) and hours worked and/or a copy of your official transcripts. 


·         Category rating procedures will be used to rank and select eligible candidates.  Applicants who meet basic minimum qualifications will be placed in one of the following quality categories:  Best Qualified, Well Qualified and Qualified.  Placement into these categories will be based on an evaluation tool tied to specific competencies relevant to this position. 

·         Veterans' Preference eligibles will receive rating and selection priority over non-preference eligible candidates within each category.  Veterans who provide proof of a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10 percent are listed in the highest quality category.

·         Regardless of quality category, you must meet all qualification requirements as of the closing date of the announcement or on the date a referral list for a geographic area is generated.  You are strongly encouraged to ensure that your work history thoroughly documents the duties, responsibilities, and accomplishments that are directly related to this position.  If the Human Resources Office is not able to verify specialized experience based on what you provide you may miss consideration for one or more vacancies.  The Human Resources Office will not conduct up front reviews and will not request missing documentation.            

Please note: If a determination is made that you have rated yourself higher than is supported by your description of experience and/or education OR that your application is incomplete, you may be assigned an "ineligible" rating. 


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The Federal government offers a number of exceptional benefits to its employees.  For an overview, please visit: Benefits Of Working For The Federal Government


      Additional HIRING FLEXIBILITIES Being Offered

FSIS is currently utilizing the Creditable Service for Annual Leave Accrual (CSALA) Hiring Flexibility
This is offered to Full-Time Food Inspectors hired in the following locations/zones with an asterisk (*) notated next to it: Geographic Locations/Zones
What is CSALA? This allows new employees to receive additional annual leave (vacation) for previous specialized work experience (related to this position) performed outside the federal government or during active duty in a uniformed service.


FSIS is currently offering First Post of Duty Travel as a Hiring Incentive for hard to fill locations
This incentive is authorized for Full-Time Food Inspectors on NEW Federal appointments in the following locations/zones with an asterisk (*) notated next to it: Geographic Locations/Zones

What does First Post of Duty Travel mean? This is actual costs incurred if position requires newly hired person to move.
Reimbursement covered is: a) Employee's travel; b) Transportation of household goods to the "first post of duty" location

Please note that this does NOT include the sale of a home, transactions related to the sale, temporary quarters, house-hunting trips, etc.


All Geographic locations, Hiring Flexibilities and Incentives Are Subject To Change


Veterans’ Preference: If you are entitled to Veterans’ Preference, you should indicate the type of veterans’ preference you are claiming on your résumé. Your entitlement will be verified by the employing agency.  Feds Hire Vets

To receive preference, you need to provide documentation showing that you have been discharged or released under honorable conditions (such as your Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, DD-214, member 4 copy; Official Statement from a branch of the Armed Forces show that honorable separation took place; or other official documentation that proves your military service was performed under honorable conditions.

Applicants claiming 10-point preference, must submit a Standard Form (SF) 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference and must also submit a copy of the required supporting documentation (such as an official statement from the Department of Veterans Affairs certifying that you have a service-connected disability, other acceptable documents are listed on the SF-15). 

Selective Service: If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, you must certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System, or are exempt from having to do so under the Selective Service Law. See Selective Service

Background Investigation:  Employment is contingent upon satisfactory completion of a background investigation and granting of a federal suitability or security clearance.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture participate in E-Verify and will provide the Social Security Administration (SSA) and, if necessary, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), with the information from each new employee's Form I-9 to confirm work authorization.  What is E-Verify?  Why is it required? 

Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) and Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP). The ICTAP and CTAP provides eligible displaced Federal competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. For information regarding ICTAP eligibility click: ICTAP and CTAP


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You will be allowed to complete the online questionnaire and application process only ONCE in a 12 month period.  Your application is valid through the closing date of the announcement unless otherwise notified. To begin the application process, please follow the three steps below:

STEP ONE: Submit a detailed résumé.  (See USAJobs Info Center

 for assistance.)

