Food regulatory advisor

Food regulatory advisor article illustration


Food regulatory advisors are extra-judicial or judiciary technical experts. They ensure food industry practices comply with regulatory norms. They perform audits, make diagnoses, and monitor activities of inspection. These experts have expertise in food processing, food analysis, quality, safety, certification, and traceability. They update, review, and approve labeling designs, develop nutrition facts panels, and ensure that products and labels meet appropriate standards and regulations.

Includes food labeling specialist.

The duties of a food regulatory advisor typically include, but are not limited to:

  • Advising food manufacturers, processors, distributors, and retailers on how to comply with food regulations
  • Conducting inspections of food facilities to ensure compliance with food safety and quality regulations
  • Reviewing and analyzing data to identify potential food safety and quality issues
  • Developing and implementing food safety and quality programs and policies
  • Investigating complaints and outbreaks related to food safety and quality
  • Collaborating with other regulatory agencies and stakeholders to improve food safety and quality standards
  • Keeping up-to-date with changes in food laws and regulations and communicating these changes to relevant stakeholders.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to food regulatory advisor:

legislation and specification advisor
food regulatory compliance advisor
food labelling specialist
food safety regulatory advisor
legislation and controls advisor
food law advisor
food consultant
food regulatory affairs advisor
food expert
food safety expert
food safety auditor
regulatory advisor, food

Working conditions

Food regulatory advisors may work for government agencies or private consulting firms. They may work in an office setting or travel to various locations to conduct inspections or provide on-site advice. The job may involve occasional weekend or evening work to meet client needs or respond to emergencies. As the work involves interacting with people from different backgrounds and levels of knowledge, strong interpersonal skills are important.

Minimum qualifications

To become a food regulatory advisor, a bachelor’s degree in food science, food technology, nutrition, or a related field is required. Some employers may also require a master’s degree or professional certification in food safety, such as the Certified Food Scientist (CFS) credential offered by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). Work experience in the food industry or food safety is an added advantage. Strong analytical and problem-solving skills, excellent communication and interpersonal skills, and a keen attention to detail are important. The food regulatory advisor must also stay up-to-date on the latest food safety regulations and guidelines.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Food regulatory advisor is a Skill level 3 occupation.

Food regulatory advisor career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to food regulatory advisor.

food analyst
food technician
food safety inspector
green coffee coordinator
food production planner

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of food regulatory advisor. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of food regulatory advisor with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

food production engineer
food technologist
food and beverage packaging technologist
botanicals specialist
prepared meals nutritionist

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of food regulatory advisor.

  • Legislation about animal origin products: The applicable legal rules on temperature, waste materials, traceability, labelling, trading, and the transport of animal origin products.
  • Food materials: Quality and range of raw materials, half finished products and end products of a specific food sector.
  • Food safety principles: Scientific background of food safety which includes preparation, handling, and storage of food to minimise the risk of foodborne illness and other health hazards.
  • Food engineering: Research and development of new foods, biological and pharmaceutical products, development and operation of manufacturing and packaging and distributing systems for drug/food products, design and installation of food production processes.
  • Biotechnology: The technology that uses, modifies or harnesses biological systems, organisms and cellular components to develop new technologies and products for specific uses.
  • Food legislation: Legislation related to the food and feed industry, including food manufacturing, hygiene, safety, raw materials, additives, GMOs, labelling, and environmental and trade regulations.
  • Food science: The study of food’s physical, biological, and chemical makeup and the scientific concepts underlying food processing and nutrition.
  • Food storage: The proper conditions and methods to store food to keep it from spoiling, considering humidity, light, temperature and other environmental factors.
  • Risks associated to physical, chemical, biological hazards in food and beverages: Interpretation of laboratory tests for parameters affecting food safety, taking into account risks associated with physical, chemical, and biological hazards in food and beverages.
  • Food product ingredients: Technical features of the formulation of ingredients for food products.
  • Food allergies: The types of food allergies within the sector, which substances trigger allergies, and how they can be replaced or eliminated (if possible).
  • Quality assurance methodologies: Quality assurance principles, standard requirements, and the set of processes and activities used for measuring, controlling and ensuring the quality of products and processes.
  • Food and beverage industry: The respective industry and the processes involved in the food and beverage industry, such as raw material selection, processing, packaging, and storage.
  • Laboratory-based sciences: Laboratory-based sciences such as biology, chemistry, physics, integrated science or advanced laboratory science.
  • Food preservation: Deterioration factors, controlling factors (temperature, additives, humidity, pH, water activity, etc., including packaging) and food processing methods to preserve food products.
  • Traceability in food industry: Traceability measures to respond to potential risks that can arise in food and feed, so as to ensure that all food products are safe for humans to eat.
  • Food safety standards: Food safety standards (i.e. ISO 22000) developed by the recognised organisations for Standardization dealing with food safety. For example, the ISO 22000 international standard specifies the requirements for an effective food safety management system. It covers interactive communication, system management, prerequisite programs and HACCP principles.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of food regulatory advisor.

