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How Do I Become a Meat Inspector?

Various cuts of meat.
Meat being packaged at a processing plant.
Article Details
  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 14 August 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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The requirements for a person who wants to become a meat inspector may depend on the jurisdiction in which he wants to work. In some places, an individual has to earn a veterinary degree in order to secure a job in this field. In others, any degree in an agriculture-related field may be suitable. There are some places that may even accept food safety or preparation experience in lieu of degrees. In general, however, a person who wants to become a meat inspector has to complete high school or earn an equivalent diploma before going on to attend college for at least four years.

In some jurisdictions, a person who wants to become a meat inspector may do so after earning a four-year college degree. Pursuing a degree in biology, agriculture, or a related major may provide good preparation for this job. There are some places in which a meat inspector may land a job after working in a food preparation job, such as in a slaughterhouse environment. In some cases, even restaurant food preparation experience may be considered.

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Other jurisdictions may require a person who wants to become a meat inspector to earn a college degree and then go on to become a doctor of veterinary medicine. To pursue this educational path, a person typically completes four years of college, often in a science-related field and then spends an additional four years studying to earn a doctorate degree in veterinary medicine. Usually, an aspiring veterinary doctor must also pass exams in order to become licensed in his jurisdiction.

No matter which educational path a person follows to become a meat inspector, he’ll usually need at least some experience to secure a job in this field. Internships and entry-level jobs in food production, testing, disease research, veterinary medicine, or food processing and packaging may be considered suitable preparation for this job. While each employer’s exact experience requirements may vary, gaining at least one year of experience often opens up a fair number of job opportunities for a new meat inspector.

Besides education and experience, a person who wants to become a meat inspector for a regional or national agency may have to pass a medical exam and demonstrate that he is free of communicable diseases such as hepatitis. He may also have to undergo a background check. On-the-job training is typically provided for a person who qualifies for this job as well.

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Discuss this Article

Mammmood
Post 2

@miriam98 - Yeah, it doesn’t just happen in meat plants however. Sometimes you find these conditions in restaurants.

There was this one restaurant I went to where I used to eat sushi and dim sum all the time. One day I was in there and believe it or not, a bird was flying around in the restaurant. I heard the Chinese chefs in the back screaming to get the bird out.

Days later I saw a notice posted on the doors of the restaurant saying that the place had been temporarily closed by order of the food safety inspector. That was the last time I ever ate at that place.

miriam98
Post 1

I remember reading the book The Jungle which was about the terrible conditions in the meat packing houses at the start of the century. This was before there were a lot of government regulations that governed the proper working conditions that needed to be exist in these places.

I remember being horrified at what I was reading and thinking to myself that I would never want to become a worker in a meat facility.

Of course, I know that times have changed. But every now and then you hear about some horror story in the news of something like an E coli breakout in a meat packing plant somewhere. When these things happen it just reinforces to me that the job of the meat inspector is more important than ever.

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