Hospital food service jobs include food service worker, food service manager and nutrition service manager. General food service worker responsibilities include meal preparation, serving and cleaning up after meals. Management jobs involve various aspects of worker supervision, coordination and planning.
Food service workers in hospitals are responsible for preparing patient meals according to specified dietary needs. The worker must read menu cards and follow basic instructions for each patient and assemble a meal tray that consists of acceptable food items. Common food items prepared by workers include beverages, salads, sandwiches and soups. Workers place food trays on carts and deliver meals to patients. These trays are collected and brought to the kitchen where workers clean them along with dishes, utensils and other items.
Hospital food service managers supervise food worker staff, but also often perform additional duties such as tracking inventory, ordering supplies, and hiring and training staff. Food service managers are expected to handle and resolve food service-related problems. It is the nutrition services manager's job to ensure patient meals follow guidelines set by hospital dietitians. Managers also ensure clinical meals meet strict safety, sanitation and quality standards set by government regulations. Depending on the hospital, nutrition service managers perform duties such as menu planning, kitchen inspection and analyzing nutritional needs of patients.