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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 393G
Category: Protective Services

Class Series Concept

See Food Safety Compliance Specialist 1.


Serves as a regional or agency-wide expert in one or more specified technical subject areas within the Food Safety Program such as food processing or control of hazards. Ensures compliance with the various licensing requirements for facility design, processing, sanitation, allergen control and product labeling per Federal and State laws.

Distinguishing Characteristics

This class requires written designation by the Food Safety Program Manager or above. Serves as an expert technical resource for complex food processing technologies or technical coordinator for highly specialized and technical food manufacturing process analysis.

Typical Work

Specializes or serves as an expert in one or more areas of regulated food production such as acidified foods, low acid canned foods, egg, seafood, juice, custom meat facilities, slaughter trucks, shell egg, cottage food and direct seller, cannabis infused edibles, and animal feed;

Serves as an expert in the control of hazards such as those associated with allergen cross contamination, heat processing, acidifying, irradiating, and refrigerating foods;

May supervise, or lead staff in hazard analysis and complex food safety or root cause inspections;

Independently takes appropriate on-site action such as embargo, degrade, or plant closures. 

Provides training and mentoring to staff;

Independently conducts or supervises detailed public health food safety inspections, Federal Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point inspections, complex root cause investigations, and/or surveillance of commercial establishments that manufacture, process, hold or transport food products intended for public and/or animal consumption;

May serve as a survey officer, rating officer or auditor for interstate shipping programs involving consumables for humans and/or animals;

Provides technical assistance to the industry;

Serves as an expert on food safety program issues at legal proceedings;

Interacts with and advises the public, industry personnel, and other government officials on public health issues with regard to food safety.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: theory, principles and practices of food safety sanitation enforcement, dairy and/or food technology, Federal, State, and local laws and regulations concerning manufacturing, processing, storage, handling and sale of fresh and processed foodstuffs or of milk and dairy products as well as a variety of specialized foods.


Ability to: apply and enforce laws and regulations, using maturity and judgment, as well as the power of the law; understand and interpret written and oral directions and specifications; deal tactfully with the public, government, and industrial officials; prepare written reports and make oral presentations; consult with and advise plant owners and personnel on design and operation of plants and farms to comply with sanitation requirements, laws and regulations; work independently; travel frequently and for extended periods; traverse uneven or steep terrain in rural environments and climb ladders in industrial manufacturing warehouses.

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 Compliance Specialist. 

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 Compliance Specialist. 

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

Class Specification History

New class: 10-15-99
New class code: (formerly 62130) effective July 1, 2007
Revised salary range, definition, typical work, distinguishing characteristics, knowledge and abilities, title change; all adopted June 30, 2017, effective July 1, 2017; previously Food Safety Officer 3, previously range 52.
Updated to remove the word "marijuana" and replace it with "cannabis", effective July 1, 2022.