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State of Washington


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Abolished Date: 2015-08-14


Serves as Regional Supervisor, planning, coordinating and supervising the work of assigned Food Safety Officers. Conducts independent detailed public health food safety inspections, Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point inspections, investigations, and/or surveillance of commercial establishments that manufacture, process, hold or transport food products intended for public consumption. Independently takes appropriate on-site action such as embargo, degrade, or plant closures. Ensures compliance with the various licensing requirements for facility design, processing, sanitation and product labeling. Provides technical assistance to the industry. Interacts with and advises the public, industry personnel, and other government officials on public health issues with regard to food safety. Provides expert-witness testimony. May be assigned special project responsibilities, to include planning and coordination.

Typical Work

Develops schedule and program priorities for work of his/her Section and supports budget requests to the agency director and/or assistant director; reviews noncompliance cases with Food Safety Officers 1 and 2 in his/her section; establishes guidelines for their handling of routine cases; approves and/or obtains necessary supervisory approval for enforcement actions of doubtful outcome of those involving public or political sensitivity (such as other agencies or governmental entities); and assists subordinates with the most difficult problems arising out of their assignments;

Provides field supervision and training to Food Safety Officers 1 and 2 in inspection of all places of food manufacture, processing, sale or storage, on a statewide basis; coordinates field work of food inspectors to ensure uniform standards and procedures; provides field supervision and training to Food Safety Officers 1 and 2 in inspection of milk and milk product plants, food processing plants, and food storage lockers; investigates special or technical problems statewide; supervises inspection of all dairy farms, milking equipment, bulk milk tankers, and pasteurization equipment;

Assists chief sanitarian in the improvement of oral, written, and practical examinations for licensure of pasteurizer operators, weighers, graders, samplers, and tank truck operators; and administers such examinations;

Prepares cases to be brought before the Director of Agriculture for formal hearing on license revocation or suspension; trains sanitarians in detection, preservation, and presentation of admissible evidence; appears in court as complaining witness in cases of prosecution for noncompliance;

Coordinates work of the Division or Section with other Divisions and/or Sections of the Department and with adjacent or cooperating units of other agencies and/or commissions; advises Division of joint projects; guides staff in obtaining and maintaining community support for Division programs;

Prepares summaries of Section inspection activities for monthly and biennial reports; plans staff meetings for sanitarians, arranging with experts in the field of food or dairy technology from private enterprise and from local, State, and Federal regulatory agencies to attend and speak; make assignments of various phases of food or dairy sanitation and technology to sanitarians for preparation of papers and discussions at such seminars; performs duties of Section head during his/her absence; conducts inspections, enforcement, and activities common to the Food Safety Officers 1 and 2;

Performs other work as required.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: theory, principles, and practices of sanitation enforcement, dairy and food technology and sanitation, sanitation code and related laws and court decisions; rules of evidence, laws of arrest, search and seizure; statistical procedures; Federal, State, and local laws and regulations concerning manufacturing, processing, storage, handling, and sale of foodstuffs and/or milk and other dairy products; organization and responsibilities of counties, cities, local, or industry sanitation authorities; techniques for generating public interest and support.

Ability to: use sound, independent professional judgment in making decisions on difficult enforcement problems, analyze and prepare plans and reports; collect data from field and literature, and evaluate such data; interpret regulations, requirements and policies of the Department; negotiate with public officials and industrial management, using tact, diplomacy, and mature judgment; write clear, concise and informative reports; travel frequently and for extended periods; estimate time, staff, and equipment costs, schedule and supervise work program for several subordinates; train beginning level sanitarians; engender cooperation from counterparts in other agencies and divisions.

Legal Requirement(s)

There may be instances where individual positions must have additional licenses or certification. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the appropriate licenses/certifications are obtained for each position.

Desirable Qualifications

A Bachelor's degree involving major study in bacteriology, microbiology, food science, food technology, biochemistry, dairy science, or a natural science in a closely allied field.


Three years of experience as a Washington State Food Safety Officer.

Two years of the experience above can be substituted by any of the following: two years of experience as a food or dairy inspector or two years of equivalent public health regulatory-related experience or three years of quality control experience in a food or dairy processing plant.

A Master's degree involving major study in one of the above education fields will substitute for one year of the experience but not for the one year of experience as a Washington State Food Safety Officer.

For promotion only: Experience as a Washington State Food Safety Officer will substitute, year for year, for up to two years of the education requirement.

Class Specification History

Revised definition, minimum qualifications and general revisions: 6-15-79
Revised definition and minimum qualifications: 3-15-85
Revised definition, minimum qualifications and title change (formerly Sanitarian 3): 7-13-90
Revised definition and minimum qualifications: 10-15-99
New class code: (formerly 62140) effective July 1, 2007

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