Competencies

Competencies for Dietary Employees

January 11, 2017   /
Author: 
Nutrition411 Staff

 

Nutrition and menu planning

Department: Dietary

 

Employee’s signature: ________________________________

Date: __________________

 

The employee referenced above has completed the critical skills successfully.

 

Reviewer’s signature: ________________________________

Date: ___________________

 

Ensures all meals served meet current nutritional standards and meal pattern requirements

 

  • Ensures use of nutritionally equivalent foods, when menu substitutions are necessary
  • Makes sure special food and nutrition needs are met for patients with an appropriate approved diet order
  • Checks for service of a variety of nutrient-dense foods, if patient is selecting own menu
  • Implements an approved menu system that offers food choices of high nutritional value to patients
  • Monitors portion sizes of meal components served to patients to ensure that meals are nutritionally adequate
  • Provides required substitutions or modifications in meals for patients whose special needs restrict their diets
  • Knows methods of modifying menus to reduce fat, sodium, and sugar
  • Incorporates use of herbs and spices to enhance flavor when using less salt/sodium

 

Nutrition and menu planning

Department: Dietary

 

Employee’s signature: ________________________________

Date: __________________

 

The employee referenced above has completed the critical skills successfully.

 

Reviewer’s signature: ________________________________

Date: ___________________

 

Plans and provides menus that encourage patient and employee consumption

 

  • Knows how food habits and attitudes toward food influence lifetime diets
  • Understands impact of operational influences on menu planning (eg, physical facilities, equipment, constraints, schedules)
  • Ensures preparation of food combinations that add interest, contrast, and variety to a menu
  • Works with supervisors to plan menus around special occasions and holidays
  • Identifies needed menu modifications based on patient acceptability information

 

Sanitation, safety, and security

Department: Dietary

 

Employee’s signature: ________________________________

Date: __________________

 

The employee referenced above has completed the critical skills successfully.

 

Reviewer’s signature: ________________________________

Date: ___________________

 

Provides an environment conducive to protecting the health and wellness of the patients and employees through high levels of sanitation standards

 

  • Knows state and local code requirements for food service establishments
  • Understands basic principles of food service sanitation for equipment, personnel, food, and facility
  • Can explain the causes of foodborne illnesses and infections, their characteristics, and the most commonly infected items
  • Has knowledge of the procedures to follow to prevent bacterial food poisoning
  • Follows the principles of personal hygiene
  • Has understanding of the principles of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system or other appropriate safe food-handling techniques
  • Knows the sanitation principles associated with disposal and storage of garbage and refuse
  • Understands the importance of verifying safety and security of food items received from food vendors
  • Realizes the importance of maintaining a food safety policy
  • Maintains a practice of handling clean and sanitized equipment and utensils to protect them from contamination
  • Ensures process for maintaining food at the proper temperature at all times during freezing, thawing, preparation, holding, and serving
  • Implements rules of safe practice for handling and discarding of leftover foods
  • Keeps daily temperature records of the equipment and food as dictated by the supervisor, noting deficiencies and corrections
  • Implements a system of properly using, cleaning, and disinfecting approved garbage and trash receptacles, as well as surrounding area, on a regular basis
  • Demonstrates ability to recognize food quality and usability
  • Maintains storage cleanliness and sanitation in accordance with good housekeeping practices and sanitation guidelines
  • Has firm understanding of infection control precautions
  • Cleans food contact surfaces at least once every 4 hours
  • Uses cutting boards according to the type of food
  • Stores cleaning cloths in sanitizing solution

 

Sanitation, safety, and security

Department: Dietary

 

Employee’s signature: ________________________________

Date: __________________

 

The employee referenced above has completed the critical skills successfully.

