School Cook


School cooks are responsible to provide nutritious, balanced and value-for-money meals to children every day during their meal break. School Cook

School cook prepares large quantities of food, including hot meals, sandwiches and desserts in advance according to a predetermined menu for students during the school day. Besides preparing food, cooks ensure that all food is handled in a safe and clean manner in order to prevent illness.  School Cook must also be able to use a variety of kitchen equipment and be familiar with a vast amount of ingredients in order to prepare meals properly. Professional training, official certification and experience are all that is needed to become a school cook. o

What’s Involved?


The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in school cook roles:

  • Ordering food
  • Planning menus according to a fixed budget and following guidelines on nutrition and healthy eating
  • Monitoring and managing supplies within a budget
  • Supervising the work of catering staff, including allocation of duties and daily work routine
  • Developing relationships with food suppliers
  • Co-coordinating with site manager
  • Complying with food safety legislation
  • Prepare large quantities of food from established recipes and menus
  • Store prepared food, and serve food to students during meal times
  • Clean kitchen and working areas at beginning and end of shifts, and throughout the day
  • Ensure food preparation and handling guidelines are observed to prevent food borne illness. school cook

Skills And Experience You Will Need


  • Excellent communication skills
  • Good standards of hygiene
  • Organised and methodical
  • Previous experience of catering
  • Supervising a team of catering staff. school cook

Entry Requirements


It is up to schools and local authorities to decide what qualifications and experience applicants need to have, so it is important to check locally. Some may employ people on the basis of their experience and potential alone.

The following qualification is available for those not yet employed in the role:

Level 2 Award in Support Work in Schools

However, this award is solely theory-based, without requiring a placement in a school, so it is important to check with the school or local authority whether they would accept the qualification. Schools usually expect school cooks to have a qualification in Food Preparation and Cooking. It can often help if you have further qualifications in Kitchen Supervision or Kitchen Management. school cook 

How To Become A School Cafeteria Cook?

  • Generally, only a high school diploma is needed to work as a school cafeteria cook. Many school cooks start as fast food cooks, table buzzers or dishwashers and work their way up to prep cook, line cook or short-order cook positions. Once gaining some experience as a cook in a restaurant, you should qualify for open positions as a school cook.
  • Instead of starting in entry-level positions, some aspiring school cooks opt to instead earn a cooking certificate from a community college or vocational school. This certificate can take the place of experience and can help job seekers find work as school cooks as soon as they graduate. Certificate programs usually require just a few months to a year to complete and may be preferred to working in fast food or as a dishwasher for some individuals.
  • Because school cooks work with children, they usually must pass a background check and they may also have to pass a drug test. Individuals with criminal records may not qualify to work in a school but the rules depend on the institution and the laws of the location you work in.

A formal procedure may require to make a permanent career in the field of being a school cook. There are certain requirements need to be followed below:

  1. Training: Some school cooks obtain training on the job, but vocational courses and training programs are available. Some school districts even offer their own training programs and workshops in cooking and food safety. School cooks may also complete training in food-ordering practices, meal planning, inventory control, budgeting, record keeping and report preparation. Food service production courses can teach the techniques used to prepare large quantities of food. A food preparation course may also provide students with a basic education in cooking techniques and safety and sanitation practices.
  2. Certification: State and local governments require school cooks to complete sanitation and safety training. Food safety and sanitation training provides students with information on food storage, safe temperatures, cleaning and hand washing techniques. Cafeteria workers may be required to take additional safety courses while working.
  3. Experience: Employers may require school cooks to have experience working in a large facility’s kitchen. School Cooks may gain experience working in school cafeterias as assistant cooks, cashiers or servers. Experience in a school cafeteria can provide the skills to work with students and prepare for the flow of customers during meal times.
  4. Career Advancement: School Cooks can also advance to supervisory positions based on their work experience, training and level of cooking skills. Prospective school cooks should obtain training in cooking and food preparation, pass state certifications for safe food handling and sanitation and gain related experience in order pursue a career in a school cafeteria, which may be furthered through specific career advancement opportunities. school cook

 

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