Smithfield Foods

  • Sanitation Specialist

    Job Locations
    US-VA-Smithfield-North Plant
    Food Safety/Quality Assurance
    FLSA Status
    1st Shift
  • Your Opportunity

    Are you an ambitious, compliance-focused Food Safety/Quality Assurance professional that excels in highspeed work environments; evaluating processes, and identifying opportunities to mitigate deficiencies? Then join one of the country’s top 25 consumer packaged goods companies, Smithfield Foods!


    As part of our FS/QA team, you would conduct routine sanitation checks, ensuring that HAACP and USDA regulations are strictly enforced. Providing technical expertise to track product from start to finish, and develop corrective actions when needed. You will be responsible for ensuring that we are able to safely deliver the best Smithfield, Eckrich, Nathan’s Famous, or any of our product brands to customers and consumers.


    The Sanitation Specialist has the responsibility of ensuring that sanitation activities at the plant are executed per the SSOPs, that corrective actions are taken as needed to address sanitation deficiencies, and that proactive actions are taken to prevent sanitation issues  - thus ensuring USDA regulatory compliance and the production of safe and wholesome meat products. This is primarily a third shift position.


    Key Notes:

    Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures are a regulatory requirement and a fundamental support program to the HACCP system. Proper plant sanitation is at the foundation of the plant’s SSOP program and execution must be consistent day in and day out. Additionally, proper plant sanitation ensures that product meets established shelf life parameters and therefore has direct impact on the company’s financial health. 

    Core Responsibilities

    Sanitation System Compliance

    • On a daily basis, during sanitation, the Sanitation Specialist is accountable for verifying that all Sanitation activities are of sound design, are performed as intended, and are properly documented – thus ensuring the facility is being cleaned properly and has the ongoing performance evaluations required to prove they have produced safe and wholesome products that also meet the company’s sales and marketing goals.
    • Makes defendable decisions to ensure USDA regulatory and company objective compliance, while ensuring decisions do not result in unjustified decreases in operational productivity or efficiency.
    • Success or lack thereof in sanitation is “highly visible” – resulting in a low incidence of pre op NRs, shelf life failures, and microbial swabbing failures while scoring well on internal and external sanitation audits.
    • Attends regular meetings with the plant’s sanitation service provider, plant management, and/or USDA to discuss sanitation findings is expected.
    • The Sanitation Specialist will normally be at the facility by 12:00 a.m. to verify the effectiveness of the program starting with dry pickup performed by Plant Operations. This time may vary depending on production schedules at each plant and ultimately the work schedule will be determined by the Plant Operations/Plant Food Safety Manager.

    RODAC Program Maintenance

    • Monitors equipment cleaning and facility sanitation performance at pre-op, measured via RODAC in the Smithfield system.
    • The Sanitation Specialist is responsible for administration of the plant’s RODAC program to include distribution of site sampling lists, compilation and analysis of results, and follow up on unacceptable results until satisfactory performance is achieved.
    • The Sanitation Specialist is responsible for oversight of the actual sampling of RODAC samples taken at the facility.
    • The Sanitation Specialist will also work closely with the Plant Purchasing Agent to ensure RODAC supplies are continuously available.

    Employee Training

    • The Sanitation Specialist is responsible for conducting pre-op inspection training with all plant staff members prior to their first pre op inspection.
    • Continual feedback will be provided to Plant Management on the performance of pre op inspection staff so that corrections can be made when necessary.

    Professional Development and Performance

    • On behalf of the company and plant it is essential the Sanitation Specialist develop and foster a strong working relationship with the USDA.

    The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this job. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of personnel so classified. May perform other duties as assigned.


    To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily.  The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals to perform the essential functions. 

    • Bachelor’s degree (B.A.) in Food Science or related field from a regionally accredited four-year college or university and 2+ years’ experience in the professional sanitation or meat industries and processes; or equivalent combination of education and experience.
    • Knowledge and understanding of sanitation science.
    • Knowledge of USDA, FSIS, HACCP, and SSOP requirements.
    • Ability to uphold regulatory, company and customer standards.
    • Knowledge of Database software; Excel spreadsheet and Word Processing software.
    • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
    • Ability to work well with others in fast paced, dynamic environment.
    • Ability to be respectful, approachable and team oriented while building strong working relationships and a positive work environment.
    • Must be able to travel 10% of the time. Travel is limited, however, additional travel may occur if circumstances require.

    Supervisory Responsibilities

    • Provides leadership and guidance to Sanitation employees, Sanitation Service Providers, Production employees and Production Supervisors.
    • Carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the organization's policies and applicable laws.
    • Responsibilities include interviewing, hiring, and training employees; planning, assigning, and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and assisting in providing appropriate resolutions.

    Work Environment & Physical Demands

    The physical demands described here are representative of those an employee should possess to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

    • Required to climb or balance; stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl and taste or smell.
    • Occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds.
    • Specific vision abilities required include close vision and color vision.
    • Must be able to stand for extended periods of time.

    Work Environment & Physical Demands

    The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

    • The plant environment will include wet or humid conditions (non-weather related), extreme cold and heat (non-weather related), working near moving mechanical parts, exposure to fumes or airborne particles, and chemicals.
    • Noise level in the work environment is usually moderate but can be loud when in the production area.

    EEO/AA Information

    We are an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action (EEO/AA) Employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with disability, or any other protected group status or non-job related characteristic as directed by law.


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