Centennial College’s post-secondary food service worker program fulfills the training requirements for dietary workers established by the Ministry of Health. It prepares students to work in kitchens at hospitals, long term care facilities, seniors’ residences, colleges, schools and other institutions. A strong emphasis is on nutrition education and specialized food preparation techniques. The students learn to prepare nutritious meals that benefit the health of patients or their clients.

The 15-week training program has been designed to help students or existing food service workers gain essential skills in hygienic and nutritious food preparation and safe food handling and storage techniques. It’s a short but rigorous course that follows the guidelines from long term care facilities, the Ministry of Health and other healthcare employers.

Benefits of a Post-Secondary Food Service Worker Program

The program in food service offers numerous benefits to students. It

  • Helps students explore the role of a food service worker in a healthcare environment
  • Covers practical aspects of quantity food preparation and meal service
  • Lays strong emphasis on preparing basic therapeutic diets and nutrition
  • Helps students learn about proper sanitation practices
  • Incorporates hands-on experience in a real-world setting
  • Prepares them for employment in organized sector in hospitals, private clinics, retirement residences and long term care facilities
  • Places special emphasis on quality and industry standards and healthcare facilities’ regulations
  • Teaches students about basic principles of nutrition and its role in well being of patients and other clients
  • Helps them gain an understanding of the quantity cooking principles and methods for preparing food in large quantities without losing the nutrients

Program Structure

The 15-week program runs through one semester and includes courses, such as The Role of a Food Service Worker, Workplace Communications, Safety and Sanitation, Nutrition in Healthcare, and Kitchen Equipment and Food Preparation. Students learn to communicate the role of nutrition and apply principles of human nutrition to food production. They learn to maintain and provide a safe and hygienic dietary environment, contributing to the success of the healthcare dietary area.

The Centennial Difference

Although a number of colleges in Toronto offer such programs but Centennial College offers additional benefits to its students.

  • The program graduates also obtain the TrainCan Basics.fst Food Safety Certificate, which is accepted by Toronto Public Health as an equivalent to their Food Handlers Certificate.
  • The program is based on the guidelines by members of Dietitians of Canada and the Ontario Society of Nutrition Management. This means that the course curriculum is up-to-date.
  • It concludes with an industry field placement, allowing students to gain real-world experience. It means the learning experience meets current government standards and employer requirements.

Eligibility Criteria

In order to apply for this program, students will need secondary school diploma certificate or equivalent and the required minimum scores in English Grade 12, workplace level. They will also need to undergo an annual clear police check with vulnerable sector screening and mask fit testing by the college. They will also need to complete their pre-clearance health form by a registered physician or nursing practitioner, declaring that they meet the health requirements for this job.

Upon Graduation

The program prepares students for entry level jobs in food service industry. For more advanced career opportunities, they will need to upgrade their knowledge and skills. They may consider enrolling in a food service degree program right after completing this program or later on after gaining substantial experience, depending upon their requirements.