 

Reviewer’s signature: ________________________________

Date: ___________________

 

Demonstrates an understanding of food temperature/time controls

 

  • Cooks food adequately to required internal temperatures for potentially hazardous foods
  • Uses thermometers to check food temperatures
  • Demonstrates knowledge of proper cooking temperatures for foods
  • Assures that hot foods are held at 135° F or higher, after they are heated to a minimum internal temperature
  • Checks to make sure cold foods are held below 41° F
  • Makes sure that leftovers are reheated rapidly to 165° F in 2 hours
  • Checks and records temperatures prior to service
  • Uses rapid cooling methods to achieve 135° F to 70° F in 2 hours, and 70° F to 41° F in 4 additional hours
  • Knows time and temperature relationships associated with microbiological safety, appearance, and palatability of food

 

Sanitation, safety, and security

Department: Dietary

 

Employee’s signature: ________________________________

Date: __________________

 

The employee referenced above has completed the critical skills successfully.

 

Reviewer’s signature: ________________________________

Date: ___________________

 

Practices acceptable personal hygiene habits

 

  • Wears clean and appropriate uniforms, including proper shoes
  • Limits jewelry worn to watch, simple earrings, and plain ring
  • Keeps fingernails short, unpolished, and clean
  • Smokes only in designate areas (for smokers)
  • Uses and changes gloves and utensils, as necessary
  • Washes hands, as necessary
  • Eats, drinks, and chews gum only in designated areas, away from food preparation areas
  • Wears hair restraints
  • Observes restrictions for working with food when with an infection, and notifies manager immediately
  • Follows appropriate actions when coughing or sneezing
  • Covers open sores, cuts, or splint/bandages completely when handling food
  • Wears name badge at all times

 

Sanitation, safety, and security

Department: Dietary

 

Employee’s signature: ________________________________

Date: __________________

 

The employee referenced above has completed the critical skills successfully.

 

Reviewer’s signature: ________________________________

Date: ___________________

 

Practices sanitary and safe refrigerator/freezer storage

 

  • Stores raw and cooked foods separately
  • Practices the first-in, first-out method of inventory rotation
  • Keeps the refrigerator/freezer clean
  • Wraps, dates, and labels all foods properly
  • Takes and records temperatures daily, and takes corrective action, as appropriate
  • Assures that thermometers are conspicuous and accurate
  • Stores food 6″ off the floor and 18″ from the ceiling

 

Sanitation, safety, and security

Department: Dietary

 

Employee’s signature: ________________________________

Date: __________________

 

The employee referenced above has completed the critical skills successfully.

 

Reviewer’s signature: ________________________________

Date: ___________________

 

Provides sanitary and safe dry storage

 

  • Stores chemicals away from food and other food-related supplies
  • Keeps food stored in proper containers
  • Assures that dry storage temperatures are between 50° F and 70° F
  • Wraps, dates, and labels all food properly
  • Clears area of debris, and keeps area clean
  • Practices the first-in, first-out method of inventory rotation
  • Stores food 6″ off of the floor and 18″ from the ceiling

 

Sanitation, safety, and security

Department: Dietary

 

Employee’s signature: ________________________________

Date: __________________

 

The employee referenced above has completed the critical skills successfully.

 

Reviewer’s signature: ________________________________

Date: ___________________

 

Practices sanitary ware-washing principles

 

  • Allows utensils to air dry
  • Uses three-compartment sink appropriately
  • Documents mechanical and manual ware-washing parts-per-million (ppm) temperatures
  • Checks dishes and trays for chips and cracks, and discards if necessary

 

Sanitation, safety, and security

Department: Dietary

 

Employee’s signature: ________________________________

Date: __________________

 

The employee referenced above has completed the critical skills successfully.

 

Reviewer’s signature: ________________________________

Date: ___________________

 

Practices sanitary garbage storage and disposal

 

  • Keeps kitchen garbage cans clean
  • Removes boxes and containers from site
  • Empties garbage cans, as necessary

 

Sanitation, safety, and security

Department: Dietary

 

Employee’s signature: ________________________________

Date:__________________

 

The employee referenced above has completed the critical skills successfully.

