Monday, July 21, 2014

Becoming a Food Service Worker

A food service worker is responsible for providing a safe and healthy dietary environment, preparing and serving food, ensuring that food served is hygienic, safe and bacteria-free, preparing therapeutic meals in a healthcare environment, implementing cooking principles and techniques in quantity food production, adhering to departmental and industrial work standards and complying with governmental and departmental regulations related to food safety and hazard prevention.

Food service workers typically work in hospitals, healthcare cafeterias, retirement homes, long term care facilities, seniors’ residences, acute care services, schools, institutions or with food service contractors. They are responsible for looking after the nutritional welfare of patients or clients, depending upon where they work.

Becoming a Food Service Worker in Canada

Building a career in this field in Canada requires specialized education, ability to produce food for commercial consumption, and effective communication and dedication to provide effective customer service.


In order to seek employment in either of the institutional or healthcare settings in food service, you must have undergone some kind of post-secondary education and gain understanding of meal service, therapeutic diets, industry standards nutrition and customer services. Centennial College’s program in food service worker can provide you with the knowledge to be an effective member of an inter-professional healthcare team.

The 15-week or one-semester program offers you quickie credential to get into the world of work. It provides you with the understanding of:

  • Your role as a food service worker
  • Importance of nutrition in healthcare
  • Kitchen equipment
  • Quality food preparation
  • Importance of ensuring safety and hygiene
  • Standards and principles of diet therapy
  • Scope of food service worker’s role

Centennial’s program in food service has been developed to meet the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Regulations and with inputs from professional organizations and healthcare employers. The curriculum is also based on the document developed by the members of Dieticians of Canada and the Ontario Society of Nutrition Management.


Apart from theoretical understanding of nutrition and customer service, you must possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills. You must be able to effectively communicate the role of nutrition to their clients. With this, you should also understand how to offer best possible services to their clients.

A major part of your job will involve working in teams with other food service workers or healthcare experts. This means that you should also be friendly and capable of working in teams in a busy environment.

The food service program at Centennial focuses on overall development of students. It helps you strengthen your communication and interpersonal skills, so that you establish working relationships with your team members.

Food Safety Certification

The professionals are expected to complete a food safety certification before starting their careers. This certificate is one of the main requirements to work as a food service worker in long term care facilities. Centennial College’s program includes this certification in the course, so that you are job-ready by the time they graduate from the college.

Hands-on Experience

Although there is a great demand for food service professionals in Canada but employers are keen on hiring individuals who not only possess specialized education but also have relevant hands-on experience. This is why the program at Centennial also includes an industry field placement. It allows you to apply your learning into practice and gain real world experience.

You must remember that this is a basic program and you will have to enrol in a food service degree program for more advanced job opportunities.

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