If your résumé will be from the USAJOBS Résumé Builder, begin the process by clicking the "Apply Online" button near the bottom of this page. Your résumé will be attached only to the application package you complete and submit immediately after you click the "Apply Online" button for this job announcement.

If your résumé is one you prepared outside of USAJOBS Résumé Builder, click this link to begin the process:  View Occupational Questionnaire.  Enter UM378021 in the "Create a New Application for This Job" panel, and click "Submit" to begin the online application.  You may submit your résumé either online, or by fax or mail if you do not have internet access. 

Your résumé should include details of work experience relevant to this position including:  duties and responsibilities, dates (month/year) and hours worked per week for each position, and college degrees earned (if any).  You should also include:

·         Vacancy Identification Number UM378021, title and grade(s) for which you are applying (Food Inspector, GS-05/07).

·         Full name, mailing address (with zip code), day/evening telephone numbers and current email address.

STEP TWO: Complete and Submit the Assessment Questionnaire.  View Occupational Questionnaire

The primary method of applying for this vacancy is submitting an application for this job online.  If you do not have access to the internet, you are strongly encouraged to visit your library, state employement office, or another establishment that provides internet service to complete the Assessment Questionnaire on-line. If this is not an option, refer to the Alternative Methods for Applying section below for specific instructions.  Read the step-by-step instructions as a guide to completing the Assessment Questionnaire carefully to ensure accuracy before clicking “Submit”.  You may take this Assessment Questionnaire only ONCE during a twelve month period.

STEP THREE: Submit supporting documents.

·         TRANSCRIPTS:  Copies of official college transcripts for degree(s) earned if education is used to qualify for this position.

·         VETERANS' PREFERENCE:  DD-214 (Member 4 copy), SF-15 and the VA letter verifying your disability rating.  Failure to submit these documents will result in you not receiving preference for this job announcement.   For further information see Feds Hire Vets.

·         SF-50:  If you are or have been a Federal employee, please submit a copy of your most recent Form SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action.

Alternative Methods for Applying:  If you are unable to apply using the internet, please fax your request for an application package along with your name and mailing address to:  612-370-2060. 



·         Résumé showing relevant work experience

·         Assessment Questionnaire  View Occupational Questionnaire

·         Copy of Official Transcripts (if qualifying based on education)

·         Veterans' Preference documentation if applicable (such as your DD214, the SF-15, and VA letter if you are claiming 10 point preference) For additional information see  Feds Hire Vets

**Failure to submit any applicable required documents will result in an ineligible rating or loss of preference until the documentation is received.


Systems Section
Phone: (800)370-3747
Fax: (612)370-2060
TDD: 800-877-8339
Agency Information:
FSIS Human Resources Office
Butler Square West 4th Floor
100 North Sixth Street
Minneapolis, MN
Fax: (612)370-2060


Once the online assessment is submitted, you will receive an acknowledgement email verifying that your submission was successfully received. The automated system initially rates applicants based on your answers in the Assessment Questionnaire. When you are being considered for a position, this self-determined rating, your résumé and supporting documents will be carefully reviewed to ensure basic qualifications are met. This review will only take place prior to consideration for possible employment. If further evaluation or interviews are required you will be contacted.   (See FAQs) 

TO CHECK YOUR APPLICATION STATUS:  You should monitor your application status by viewing the "MY ACCOUNT" tab at USAJobs.  From your account page, click on "Application Status" and you may view the latest information update.  This status is updated ONLY when new information is available.  


You are able to check your application status by lgging into USAJobs-

Agency Information:

FSIS Human Resources Office
Butler Square West 4th Floor
100 North Sixth Street
Minneapolis, MN
Fax: (612)370-2060

Questions about this job:

Systems Section
Phone: (800)370-3747
Fax: (612)370-2060
TDD: 800-877-8339

Job Announcement Number:


Control Number:


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