  • Lead process optimisation: Lead process optimisation using statistical data. Design experiments on the production line and functional process control models.
  • Conduct shelf studies: Leads and manages shelf studies on products of his/her company and products of other producers to determine the company’s position in the market.
  • Perform strategic planning in the food industry: Develop and coordinate plans of action in the food industry to ensure that quality and deadlines are met in time.
  • Work independently in service of a food production process: Work individually as an important element in the service of a food production process. This function is executed individually with little or no supervision or collaboration with colleagues.
  • Ensure public safety and security: Implement the relevant procedures and strategies and use the proper equipment to promote local or national security activities to protect data, people, institutions, and property.
  • Participate as observer in different types of audits in the food sector: Participate as an observer in audits for efficiency, safety, environmental, quality, and food safety regularly.
  • Follow-up lab results: Analyse lab results and apply them by adapting the production process. Report, review and take appropriate measures if necessary.
  • Apply HACCP: Apply regulations regarding the manufacture of food and food safety compliance. Employ food safety procedures based on Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP).
  • Ensure correct goods labelling: Ensure that goods are labeled with all necessary labeling information (e.g. legal, technological, hazardous and others) regarding the product. Ensure that labels respect the legal requirements and adhere to regulations.
  • Read engineering drawings: Read the technical drawings of a product made by the engineer to suggest improvements, make models of the product or operate it.
  • Apply food technology principles: Food technology: a branch of food science that deals with the production processes to make foods and improve processes aimed at processing foodstuffs.
  • Apply requirements concerning manufacturing of food and beverages: Apply and follow national, international, and internal requirements quoted in standards, regulations and other specifications related to the manufacturing of food and beverages.
  • Handle communications in the food processing industry: Interact with food processing professionals to obtain correct information about their work and actions.
  • Apply GMP: Apply regulations regarding the manufacture of food and food safety compliance. Employ food safety procedures based on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
  • Prepare visual data: Prepare charts and graphs to present data visually.
  • Keep up with innovations in food manufacturing: Latest innovative products and technologies to process, preserve, package, and improve food products.
  • Work in a food processing team: Collaborate in a team with other food processing professionals in service of the food and beverages industry.
  • Keep up-to-date with regulations: Maintain up-to-date knowledge of current regulations and apply this knowledge in specific sectors.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of food regulatory advisor. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Cultural customs on food preparation: Cultural or religious rules and traditions regarding food preparation.
  • Foodborne diseases: Understand foodborne illnesses and poisoning to prevent public health problems.
  • Fermentation processes of food: Conversion of carbohydrates into alcohol and carbon dioxide. This process happens using bacteria, yeasts, or a combination of the two under anaerobic conditions. Food fermentation also involves leavening bread and producing lactic acid in foods such as dry sausages, sauerkraut, yogurt, pickles, and kimchi.
  • Statistics: The study of statistical theory, methods, and practices such as collection, organisation, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data. It deals with all aspects of data, including the planning of data collection in terms of the design of surveys and experiments to forecast and plan work-related activities.
  • Functional properties of foods: Structure, quality, nutritional value and/or acceptability of a food product. A food functional property is determined by the physical, chemical and/or organoleptic properties of a food. Examples of functional properties may include solubility, absorption, water retention, frothing ability, elasticity, and absorptive capacity for fats and foreign particles.
  • Fermentation processes of beverages: Fermentation processes related to converting sugar to alcohol, gases and acids.
  • Food homogenisation: The procedures, machines and recipes used to mix different foodstuffs and solutions by transforming them through high-pressure and acceleration processes into a uniform fluid or product. 