 

Reviewer’s signature: ________________________________

Date: ___________________

 

Provides a safe environment for performance of work

 

  • Demonstrates principles of creating and maintaining a safe work environment
  • Understands accident prevention guidelines
  • Knows procedures for the use of fire extinguishers and/or fire-extinguishing systems appropriate for each type of fire
  • Has understanding of the safety standards for using equipment and maintaining facilities
  • Is familiar with procedures for reporting accidents and injuries
  • Follows procedures when handling utensils to prevent cuts and burns
  • Ensures safety of facility floors, aisles, and walkways by eliminating factors that can cause trips and falls
  • Demonstrates procedures for lifting and moving objects to prevent muscle and back injuries
  • Maintains a system for labeling and storing all chemicals and other hazardous materials in compliance with all local and state laws
  • Follows all manufacturers’ instructions for the proper use and care of equipment to prevent injuries, such as burns, cuts, etc
  • Makes sure that procedures for all facility-wide drills are followed
  • Works in a way to demonstrate that safety and health are a shared responsibility, understanding that all employees must take ownership of their safety, as well as the safety of their coworkers
  • Communicates any safety concerns to supervisor in a timely manner
  • Understands and demonstrates knowledge of how to act in case of a tornado, fire, internal disaster, evacuation, bomb threat, security incident, chemical spill, or utility failure
  • Knows the location of the Environment of Care Manual and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for all chemicals used in the kitchen

 

Food production and service

Department: Dietary

 

Employee’s signature: ________________________________

Date: __________________

 

The employee referenced above has completed the critical skills successfully.

 

Reviewer’s signature: ________________________________

Date: ___________________

 

Applies appropriate principles to maintain high standards of control for quality food production and security

 

  • Knows standards for preparing, holding, distributing, and serving food in volume that maintains nutrition and food quality
  • Understands how ingredients and preparation techniques influence the quality of the food product
  • Demonstrates understanding of the importance of using standardized recipes for effectively controlling food quality, recipe yield, portion size, and cost
  • Has knowledge of the principles of planning and scheduling food production to maximize efficient use of time and equipment, and minimize production challenges
  • Establishes procedures of food preparation to conserve the nutritive value, enhance flavor and attractiveness, and promote peak freshness of the final product
  • Plans for arrangement of equipment and utensils to achieve high production standards
  • Ensures production of adequate quantities of menu items, so that each patient is offered the advertised menu
  • Tests new recipes and food products prior to service

 

Food production and service

Department: Dietary

 

Employee’s signature: ________________________________

Date: __________________

 

The employee referenced above has completed the critical skills successfully.

 

Reviewer’s signature: ________________________________

Date: ___________________

 

Follows standards of excellence for providing and maintaining quality in the presentation and service of food

 

  • Identifies techniques to present menu items attractively on plate or tray
  • Ensures that service is on time with minimum waiting and without food shortages
  • Knows importance of quality presentation of the food served
  • Demonstrates proper measuring and knife skills in the preparation of food
  • Uses standard and appropriate portion sizes

 

Customer service and approach to job function

Department: Dietary

 

Employee’s signature: ________________________________

Date: __________________

 

The employee referenced above has completed the critical skills successfully.

 

Reviewer’s signature: ________________________________

Date: ___________________

 

Anticipates, monitors, and meets the needs of patients, visitors, and customers, and responds to them in an appropriate manner; demonstrates a personal commitment to identify apparent and underlying needs, and continually seeks to provide the highest quality service and product to all customers

 

  • Understands time-management techniques, and practices planning and setting of priorities
  • Knows importance of learning and implementing new techniques and methods to improve outdated activities
  • Serves as a role model to demonstrate the value of caring about people in the organization, particularly the patients and food-service customers
  • Promotes an atmosphere for cooperation between the kitchen staff and other departments within the facility’s organizational framework
  • Places a high priority on the satisfaction of those served
  • Respects and appreciates individual differences

 

Communication

Department: Dietary

 

Employee’s signature: ________________________________

Date: __________________

 

The employee referenced above has completed the critical skills successfully.

