Friday, April 18, 2014

Becoming a Food Service Worker in Canada

The food service workers are responsible for preparing and presenting/delivering food trays to the staff of the organization they are employed with, while ensuring that food is prepared hygienically, following a standard process. They are expected to understand and communicate the role of nutrition and strictly adhere to the departmental and government regulations. Their main job responsibility is to provide a safe and health dietary environment and ensure that food prepared is free of bacteria and other harmful contaminants.

The food service professionals are typically employed with hospitals, specialty care facilities, acute care facilities, nursing homes, long term care facilities, retirement homes and healthcare cafeterias. They prepare food under the supervision of dieticians and other healthcare practitioners who specialize in nutrition and dietary services.

Becoming a Food Service Worker in Canada

In order to become a food service worker in Canada, interested individuals need to undergo a formal education and training in this field. Employers are keen on hiring only those individuals who have undergone required training and possess hands-on experience in food preparation for healthcare environment.

Basic Education

The aspiring food service professionals must have detailed understanding of the role of a food service worker, safety and sanitation, nutrition in healthcare and kitchen equipment and food preparation. They must be aware of the practical aspects of quantity food production, meal service, basic therapeutic diets, sanitation practices, and nutrition and customer service. With this, they should also be able to communicate with the staff and patients.

In order to gain the required knowledge, they may consider enrolling in a post-secondary food service worker program. This is a one semester full time program in which classes are scheduled for three days a week. The program prepares them to be an effective member of an interpersonal healthcare team.

Practical Training

The program also incorporates a field placement in a healthcare facility, providing students an opportunity to gain hands-on experience while putting their classroom learning into practice.

Students who have completed their secondary school diploma and Grade 12 Workplace level English are eligible to apply for this program. As they will be employed in the healthcare sector, they need to obtain an annual clear police check with vulnerable sector screening, complete mask fit testing and complete a pre-clearance health form by a physician or registered nurse practitioner stating that they meet the health requirements of legislated acts, ministry guidelines and agency policies.

Studying a Food Service Worker Program in Canada

Centennial College’s program in food service is considered to be one of the prestigious programs in the country. This is because the program

  • Is developed to meet the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care regulations
  • Is designed with input from professional organizations and healthcare employers
  • Offers the skills to transfer into two-year food service diploma program and later on in a food service degree program
  • Incorporates a four-week field placement in a healthcare facility
  • Runs for 15 weeks with 11 weeks of classroom studies and 4 weeks of placement

This certificate is an essential requirement to work in this field in Canada.

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