Food Service Worker

Seneca College Certificate

Related Studies


The Food Service Worker program is designed to provide students with the skills and abilities required to perform effectively in institutional food preparation settings. Customer service, safe food-handling techniques, safety, nutrition, communications, food and beverage preparation and service are covered under this certificate program. Students graduating from this program will have the knowledge and skills required to function in nutrition and food services within a long-term care facility and become an integral member of the long-term care interdisciplinary team. This program is mandated by the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care for all staff employed in the position of food service worker in long-term care dietary environments.

Career Opportunities

Graduates may be employed as a Food Service Workers, Nutritional Aide, Food Preparer, and/or Dietary Aide in healthcare settings and in similar food-service occupations in the healthcare sector. These occupational areas in the healthcare sector include hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, restaurants, catering companies, childcare centres, summer camps, and community facilities that offer day programming.

According to the Job Bank of Government of Canada, the employment outlook for this classification was reported to be good on August 25, 2017. There is a strong employment growth in this occupation as a large number of people are expected to retire. Within the Toronto region, approximately 57,640 people work in this occupation. In October 2017, there were approximately 624 job postings for "food service worker" in Toronto. The postings came from a cross section of sectors: senior care service (retirement residences, nursing homes), health care services (hospitals, long-term care facilities), retail, education institutions , government, and the food industry. 

Entry Requirements

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent with:
    • Grade 12 English: ENG4 (C) or ENG4 (U)


  • Mature Student Status (age 19 or older) with the prerequisite course, its equivalent or appropriate Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) Certificate program credit (see Academic Upgrading).

The following Seneca College course will be accepted in lieu of a high school credit for admission purposes:

  • ESL934. To determine placement in this course, you must complete the ELL100.


It is your responsibility to ensure that program requirements and course prerequisites as outlined are met. Prerequisites are included for your academic protection. Knowledge of the prerequisite material is assumed by your instructor and instruction will proceed accordingly. Students lacking prerequisites not only jeopardize their own ability to succeed but present unnecessary interruption. If you lack appropriate prerequisites (or Transfer Credit for the prerequisite course) you may be asked to withdraw or transfer to a more appropriate course with the risk of academic/financial penalty.

Filter Classes: In Class     Online     Correspondence     Hybrid     Availability   

Due to COVID-19, all Part-time Studies courses are being offered online until further notice, in one of the following two formats: online virtual classroom and online self-directed. Click Availability below to see current offerings.


The following courses are offered online.

Role of the Food Service Worker

This course focuses on the food service worker's role in health care food service with an emphasis on requirements under the Long-Term Care Homes Act. Various food production, delivery and service systems will be introduced and departmental operations such as purchasing, receiving, storage and inventory will be discussed. Quality management and costs controls will also be addressed.

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Sanitation and Safety

This course focuses on preventing food-borne illness within the health care environment. Safe food handling practices and regulations and acts governing food service are emphasized. Quality improvement and risk management programs such as HACCP are also discussed. Safe working environments for the FSW are explored including fire safety, managing safety hazards, prevention of common injuries, and an introduction to first aid.

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Communication and the Food Service Worker

This course focuses on the communication skills required by the food service worker. General principles of human communication such as verbal interaction and listening are explored. Students will learn effective communication skills with patients, residents, co-workers and supervisors. Students will also have the opportunity to develop writing skills and presentation skills with a major emphasis on documenting and charting food intake measuring techniques, communication of therapeutic diets and nutrition support required for treatment

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Quantity Food Preparation

This course focuses on the cooking principles and methods for preparing food in large quantities. Students will be introduced to control systems used in quantity food production including menu planning, standardized recipes, portion control, forecasting, scheduling and service. Various food types will be examined including sandwiches, salads, desserts, beverages, soups, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, and cheese. Texture modified and special menu items will also be explored. This course emphasizes the importance of quality improvement and customer satisfaction in quantity food production.

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Introduction to Nutrition

This course introduces students to the basic principles of human nutrition and the role of nutrition in the health care environment. Nutrient composition of foods and current nutrition recommendations for carbohydrate, fat, protein, vitamins, minerals and water will be discussed. An introduction to digestion, absorption and transport of nutrients will be provided. Energy balanced and body composition and special considerations for nutrition throughout the lifecycle will also be explored.

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Nutrition in Health Care


Introduction to Nutrition FSW104
FSW104 and FSW105 may be taken concurrently

This course focuses on the basic principles of diet therapy. Several therapeutic diets are discussed, as well as tube feedings and commercial preparations.

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Program Outcomes

  1. Communicate the role of nutrition and apply the principles of human nutrition to food production, in the health care foodservice environment.
  2. Discuss the standards and principles of diet therapy relating to a variety of illnesses and disease and apply these principles to the assembly of therapeutic meals in the health care foodservice environment.
  3. Provide a safe and healthy dietary environment, including food that is free from bacteria and other harmful contaminants, by adhering to government and departmental regulations relating to food safety, and injury and hazard prevention strategies.
  4. Contribute to the success and image of the health care dietary area by applying interpersonal skills that enhance employee performance.
  5. Function within the food service worker's scope of practice to support the goals of health care foodservice
  6. Develop and maintain ongoing personal professional development strategies.
  7. Carry out cost control techniques in the operation of foodservice in the health care environment.
  8. Apply food and bake theories to all aspects of food preparation in health care.
  9. Implement cooking principles and techniques in the preparation of large quantities of various foods for the health care environment
  10. Apply knowledge of healthcare foodservice systems and adhere to departmental and industry work standards.


When you meet all program requirements and become eligible for a certificate, diploma, or degree, you must inform the Registrar by completing a Graduation Application form and paying the graduation and alumni fee. Certificates, diplomas, and applied degrees are issued twice a year in the Fall (October) and Spring (June).

For further information including deadlines and fees, please visit the  Convocation website or contact the Convocation Office at 416-491-5050 ext. 77461.

Program Contacts

Maria Graziosi
Program Assistant
416-491-5050 ext.22512

Melanie Rubens
Program Coordinator
416-491-5050 ext.22589

For more information about this program, fill out the following form.