Do you have an interest in working with patients/residents and food; food customer service skills; high standards of personal hygiene and a neat appearance; sufficient physical strength and stamina to handle the demands and working conditions such as being on your feet all day; and an ability to follow directions and work as part of a team? If so, you may want to consider becoming one of Canada’s food service workers.

According to Alberta Health Services, these professionals, “work as part of a team that can include other food services workers, cooks, supervisors, managers, dieticians and others, depending on the size and type of facility … Food services workers spend almost all of their work time standing and walking. During their shifts they may visit patient or resident care rooms and work in kitchens or cafeterias. They may find themselves lifting, pushing, and pulling food, supplies and equipment during the course of their work. Food services workers may handle sharp or hot items and strong cleaning supplies during their work and so must take care not to harm themselves or others in doing so.”

At Centennial College’s Food Service Worker program, students are taught how to handle all of these tasks in an efficient manner in just one semester. Developed to meet the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care regulations and with input from professional organizations and health care employers, students benefit from a learning experience that meets current government standards and employer requirements as well as a work placement.

Among the courses that are offered in this program are:

The Role of the Food Service Worker:
In the healthcare industry, this professional’s role is essential. This overview course explores the range of responsibilities and duties of the Food Service worker as well as food service operations, quality and risk management, ethical issues, legislation and regulation.

Workplace Communications:
Effective communication is the key to great customer service and job hunting. Students not only receive helpful methods for job searching but they also learn to understand the value of effectively communicate and customer service with clients, co-workers, management, external service providers and related government agencies.

Nutrition in Health Care:
In their roles, Food Service Workers must understand nutrition. As such, they learn to identify factors that affect food intake and apply them to basic menu planning principles based on Canada’s Food guide; explore nutritional needs and the factors affecting intake throughout the life cycle; and understand the personalization of food and nutrition by therapeutic and texture modification.

Kitchen Equipment and Food Preparation:
Food preparation and production is one of the main roles of this professional. This course was created to teach students to apply the theory of menu planning, portion control, food procurement, quantity food preparation and production, role of the production staff, preparation equipment and quality improvement.

To become successful in this field, a Food Service Degree is not necessary. The Ontario College Graduate certificate with which you will graduate from Centennial College allows you to work in: long-term care, retirement facilities, acute care and with food service contractors.