Head Cook

Posted 1 year ago

Purpose of Your Job Position

The primary purpose of your job position is to prepare food in accordance with current applicable federal, state, and local standards, guidelines and regulations, with out established policies and procedures, and as may be directed by the Dietitian and/or Director of Food Services, to assure that quality food service is provided at all times.


Delegation of Authority

As Head Cook, you are delegated the administrative authority, responsibility, and accountability necessary for carrying out your assigned duties.


Job Functions

Every effort has been made to identify the essential functions of this position. However, it in no way states or implies that these are the only duties you will be required to perform. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related, or is an essential function of the position.


Duties and Responsibilities


Administrative Functions

  • Review menus prior to preparation of food
  • Assist in developing, implementing, and coordinating department policies and procedures, dietary manuals, job descriptions, etc.
  • Interpret department policies and procedures to personnel, residents, visitors, family members, etc., as necessary.
  • Assist in planning regular and special diet menus as prescribed by the attending physician. Assure that food is available for preparation by cooks.
  • Perform administrative requirements such as completing necessary forms, reports, etc., and submit to the Director of Food Services.
  • Coordinate dietary service with other departments as necessary.
  • Work with the facility’s dietitian as necessary and implement recommended changes as required.
  • Ensure that all dietary procedures are followed in accordance with established policies.
  • Assist in developing methods for determining quality and quantity of food served.
  • Assist in standardizing the methods in which work will be accomplished.
  • Assume the authority, responsibility and accountability of Head Cook.
  • Ensure that menus are maintained and filed in accordance with established policies and procedures.
  • Process diet changed and new diets as received from Nursing Services.
  • Others as deemed necessary and appropriate, or as may be directed.


Committee Functions

  • Implement recommendations from the Infection Control and Safety Committees as directed/necessary.
  • Attend department and staff meetings as directed or called.


Personnel Functions

  • Meet with dietary personnel, as necessary, to assist in identifying and correcting problem areas, and/or the improvement of services.
  • Develop and maintain a good working rapport with inter-department personnel as well as with other departments within the facility to assure that food service can be properly maintained to meet the needs of the residents.
  • Ensure that department personnel, residents, visitors, etc., follow established dietary policies and procedures at all times.
  • Create and maintain an atmosphere of warmth, personal interest, and positive emphasis as well as a calm environment throughout the department.
  • Delegate authority, responsibility, and accountability to other responsible department personnel.
  • Assist in scheduling department working hours, personnel, work assignments, etc.
  • Assist in establishing food service production lines, etc., to assure that meals are prepared on time.
  • Report absenteeism and tardiness to the Director.
  • Report complaints and grievances to the Director.
  • Assist in conducting departmental performance evaluations as necessary.
  • Report all occupational exposures to blood, body fluids, infectious materials, and hazardous chemicals to the Direct of Food Services.


Staff Development

  • Participate in programs designed for in-service education, on-the-job training and orientation classes for newly assigned department personnel. (Includes maintaining appropriate recordkeeping requirements of when classes were held, subject matter attendance, etc., as necessary.)
  • Participate and assist in departmental studies and projects as assigned or that maybe become necessary.
  • Attend and participate in workshops, seminars, etc., as directed.
  • Attend and participate in annual HazCom, blood borne pathogens, and TB in-service training programs.


Dietary Service

  • Prepare meals in accordance with planned menus.
  • Prepare and serve meals that are palatable and appetizing in appearance.
  • Assist in serving meals as necessary, and on a timely basis.
  • Serve food in accordance with established portion control procedures.
  • Prepare food for therapeutic diets in accordance with planned menus.
  • Prepare food in accordance with standardized recipes and special diet orders.
  • Inspect special diet trays to assure that the correct diet is being served.
  • Prepare and serve residents nutritional bedtime snacks.
  • Be sure that appropriate equipment and utensils are provided with the resident’s meal tray.
  • Review care plans to assure that the resident’s dietary needs are being met.
  • Prepare and serve substitute foods to residents who refuse foods served.


Safety and Sanitation

  • Prepare food in accordance with sanitary regulations as well as with out established policies and procedures.
  • Assist in maintain the Dietary Department in a safe and sanitary manner.
  • Ensure that safety regulations and precautions are followed at all times by all personnel.
  • Follow established Infection Control and Universal Precautions policies and procedures when performing daily tasks.
  • Assist/direct daily or scheduled cleaning duties in accordance with established policies and procedures.
  • Ensure that the department is maintained in a clean and safe manner by assuring that necessary equipment and supplies are maintained.
  • Report all accidents/incidents as established by department policies. Fill out and file reports as directed.
  • Ensure that food storage areas are clean and properly arranged at all times.
  • Coordinate routine/terminal isolation procedures with Nursing Services.
  • Report all hazardous conditions or equipment to your supervisor.
  • Report missing/illegible labels or MSDSs to the Director of Food Services.
  • Ensure that fire protection and prevention programs are maintained by department personnel in accordance with our fire safety policies and procedures.
  • Conduct daily inspections of assigned work areas to assure that cleanliness and sanitary conditions are maintained.
  • Ensure that refuse is disposed of daily and in accordance with out established sanitation procedures.
  • Be sure that dietary personnel wear protective clothing/devices when performing tasks that involve the handling of infectious waste and/or blood/body fluids.
  • Other(s) that may become necessary/appropriate to assure that our facility is maintained in a clean, safe, and comfortable manner.


