Meat Hygiene Inspector

Job Description:

Meat hygiene inspectors make sure factories follow hygiene standards and meet animal welfare conditions during food production.

Job Category:
Food & Drink

What you will do:

You could work in the food trade, a food regulator like the Food Standards Agency (FSA), or with veterinary officials.

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • inspecting the hygiene in slaughterhouses, cutting plants, factories, and cold stores
  • checking animal welfare conditions
  • inspecting live animals, game, or poultry for signs of disease
  • helping to carry out post mortems on diseased animals
  • checking meat transportation conditions
  • making sure unfit meat is destroyed
  • suggesting improvements and making sure they’re carried out


You’ll need:

  • the ability to analyse quality or performance
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • knowledge of food safety
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail (organisational skills)
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations (leadership skills)
  • customer service skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Meat Hygiene Inspector in the UK, specific GCSE subjects are not necessarily required. However, this career typically requires higher education and specialized training. Here are the steps to pursue a career as a Meat Hygiene Inspector:


After completing GCSEs, continue with post-16 qualifications, such as A-levels or equivalent, focusing on science subjects like Biology or Chemistry.

Higher Education

Apply to an accredited university or college to pursue a relevant degree, such as Food Science, Animal Science, or Veterinary Science. A degree in Environmental Health or Public Health may also be applicable.

Work Experience

Gain practical experience by working in the food industry or related fields to understand food safety regulations and processes.

Specialized Training

After obtaining a relevant degree, you may need to undergo specialized training or certification in meat inspection and food safety.


Apply for positions as a Meat Hygiene Inspector in abattoirs or meat processing plants. Some inspectors may work for government agencies responsible for food safety and inspection.

Continuous Learning

Stay updated with the latest food safety regulations and industry best practices through continuous professional development and training.

A drivers licence will be an additional requirement.


Working Hours and Environment:

You’ll usually work 37 to 40 hours a week, which may include evenings or weekends.

You’ll spend much of your time travelling between different inspection sites. Whilst you’ll work independently, you’ll often be meeting new people at different businesses and having lots of face-to-face conversations.

Conditions can be cold in slaughterhouses and storage areas, and warm in factory processing areas. You’ll sometimes be around noisy machinery and strong smells.

You’ll wear protective clothing when carrying out inspections.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could progress to become a manager in food retail or manufacturing, or a supervisor or manager in your national food standards agency.