Status: Full-time position
Location: Yakima, WA
Salary: $15.15 to $24.40 / Per Hour
Deadline Date: 1/23/14
Job Summary: The Specialty Crops Inspection (SCI) Division is responsible for developing U.S. grade standards and providing inspection, grading, certification, and audit-based services nation-wide on a user-fee basis for fresh and processed fruits and vegetables and related products. SCI Division coordinates Federal and Federal-State terminal market and shipping point inspections for fresh fruits and vegetables and maintains cooperative agreements with individual States and Puerto Rico to meet the needs of these programs. SCI Division develops and conducts training in support of these inspection and audit-based programs. SCI Division also provides services including information coordination and label review services in support of USDA feeding programs. SCI Division is also responsible for Government-wide development and coordination of Commercial Item Descriptions for foods.
Qualifications: Performs grading, sampling and/or inspection assignments of a simple and routine nature
Displays greater knowledge of grading principles, standards, and regulations, increased skill in identifying and describing product defect, and/or skill and knowledge in inspecting facilities
Draws samples of product, performs mechanical tests, attends formal training courses in grading agricultural commodities, and grades samples
Grades and inspects distinct products for comparison with clear standards and common contract specifications
Identifies and describes common product defects or diseases to establish their causes
Identifies and determines the cause of common defects and diseases of these products or product types.
Duties: For fresh fruits and vegetables and related products: Selects representative samples from the product lots in accordance with prescribed sampling and plans.
Inspects products to determine the quality, condition, and/or compliance with U.S. Grade Standards or stated contract specifications. Typically, this requires considering such factors as: product size, shape, color, and similar quality factors; product maturity, firmness, breakdown or decay, bruising, and similar condition factors; and quantity, packaging, or similar conditions which are common in contract specifications.
Prepares inspection reports based on examination of product. This is done through application of official grade standards or contract specifications to determine product’s grade, quality and/or condition.
When the assignment involves products with which the employee is thoroughly knowledgeable, the incumbent applies the official standards and regulations to determine the product’s grade and/or condition and directly issues the certificate using the FEIRS software on the ruggedized laptop issued to each grader, but only after first learning the certification process utilizing handwritten note sheets and certificates. Verbally explains inspection determinations to appropriate industry employees.
In difficult or unusual cases, prepares a draft certificate with a tentative determination and submits it for higher-level review (i.e., a supervisor or senior grader) before issuance.
As assigned, performs inspections and grading of products with which the employee is unfamiliar under the guidance of a senior grader or supervisor.
For processed fruits and vegetables, related products and/or nuts: Draws and examines representative samples of products and determines grade, condition and wholesomeness in accordance with official grade standards, buyer-seller contracts or other written specifications.
Makes observations to determine if plant facilities, operating methods, processing equipment and personnel are in compliance with SCI sanitation requirements and FDA regulations. If the plant or operation is not in compliance, the grader reports this to plant management and higher SCI Division officials.
Observes the raw product material to establish the suitability for processing and advises plant management of the results. If/when corrective action by the plant is necessary, inspector monitors and assesses effectiveness.
Performs a limited number of analytical determinations by prescribed methods and techniques, often under the direction of an inspector of higher grade.
Instructs aids in proper grading and inspection techniques.
May serve as a lead grader at a processing plant, peanut buying point and/or shelling facility and may coordinate activities, schedules and work assignments for other inspection personnel assigned to the facility.
May monitor processing plant operations, product grade evaluation, and quality control procedures; provides technical assistance as necessary.
For more information on this job or how to apply please visit https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/359245800