Produce Safety Specialist #R1386 (Northern VA)

State Of Virginia Culpeper , VA 22701

Posted 1 month ago

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is seeking a self-motivated individual to become part of the newly developed Produce Safety team in the Office of Dairy and Foods. This position is responsible for the evaluation of produce farming practices and the enforcement of related federal/state laws and regulations.

Duties include evaluating produce growing conditions and practices; evaluating post-harvest handling and sanitation practices and facilities relative to produce safety; assisting new and existing produce farms with meeting the requirements of the Produce Safety Rule; conducting on-farm readiness reviews; investigating complaints; participating in joint investigations and food borne illness investigations; collecting official samples of produce and produce-related products; and assisting in the development of a statewide produce safety program. Additionally, the successful candidate will partner and interact with Virginia's produce industry, federal/state officials, enforcement organizations, special interest groups, academia and the general public. The position will require routine travel throughout the state, occasionally overnight.

This is a restricted position funded by the FDA Produce Safety Grant. The selected individual will establish and work from a home office under the guidance and direction of the Richmond office and will be required to live in or convenient to the assigned territory. Territory includes:

Rockingham, Shenandoah, Frederick, Clarke, Warren, Page, Greene, Madison, Rappahannock, Fauquier, Loudoun, Fairfax, Arlington, Alexandria, Prince William & Culpeper. The use of a state vehicle will be provided.

Minimum Qualifications

Thorough knowledge of food safety principles & practices & of farming & packing practices preferable as related to fresh produce. Proficient computer skills & standard business applications.

Exceptional customer service skills. A verifiable ability to communicate effectively (oral & written); to work well with the public under stressful situations; to interpret & apply laws & regulations; & to independently plan, organize & execute job duties. Ability to assume extensive responsibility, exhibit initiative & work independently & in a team environment; to make autonomous decisions & to take appropriate actions in diverse circumstances; to respond to other assigned duties during both traditional & non-traditional work hours.

Must be able to complete FDA Commissioning/Credentialing within approximately 12 months of hire. Physical demands: good visual acuity & ability to walk, bend, stretch, crouch & lift loads up to 40 lbs. Must have (or be eligible for) & maintain a valid Virginia driver's license & have a driving record that reflects a sense of responsibility for highway safety. H.S Diploma/GED required.

Preferred Qualifications

Degree in Agricultural Science, Food Science, Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Health or a related field along with current or recent practical experience in a similar position related to a food or produce safety regulatory program, experience applying related safety principles, processing practices & working knowledge of Good Agricultural Practices at the government level. An equivalent combination of training & experience indicating possession of the preceding knowledge & abilities may substitute for this education and experience.

Special Requirements

Final candidate must successfully complete a fingerprint-based criminal background check.

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Produce Safety Specialist #R1386 (Northern VA)

State Of Virginia