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of food regulatory advisor. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Assess nutritional characteristics of food: Assess nutritional characteristics of food for human consumption for a better healthy diet.
  • Develop new food products: Conduct experiments, produce sample products, and perform research as part of new food product development (NPD).
  • Food plant design: Contribute to food plant design by assessing the processes, facilities and equipment needs, including monitoring activities and control.
  • Impart training on general quality management supervision: Provide training to production employees, in groups or individually, on standard operating procedures, product specifications, visual quality inspection criteria, production controls, formulas and food safety procedures.
  • Research new food ingredients: Assess new food ingredients by undergoing research activities in order to develop or improve foodstuffs.
  • Manage challenging work conditions during food processing operations: Handle stressful and challenging work conditions in a limited time frame to ensure qualitative food and beverage products are created in time.
  • Ensure continuous preparedness for audits: Ensure constant compliance with standards and requirements, such as keeping certifications up to date and monitoring activities to ensure correct procedures are followed so that audits can occur smoothly and no negative aspects can be identified.
  • Perform sensory evaluation: Evaluate the quality of a given type of food or beverage based on its appearance, smell, taste, aroma, and others. Suggest possible improvements and comparisons with other products.
  • Advise on food preservation: Advise on ingredients, processes, and technologies that allow food preservation until it gets to the consumer.
  • Develop standard operating procedures in the food chain: Develop Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) in the food chain based on the production feedback. Understand current operating procedures and identify best techniques. Develop new procedures and update existing ones.
  • Analyse packaging requirements: Analyses packaging requirements against the design of the production plan. Perform the analysis considering engineering, economic, ergonomic, and other perspectives.
  • Perform detailed food processing operations: Perform precise food processing operations with great attention and detail to all steps in creating a qualitative product.
  • Configure plants for food industry: Design plant configuration, including sources and equipment for the food industry so that they can be readily adapted to suit the product range and the process technologies involved. Take environmental and economic aspects into account.
  • Identify hazards in the workplace: Perform safety audits and inspections on workplaces and workplace equipment. Ensure that they meet safety regulations and identify hazards and risks.
  • Analyse trends in the food and beverage industries: Investigate trends in foodstuffs related to consumer preferences. Examine key markets based on both product type and geography as well as technological improvements in the industry.
  • Analyse samples of food and beverages: Examine if food or beverages are safe for human consumption. Verify the right levels of key ingredients and the correctness of the label declarations and the levels of nutrients present. Ensure samples of food and beverages comply to specific standards or procedures.
  • Advise food processing professionals: Give advice and instruct employees active in the food processing industry about the most efficient and correct methods used to produce food and beverages.
  • Collect briefing regarding products: Collect a comprehensive brief from internal and external customers regarding specific product requirements.
  • Participate in the development of new food products: Participate in the development of new food products together within a cross-functional team. Bring technical knowledge and perspective to the development of new products. Perform research. Interpret results for food product development.
  • Develop food production processes: Develop processes and techniques for food production or food preservation. Engage in the design, development, construction and operation of industrial processes and techniques for food manufacturing.
  • Apply scientific methods: Apply scientific methods and techniques to investigate phenomena by acquiring new knowledge or correcting and integrating previous knowledge.
  • Provide food labelling expertise: Provides food labelling expertise in collaboration with government, company divisions, and other stakeholders on compliance-related questions regarding products and labels.
  • Perform physico-chemical analysis to food materials: Performs a range of physical and chemical analysis to food materials to assess their quality.
  • Write work-related reports: Compose work-related reports that support effective relationship management and a high documentation and record-keeping standard. Write and present results and conclusions clearly and intelligibly so they are comprehensible to a non-expert audience.
  • Monitor system performance: Measure system reliability and performance before, during, and after component integration and during system operation and maintenance. Select and use performance monitoring tools and techniques, such as special software.
  • Monitor developments used for food industry: Identifying and exploring developments and innovation in technology and materials in the food industry.
  • Improvise to occuring food processing situations: Adapt a flexible approach to occurring problems in the process of creating food and beverages.
  • Perform food safety checks: Carry out food safety checks to ensure compliance with requirements, regulations, and other good food manufacturing practices.
  • Advocate for consumer matters in production plants: Conduct regulatory oversight activities inside plants in matters relating to areas of consumer matters, e.g., misbranding, consumer protection, etc.
  • Assess HACCP implementation in plants: Assess the adequate implementation of HACCP in plants. Assure that plants operate within the specifications of their written plans for HACCP, sanitation, and processing.
  • Identify market niches: Analyse the composition of the markets, segment these into groups, and highlight the opportunities that each one of these niches represents in terms of new products.
  • Communicate regarding food labelling interdisciplinary issues: Communicate on current and emerging food labelling interdisciplinary issues and their impact on products and product technology.
  • Assess shelf life of food products: Assess the shelf life of food products in a range of storage and packaging conditions.
  • Perform quality audits: Execute regular, systematic and documented examinations of a quality system for verifying conformity with a standard based on objective evidence such as the implementation of processes, effectiveness in achieving quality goals and reduction and elimination of quality problems.
  • Apply control process statistical methods: Apply statistical methods from Design of Experiments (DOE) and Statistical Process Control (SPC) to control manufacturing processes.
  • Perform food risk analysis: Perform food risks analysis for food safety assurance.
  • Research new cooking methods: Assess new cooking methods by undergoing research activities in order to develop or improve food technological processes.
  • Manage time in food processing operations: Assure a correct management of time and resources using appropriate planning methods.
  • Analyse work-related written reports: Read and comprehend job-related reports, analyse the content of reports and apply findings to daily work operations.

ISCO group and title

3257 – Environmental and occupational health inspectors and associates

  1. Food regulatory advisor – ESCO
  2. Featured image: Image by Henryk Niestrój from Pixabay
Last updated on April 25, 2023

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