Just the facts: What a Food Service Worker is, and how to become one

picture of two Centennial College Food Service Worker program students in class looking at a book

If you think a career in Food Service Work is a career behind the counter of a restaurant, you’ll be surprised to learn what it’s really about. Food Service Work actually has more to do with healthcare, and providing for people who often have special nutritional needs. Here’s the true facts about the job, and about Centennial College’s Food Service Worker certificate program.

What it’s not

A service industry position. You’re not in a restaurant, you’re not cooking meals for customers, and you’re not waiting tables. There isn’t anything wrong with these jobs, but it’s just not what you’re doing. Instead, you’re working in healthcare.

What it is

Instead of taking place in a traditional restaurant, food service work takes place in hospitals, senior’s residences, and other health-related facilities. When you’re studying for a career in Food Service Work, you’re studying to become part of a larger healthcare team. Your role will be to learn and ensure the nutritional needs of the people your organization are taking care of are met, by applying the principles of nutrition to food production, both on a small scale, and for mass production for large groups of people.

Why it’s important

It’s a career that’s focused on health, which is important. Everyone needs to eat well, and places like these need nutritional experts that can both make healthy food, and make food that can taste great. If you can become one of these experts, you’ll be filling an important role. After all, you might have patients who are immunocompromised, or have diabetes, or be on chemotherapy, and it’s very important that they get the right food.

How the program works

The Food Service Worker program is a conveniently short entry-level certificate program that runs for only a single semester, giving you a quick way to enter the workforce. You learn about the nutrition requirements each person needs to live a full, healthy life, as well as the ways nutrition affects and prevents illness and disease, and how to create meals that are safe, healthy and therapeutic. The program also helps you learn these skills critically, through putting you out into the field in field placements in the types of locations where you’ll be working. It’s even possible for your placement to lead directly into a job when you graduate, since you’ve been trained at that facility.

How you can take it further

While Food Service Worker connects you straight to a job, you can also use it as a pathway to get educated further, using it to head into the Food and Nutrition Management program, or the Health Environment Services Management program. Either way, the program provides an excellent base of learning that you can use to expand your involvement in the food industry.

By Anthony Geremia

Tags: Centennial college programs,Centennial college education,Centennial college in Toronto,Centennial community college,Community college in Toronto,School of Community and Health Studies