Food Preparation Workers

As food preparation workers, we are responsible for food safety and food quality. We have to make sure that food […]

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As food preparation workers, we are responsible for food safety and food quality. We have to make sure that food is prepared in a way that prevents contamination from bacteria. Our job also includes making food more appealing by adding spices or sauces. Food preparation workers provide a service to the customers which they pay us for with their money, but our primary responsibility is to make sure the food meets the standards set forth by law, so people don’t get sick!

Food Preparation Workers are food-based workers who work in the food industry, specifically restaurants and hotels that serve food to customers. They often will have jobs early mornings or late evenings; weekends or holidays may be a requirement of their job as well. As Food Preparation Workers, they need to know food safety practices to make sure food is kept safe from food contamination and foodborne illnesses. They may have to adjust their food safety practices based on the environment they are in, such as a food truck versus a catering company.

What is a Food Preparation Worker?

For the most part, food preparation workers perform routine tasks under a chef or supervisor’s guidance. It is their job to cut and peel vegetables, slice meat, and brew coffee; they may also make cold food items like sandwiches or salads.

As food preparation workers, we are responsible for food safety and food quality. We have to make sure that food is prepared in a way that prevents contamination from bacteria. Our job also includes making food more appealing by adding spices or sauces. Food preparation workers provide a service to the customers which they pay us for with their money, but our primary responsibility is to make sure food meets standards set forth by law, so people don’t get sick!

What do they do?

A typical day at work as a food preparation worker might include slicing meat, preparing cold food, brewing coffee or tea, food safety, and food quality training.

What is the wage?

The average food preparation worker makes $11 per hour.

How to get a job as a food preparation worker?

Food Preparation Workers must be at least 18 years old, food-handling safety trained, and have food preparation experience; have graduated from high school (or equivalent); not need any special accommodations for disabilities in food preparation; must be able to spend the entire workday on their feet, and have food-handling safety knowledge.

Food Preparation Workers receive food from food suppliers, such as grocery stores or restaurants, in order to prepare dishes for customers and are responsible for food safety and food quality. We also make food more appealing by adding spices or sauces.



When food is delivered to the kitchen, we are responsible for its food safety and food quality by making sure that all of our cooking procedures meet the standards set forth by law, so people don’t get sick! Our food preparation techniques include food safety and food quality training.

What Food Preparation Workers Do

Food preparation workers are responsible for completing routine, repetitive tasks under the direction of caterers and other kitchen staff.

Their responsibilities typically include slicing and dicing vegetables to create complex dishes, assembling salads in addition to other cold items that await chefs’ orders.

  • Wash and clean work surfaces, cooking equipment, serving dishes
  • Ingredients are usually measured in grams or ounces rather than teaspoons.
  • Prepare fresh toppings for salads, including lettuce, tomatoes, and onions.
  • Prepare meat, poultry, and seafood for cooking by cutting or grinding.
  • Store shelves with salad items
  • Keep food in designated storage areas to avoid spoilage.
  • Use a thermometer before cooking and serving food, as well as checking the temperature of pre-cooked foods that are stored near warmer temperatures.

Most food preparation workers prepare food and work in kitchens, but some also gather cooking utensils, pots, pans, and clean kitchen equipment. Their other typical duties include keeping salad bars stocked and cleaning buffet tables. Some food preparation workers work in hotels and full-service restaurants, preparing drinks for customers. Other food preparation workers work at fast-food restaurants, taking customer orders and paying with the restaurant’s cash registers. In modern kitchens, food service workers use a variety of commercial kitchen equipment, including cash registers. Blenders and dishwashers are typical in these areas as well.

Workplace of a Food Preparation Worker like?

Workers employed in restaurants, hotels, and other places where food is served may include grocery stores, schools, hospitals, and cafeterias. Food preparation workers typically work early mornings, late evenings, weekends, or holidays. They must be able to spend the majority of their time on their feet as they prepare foods, clean up after themselves in the kitchen or behind a fast-food counter, or lift heavy pots from stoves. Working in an industrial kitchen can be hectic and stressful, especially during peak hours.

Work Environment

A food preparation worker is in a food-based workplace with many people. The fast-paced environment can be hectic and stressful, especially during peak dining hours.

Workers must have food safety knowledge to do the job properly! They are also not allowed to work closely around those who are sick or may get sick from food being handled by food preparation workers.



