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Food Safety Specialist

various locations

  • Organization: FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • Location: various locations
  • Grade: Consultant - Contractors Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Security and Safety
    • Nutrition
    • Food Security, Livestock and Livelihoods
  • Closing Date: 2022-09-01

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IMPORTANT NOTICE: Please note that Closure Date and Time displayed above are based on date and time settings of your personal device

  • FAO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality, background and culture.
  • Qualified female applicants, qualified nationals of non-and under-represented Members and person with disabilities are encouraged to apply;
  • Everyone who works for FAO is required to adhere to the highest standards of integrity and professional conduct, and to uphold FAO's values
  • FAO, as a Specialized Agency of the United Nations, has a zero-tolerance policy for conduct that is incompatible with its status, objectives and mandate, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination  
  • All selected candidates will undergo rigorous reference and background checks
  • All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality

Organizational Setting
The position is located within the Food Systems and Food Safety Division (ESF), Economic and Social Development Stream. The Division supports a coordinated approach to the development of food systems, including inter alia, engagement in global level dialogue, platform and initiatives, the strengthening of food safety and quality at national, regional and international levels, the development of sustainable food value chains, reductions in food loss and waste and the implementation of the urban food agenda.

Reporting Lines
The consultant / PSA will perform his/her duties under the overall direction of the Senior Food Safety Officer, ESF and work in close collaboration with the Food Safety Officer(s), and in consultation with other relevant ESF technical officers.

Technical Focus
The work covered by the vacancy announcement is anchored in the current notion of food safety and technology, innovative / novel food production and safety assurance. In particular, expertise on safety assessment of food produced through relatively novel technologies such as genome editing, genetic engineering and cell-based food production will be valued.

Tasks and responsibilities
Candidates will support, lead or execute one or more of the following tasks:
• Draft and/or facilitate reviews of technical documents and/or case studies on food safety as a core topic, with a reference to innovation and technology, particularly the applications of novel/emerging technologies;
• Support relevant food safety scientific advice activities and capacity development material development as a team member, using FAO approaches and tools;
• Plan, organize and facilitate the food safety related online/hybrid/physical meetings/webinars/seminars for expert discussions, stakeholder consultations and/or dissemination of the deliverables;
• Lead to facilitate food safety expert consultations, as needed, on technical subjects (i.e., novel technology applications) where collection and collation of data at the global level are needed;
• Contribute to maintaining the relevant FAO food safety related technical communities and informal networks for active engagement of FAO Members;
• Support the implementation of programmes and projects aiming at knowledge transfer of emerging and cross-cutting food safety issues;
• Develop food safety technical materials based on the above activities;
• Provide technical support to FAO food safety activities and projects where specific expertise is of value.


Minimum Requirements
• University degree in food safety, novel food technology, biotechnology, biology (molecular, cellular, etc.) biochemistry, food science, veterinary science, or a related field.
• One to fifteen years of relevant experience in technical areas related to food safety, particularly of the issues related to safety assessment/assurance of food derived from novel technologies.
• Working knowledge of English, French or Spanish and limited knowledge of one of the other two or Arabic, Chinese, Russian. (for PSA it can be required only one language)

FAO Core Competencies
• Results Focus
• Teamwork
• Communication
• Building Effective Relationships
• Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Technical/Functional Skills
• Extent and relevance of experience in developing, reviewing and synthesizing various evidence- and fact-based scientific data and information
• Demonstrated familiarity with current state of food derived from modern technologeis
• Familiarity with diverse perceptions and relevant socio-economic issues around food derived from novel/new technologies
• Demonstrated ability to analyze complex issues and extract key information
• Relevant experience facilitating networks, working groups and partnerships
• Strategic and forward thinking

Selection Criteria
• Familiarity in applying the risk-based approach for food safety considerations and assessment
• Ability to extract key scientific issues of assigned food safety topics to differentiate such issues from other acknowledged political, regulatory or socio-economic issues
• Fluency in written and spoken English is highly desired
• Ability to work against tight timelines and to accommodate changing priorities is highly desirable
• Working experience in safety assessment of food derived from modern technologies is an asset
• Experience in working in food safety at the national level is an asset
• Work experience in more than one location or area of work is an asset

Please note that all candidates should adhere to FAO Values of Commitment to FAO, Respect for All and Integrity and Transparency

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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