 

Reviewer’s signature: ________________________________

Date: ___________________

 

Communicates effectively with supervisors, visitors, patients, coworkers, and other employees

 

  • Knows methods of effective communication and how they work
  • Understands the importance of communicating needs and concerns to supervisor
  • Gives clear directions, instructions, guidance, and information to staff members
  • Recognizes and applies verbal and nonverbal communication techniques
  • Listens effectively to supervisor and other employees
  • Is familiar with and works within the organization’s lines of authority
  • Uses methods of problem solving and decision making
  • Obtains clarification of instructions, as necessary
  • Adjusts communication style to meet the needs of different people and situations
  • Takes a proactive approach to conflict resolution
  • Relays feedback to supervisor, as appropriate
  • Responds appropriately to questions or concerns regarding the progress of projects or resolution of problems
  • Handles incoming and outgoing telephone calls with a customer-service and professional focus

 

Accountability

Department: Dietary

 

Employee’s signature: ________________________________

Date: __________________

 

The employee referenced above has completed the critical skills successfully.

 

Reviewer’s signature: ________________________________

Date: ___________________

 

Accepts responsibility for own actions and decisions, and demonstrates commitment to accomplish work in an ethical, efficient, and cost-effective manner

 

  • Demonstrates personal responsibility for maintaining safe and sanitary conditions
  • Completes assigned tasks successfully and meets project deadlines by managing time and priorities
  • Takes personal responsibility for interacting with coworkers and customers in an honest, ethical, and fair manner
  • Follows up when situations change
  • Assesses multiple demands/competing priorities, and identifies necessary resources to handle critical work demands
  • Assumes responsibility for all personal decisions and actions

 

Adaptability

Department: Dietary

 

Employee’s signature: ________________________________

Date:__________________

 

The employee referenced above has completed the critical skills successfully.

 

Reviewer’s signature: ________________________________

Date: ___________________

 

Adjusts planned work by gathering relevant information and applying critical thinking to address multiple demands and competing priorities in a changing environment

 

  • Demonstrates willingness and flexibility to work outside normal schedule, routines, and duties
  • Handles change in priorities, with proper training and experience, as workload fluctuates
  • Adapts well to changes in job duties and responsibilities
  • Provides or assists with training to help others adapt to change
  • Assists others in transition, and demonstrates easier ways to complete assigned tasks
  • Recommends strategies to address changes affecting kitchen
  • Maintains flow of information to avoid stressful situations and ease transition to change

 

Team focus

Department: Dietary

 

Employee’s signature: ________________________________

Date:__________________

 

The employee referenced above has completed the critical skills successfully.

 

Reviewer’s signature: ________________________________

Date: ___________________

 

Works cooperatively and effectively with others to achieve common goals; participates in building a group identity characterized by pride, trust, and commitment

 

  • Contributes fair share of effort to team’s work
  • Understands, supports, and demonstrates commitment to team goals
  • Demonstrates willingness to assist in other areas of need to accomplish broader goals
  • Approaches projects with team orientation in order to achieve common goals
  • Provides input in the development of team goals
  • Identifies and clearly communicates department/team goals and objectives

 

References and recommended readings

Cross E, Asperin AE, Nettles MF. Competency-based performance appraisals for school nutrition managers and assistants/technicians. http://www.nfsmi.org/documentlibraryfiles/PDF/20100315043520.pdf. National School Food Service Management Institute website. Published 2008. Accessed July 7, 2014.

Nettles MF, Carr DH, Hubbard SR. National School Food Service Management Institute. On-the-job training for school nutrition assistants/technicians is essential. Insight. 2007;35:1-6. http://nfsmi.org/documentlibraryfiles/PDF/20080313045127.pdf.