Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Food Service Program Offers Vital Industry Know-How

Food and Nutrition Management professionals are needed in a number of areas including: institutional and/or health care food service settings such as long term care, retirement homes, acute care, and/or industrial cafeterias. Additionally, those who complete a post-secondary program such as Centennial College’s Food Service Worker program have the required certificate to pursue a career as a Dietary Aide in long-term care. Potential positions exist in nursing homes, homes for the aged, retirement homes, special care homes, hospitals, residential hospice, residential group home facilities and other integrated care facilities.

But what are the duties of these Food and Nutrition Management experts? First and foremost, they must be able to communicate the role of nutrition and apply the principles of human nutrition to food production in the health care food service environment. Hand-in-hand with this first duty is the ability to discuss the standards and principles of diet therapy relating to a variety of illnesses and diseases and apply these principles to the assembly of therapeutic meals in the health care food service environment. Additionally, graduates of a food service program are responsible for: providing a safe and health dietary environment; carrying out cost control techniques in the preparation of food service in the healthcare environment; applying food and bake theories to all aspects of food preparation in health care; implementing cooking principles and techniques in the preparation of large quantities of various foods for the healthcare environment; and more.

Centennial College's Food Service Worker program (as it is officially known) provides students all the knowledge and skills listed above, which enables them to be effective members of an inter-professional health care team. This is achieved in two ways. First and foremost, the food service program incorporates classroom lectures and hands-on learning to cover practical aspects of quantity food preparation, meal service, basic therapeutic diets and nutrition, proper sanitation practices, effective communication and quality customer service.

Secondly, students have the opportunity to apply what they have learned on-campus to a food service program field placement in a health care facility. Field placement enables learners to better understand the dynamics of the industry increase their knowledge of industry practices and provides a competitive advantage of experience in the job market.
To partake in this food service program feature, students must have a mandatory two-step mantoux test (TB skin test) within 12 months of starting the program, even if you have had BCG, as well as influenza immunization and a vulnerable persons’ police check.

Students in the food service program may transfer into the two-year Food and Nutrition Management diploma program if desired. In addition, graduates of this program obtain the TrainCan Basics Food Safety Certificate, which is accepted by Toronto Public Health as an equivalent to their Food Handlers Certificate.

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