Equipment and Supply Functions

  • Assist in the purchasing of food and supplies.
  • Ensure that stock levels of staple/non-staple food, supplies, equipment, etc., are maintained at adequate levels at all times.
  • Ensure that food and supplies for the next meal are readily available.
  • Assist in inventorying and storing in-coming food, supplies, etc., as necessary.
  • Recommend to the Director of Food Services the equipment and supply needs of the department.
  • Ensure that containers of hazardous chemicals used in the dietary department are properly labeled and stored.


Budget and Planning Functions

Verify invoices for the purchasing of food, supplies, equipment, etc., and submit to accounting as directed.


Resident Rights

  • Maintain confidentiality of all pertinent resident care information.
  • Knock before entering a resident’s room.
  • Review complaints and grievances and make necessary oral/written reports to the Director of                                        Food Services. Follow facility’s established procedures.



Make only authorized food substitutions.


Working Conditions

  • Works in well-lighted/ventilated areas. Atmosphere is warm for cooking.
  • Moves intermittently during working hours.
  • Is subject to frequent interruptions.
  • Is involved with residents, personnel, visitors, government agencies/personnel, etc., under all conditions and circumstances.
  • Is subject to hostile and emotionally upset residents, family members, etc.
  • Communicates with the medical staff, nursing staff, and other department supervisors.
  • Works beyond normal duty hours, on weekends, and in other positions temporarily, when necessary.
  • Is subject to call-back during emergency conditions (e.g., severe weather, evacuation, post-disaster, etc.).
  • Attends and participates in continuing educational programs.
  • Is subject to injury from falls, burns from equipment, odors, etc., throughout the work day, as well as to reactions from dust, disinfectants, tobacco smoke, and other air contaminants.
  • Is subject to sudden temperature changes when entering refrigerator.
  • May be exposed to heat/cold temperatures in kitchen/storage area.
  • Is subject to exposure to infectious waste, diseases, conditions, etc., including TB and the AIDS and Hepatitis B viruses.
  • Maintain a liaison with other department supervisors to adequately plan for dietary services/activities.
  • May be subject to the handling of and exposure to hazardous chemicals.


Must possess, as a minimum, a _________ grade education



One (1) year dietary experience in a supervisory capacity in a hospital, skilled nursing care facility, or other related medical facility preferred but not required.


Specific Requirements

  • Must be able to cook a variety of foods in large quantities.
  • Must be able to write, read, speak, and understand the English language.
  • Must possess the ability to make independent decisions when circumstances warrant such action.
  • Must possess the ability to deal tactfully with personnel, residents, family members, visitors, government agencies/personnel and the general public.
  • Must be knowledgeable of dietary procedures.
  • Must possess leadership ability and willingness to work harmoniously with other personnel.
  • Must maintain the care and use of supplies, equipment, the appearance of dietary service areas, and perform regular inspections of dietary service areas for sanitation, order, safety and proper performance of assigned duties.
  • Must have patience, tact, cheerful disposition and enthusiasm as well as be willing to handle residents based on whatever maturity level they are currently functioning.
  • Must possess the ability to seek out new methods and principles and be willing to incorporate them into existing dietary practices.
  • Must not pose a direct threat to the health or safety of other individuals in the workplace.


Physical and Sensory Requirements (With or Without the Aid of Mechanical Devices)

  • Must be able to move intermittently throughout the work day.
  • Must be able to speak and write the English language in an understandable manner.
  • Must be able to cope with the mental emotional and stress of the position.
  • Must possess sight/hearing senses or use prosthetics that will enable these senses to function adequately so that the requirements of this position can be fully met.
  • Must function independently, have flexibility, personal integrity, and the ability to work effectively with the residents, personnel, and support agencies.
  • Must meet the general health requirements set forth by the policies of this facility which include a medical and physical examination.
  • Must be able to relate to and work with ill, disabled, elderly, emotionally upset, and, at times, hostile people within the facility.
  • Must be able to lift up to 25 pounds. Frequent carrying of dietary supplies. Requires frequent pushing and pulling of carts.
  • Must be able to taste and smell food to determine quality and palatability.
  • May be necessary to assist in the evacuation of residents during emergency situations.



I have read this job description and fully understand the requirements set forth therein.  I hereby accept the position of Head Cook and agree to perform the identified essential functions in a safe manner and in accordance with the facility’s established procedures.  I understand that as a result of my employment, I may be exposed to blood, body fluids, infectious diseases, air contaminants (including tobacco smoke), and hazardous chemicals and that the facility will provide to me instructions on how to prevent and control such exposures.  I further understand that I may also be exposed to the Hepatitis B virus and that the facility will make available to me, free of charge, the hepatitis b vaccination.


I understand that my employment is at-will, and thereby understand that my employment may be terminated at-will either by the facility or by myself, and that such termination can be made with or without notice.

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