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Food Scientist Specialist

Date Posted:  Sep 20, 2021
Requisition ID:  120167

Greensburg, IN, US, 47240

Work for Indiana

Grow your career with the State of Indiana! With more than 50 executive branch agencies, the State of Indiana is a diverse workforce offering employees stimulating and challenging projects across a broad scope of career opportunities. As a State of Indiana employee, you impact the well-being of Indiana’s communities every day.


About the Indiana State Department of Health:

The Indiana State Department of Health’s mission is to promote and provide essential public health services for a healthier and safer state.


Salary Information:

This position traditionally starts at an annual salary of $36,946.00.  Salary for this position may be commensurate with education and job experience.

About the Job:

The Food Scientist performs a variety of activities concerning the enforcement of laws and regulations governing the processing, packaging, labeling, storage and distribution of food products. Incumbent conducts food inspections based on risk assessment, priority in necessary frequency. Provides consultation services to the food industry, potential new businesses and training to local health department food protection personnel. Incumbent may provide standardization evaluation and training services to candidates for certification in local health departments.

A Day in the Life:

The essential functions of this role are as follows:

  • Conducts inspections and investigations of food products, storage and preparation facilities examining sanitary practices to ensure compliance with state and federal laws. Prepares technical reports of inspections, documenting observations and making recommendations for action;
  • Recommends compliance actions to the Retail Supervisor and the Program Director for establishment corrections and improvements, including the interpretation of state and federal laws regarding the facility and employee practices; recommends corrective actions;
  • Coordinates pre-standardization evaluation activities with local health department staff who are candidates for the certification in preparation for standardization activities by other staff;
  • Conducts sampling of food products and facility water for composition and bacteriological analysis; and evaluates chemicals and additives used in the establishment;
  • Provides consultation, technical assistance, training and program information when appropriate or requested to the food industry, consumers, local health department food staff, and other agencies;
  • Interprets federal and state laws, rules and regulations governing food protection utilizing good written and verbal communication to field staff, industry, consumers and local health departments;
  • Reviews blueprint and specifications for food production/storage facilities for those retail food facilities under program inspection and on state property in conjunction with the official program Plan Review Specialist. Provides consultation for potential new food businesses;
  • Conducts special sampling or surveillance initiatives as assigned;
  • Investigates complaints on food establishments and suspected foodborne disease outbreaks in coordination with the Rapid Response Team;
  • Participates in meetings, conferences and training sessions as assigned by the Retail Supervisor on local, state and national level;
  • Testifies in administrative hearings and courts of law about the status of facilities subject to our food protection rules and laws;
  • Investigates hazardous events such as fires, floods, tornadoes, and truck/train wrecks or food processing equipment breakdowns and assures the disposal of dangerous, mislabeled or contaminated foods;
  • Effectively uses electronic forms of communication and reporting tools, such as email, internet and USA Food Safety software;
  • Maintains updated schedule at least one  week in advance and any deviations are immediately forwarded to the central office secretary

The job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee. Other duties, responsibilities and activities may change or be assigned at any time.

What You'll Need for Success:
  • Extensive knowledge of food protection principles, food science and practices including bacteriology, microbiology, chemistry, epidemiology, food technology and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) theory;
  • Extensive knowledge of, and the ability to apply federal, state and local laws, rules, and regulations which govern food protection;
  • Thorough knowledge of legal procedures for collecting evidence and preparing to testify in court proceedings;
  • Considerable knowledge of Indiana State Department of Health organization, functions, policies, and procedures as they relate to the Food Protection program as well as the role and structure of federal and local government health agencies and officials;    ·
  • Specialized knowledge of inspection methods, of food manufacturing, preservation and packaging techniques, such as irradiation, reduced oxygen packaging, acidified foods and low-acid canning techniques;
  • Ability to conduct investigations and inspections of food facilities including conducting tests utilizing equipment, such as chemical test kits and collecting appropriate samples for laboratory analysis;
  • Ability to recognize, observe, and evaluate potentially hazardous sanitation conditions and law violations and prepare technical reports documenting findings;
  • Ability to collect and analyze data and prepare reports/technical documents for administrative or regulatory action;
  • Specialized knowledge of and ability to review plans and specifications of facility construction and equipment layout and to communicate appropriate recommendations for needed changes;
  • Ability to communicate, verbally and in writing with individuals and in group situations;
  • Ability to direct statewide crisis reaction situations, such a special sampling, foodborne disease outbreaks, consumer complaints, suspected tampering, etc., on short notice with effective results;
  • Ability to collect and preserve food samples for laboratory analysis in accordance with chain-of-custody requirements;
  • Ability to analyze collected data, to prepare complete and logical reports and technical documents in support of administrative or court action, and to recommend a course of action;
  • Ability to conduct investigations and inspections of food establishments including proper use of specialized equipment, such as chemical test kits, pH meters, microcomputers, and thermometers;
  • Ability to use good interpersonal skills to establish harmonious relationships with industry, local, public and private agencies;
  • Ability to maturely and professionally handle verbal abuse, and threats to life, limb and personal property;
  • Must possess a valid Indiana driver's license to travel.


Benefits of Employment with the State of Indiana:

The State of Indiana offers a comprehensive benefit package for full-time employees which includes:

  • Three (3) medical plan options (including RX coverage) and vision/dental coverages
  • Wellness program (offers premiums discount for the medical plan)
  • Health savings account (includes bi-weekly state contribution)
  • Deferred compensation account (similar to 401k plan) with employer match
  • Two (2) fully-funded pension plan options
  • Group life insurance
  • Employee assistance program that allows for covered behavioral health visits
  • Paid vacation, personal and sick time off
  • Competitive leave policies covering a variety of employee needs
  • 12 company paid holidays, 14 on election years
  • Qualified employer for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program
  • New Parent Leave
  • Free Parking
  • Free LinkedIn Learning



Equal Employment Opportunity:

The State of Indiana is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Current Employee? Click here to apply.

Nearest Major Market: Greensburg