Their food safety training will include how to keep food safe from bacterial contamination, such as by maintaining utensils and food at a proper temperature using methods like cooking food thoroughly or by refrigerating it promptly after cooking. They may also learn about the disease-causing organisms that can contaminate foods, including parasites found in raw food and foodborne illnesses.

Because food preparation workers work in many kitchens that are not under the same conditions or requirements, they may need to adjust their food safety practices accordingly. For example, an employee at a food truck would have different food handling procedures than someone who works for a caterer because of the environment.

The job is not strenuous, but food preparation workers need to be in good health and have the stamina for customer service.



Most food preparation workers do not require a lot of training or education; they learn skills on the job from managers. Since food safety is such an important issue, employers will often provide courses that are required as part of their job.

Food Preparation

How to Become a Food Preparation Worker

Anyone with a food preparation certificate can become a food preparation worker. Some food preparation certificates are from independent colleges and universities, while others may be offered by community colleges or trade schools that teach skills like cooking, baking, catering, or food service management.

Students learn about safe food practices in the classroom as well as through hands-on training at restaurants, food manufacturers, or food retailers.



Once they complete school and pass their certification exam, food preparation workers can get a job at any foodservice establishment in the country that is hiring.

Some employers may offer on-the-job training to new hires who need it; others might assign trainees with more experienced coworkers, so they learn by watching.

Anyone who has taken an independent or community college course about food preparation can become employed with this job title without much experience; most will receive some food service management or food safety training on the job.

Here are some of the studies on why this job is a great career.

  • – A food preparation worker does not need any formal training or education beyond food safety certification to get started on their first day of work and can often advance in positions within food service with a food preparation certificate.
  • – The job can be done at any time of day, even early mornings or late evenings, weekends, holidays—the hours are not limited to one set schedule
  • – A food preparation worker (with training) might get promoted and earn more money over time as they advance in their skills
  • -The food preparation industry is expected to grow by 11 percent from 2016-2026.


Baking is the process of cooking a mixture of ingredients, such as flour, sugar, and/or eggs. Baking requires patience because the heat needs to be gradual so that flavors develop evenly throughout the dish.

To thoroughly mix ingredients such as eggs, sugar, and butter by rapidly stirring in a circular motion.



Blend- To mix two or more ingredients until they are thoroughly combined together.

Boil To prepare food in a liquid which is 100oC.

Bread To prevent food from sticking to the pan, first coat it in a liquid (e.g., eggs, milk, etc.), then breadcrumbs or other crumb-like substances.

Broil – To cook food under direct heat.

Browning food will quickly cause the outside to heat up without drying out the inside.

Chop – Use a large knife to cut food into bite-size pieces.

For making a cream, add the ingredients of butter, milk, sugar, and vanilla extract.

Cube To make cubes of food (about 1/2 inch or 1.3 cm).

Dice To cut food into small pieces. (approximately 1/8 to 4 inch or 3 to 12 cm)

Fold to gently cut across the mixture in a down-across-up-and-over motion. Leave the utensil at the bottom of the dish until all ingredients are well blended together.

Grate To finely shred food by rubbing it against a grater with sharp, serrated edges.

Grease To apply a thin layer of cooking oil to the inside of a pan using paper towels.

Marinate These are for soaking food in a seasoned liquid containing acid and oil. It

should be covered and refrigerated while marinating.

Mince To cut food into tiny pieces, smaller than chopped

Mix For some cooks, one of the most basic tasks is pureeing.

Pare To cut off a thin layer of peel (e.g., potatoes or apples).

Purée To grind or mash food until it is entirely smooth and semi-liquid.

Reduce To simmer a liquid until some of the moisture evaporates, and the liquid becomes more concentrated.

Roast To fry meats, vegetables, and poultry in a shallow, uncovered pan.

Scald Heating a liquid, typically milk, to just below the boiling point.



Sift The dry ingredients will be passed through the sieve to remove any large pieces or incorporate air to make it lighter.

Simmer-To cook food by slowly heating it in liquid, usually until steam starts to come off the food. Bubbles rise slowly and do not break the surface of the cooking food.

Slice To prepare food in a uniform way by cutting it into pieces of appropriate size.

Steam is to cook food by placing it above water but without boiling the water.

Stir together ingredients gently with a circular motion.

Whipping is a light and fluffy result achieved by whipping ingredients until they are light and fluffy.

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