Food Service

Our Internship Highlights from Our Foodservice Rotations

Kelsey Felter’s experience at UMH:

Food service management at Union Memorial Hospital (UMH) was my first rotation and UMH’s first time having a dietetic intern, which made for a truly unique, personal, and engaged experience. Reflecting on my time at UMH, I received a well-rounded learning experience supported by helpful and hard-working employees. I began my time in retail services, where I observed and learned the organization of the cafeteria, sales, pricing, inventory, and finances. The hands-on learning opportunities helped me learn the operation more quickly. For example, by the end of my two weeks in retail, I was able to cash-out cashiers, conduct an interview, and lead a “retail rally.” The “Retail Rally” was usually held to identify an employee who went above and beyond, discuss any menu changes, and cover any updates in the cafeteria and kitchen. Achieving competence in these skills helped to build my confidence being a leader in a food service setting.

After my time in retail services, I moved on to patient services. There was always something to learn in this fast-paced environment. I quickly grew comfortable checking carts containing patients’ meal trays, building meal trays, and delivering trays to patients. As my time in patient services progressed, I was able to fulfill more managerial roles such as conducting shadow reports, leading “Great Start” meetings, and completing patient rounds to ensure patients were receiving the proper meals, great service, and a menu. I completed shadow reports by following a catering assistant to ensure he or she was following proper protocol. “Great Start” meetings are an interactive way to allow catering assistants to try the foods being served that day, go over the topic of the week, discuss possible food allergens, and discuss ways to improve service. Working in patient services was an excellent way to understand the timeline and connection between the patient’s meal order, meal preparation on the tray line, and finally delivery to the patient. It will be very important to understand this process as an RD when patients ask what their diet means, how they can order meals, how the food is prepared, and what foods and supplements are available to them.

My last experience at UMH was in production. My partner and I were solely responsible for brainstorming, planning, prepping, cooking, and executing an entire station in the cafeteria. Since October’s superfood of the month was pumpkin, we decided to create a “Pump it Up with Pumpkin!” station. We created a three-course menu with the following items: butternut curry soup, blackened salmon with goat cheese and pumpkin salad, pasta with a pumpkin cream sauce, pumpkin spice muffins, and pumpkin cheesecake mousse. We worked with the executive chef to estimate the quantity of food we would need to purchase. Once the shipment came in, my partner and I prepped food the day before we would be selling our menu items at the station. The next day, we finished cooking and set up our station to sell our menu items. By the end of the day, we had sold most of the food we prepared; the station was a success! At the beginning of this rotation, I would have never imagined being able to interview future employees, ensure accuracy of employee duties in patient services, and prepare food for an entire station. Because of the food service staff at UMH, I was able to learn and expand my comfort zone as I learned the entire spectrum of food service.


Emily Glass: Food Safety

Food Safety

Whether you are cooking at home or preparing food for patients inside the hospital, food safety is essential. At Union Memorial Hospital, I had the opportunity to talk about temperature control and the importance of always using a food thermometer to the food service staff at the monthly department meeting. Use this brief guide to safely prepare meals!

A Taste of Food-service: UMD College Dining

-Adam Sachs

Although the campus dining is considered one of our technology rotations, there are still several food service elements that I experienced during this rotation

Deliveries & Inventory:
During one morning of my rotation at campus dining, my partner, Julia, and I met with inventory and stocking managers at the loading dock behind the dining hall building. Over the next couple hours we assisted with reviewing invoices of the incoming food delivery. The dining hall receives deliveries every day, and only has a short time in the morning to take inventory, and then distribute the ingredients to be processed for the days meals. Given the fact that the dining hall feeds thousands of students everyday, It was a great experience to see where the process starts.

The Service Line:
During one lunch service, Julia and I were put on the line to help serve food to students eating at the dining hall. The dining hall is open all day, but one of the busiest times is from 12-1pm. I was stationed at on of the grill lines and helped to serve grilled chicken as students came by. I also helped transport chicken from the kitchen to the grill station, which was then cooked right on the line before being served. Every employee behind the line has an important job to do, and they all must be able to work as a unit to make sure that students have the best dining experience possible.

Final Presentation Meal:
One the last day of the campus dining rotation, Julia and I served a small two course meal of recipes we developed and cooked in one of the dining hall kitchens. For our meal, we made crab stuffed portabello mushrooms, and mini pear tarts. the meal was served to many of the faculty who assisted with our rotation. We also gave a presentation of all our projects that we completed, and thanking everyone for helping and teaching us throughout our time at dining services.

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Danielle Ferguson: University of Maryland Dining Services- Nutrition Article


During a rotation at the UMD Dining Services, I wanted to find ways to help college students live a healthier lifestyle! One of my approaches was nutrition education on sugars that could be hiding in every day foods.


Food-service employee training

-Adam Sachs

One of our projects during our food-service rotation at the Baltimore VA was to create and administer an employee in-service training. Julia and I developed a handout and presented a brief training session on preventing cross contamination in food preparation areas. Preventing cross-contamination reduces the risk of food-borne illness, which is especially important in a hospital setting where patients may have reduced immune system function.

foodservice in-service

Theme Meal at the VA: Hawaiian Luau

-Adam Sachs

The main project Julia and I were assigned during our Food-service rotation at the VA was a theme meal. Were developed recipes, a menu, and organized the event for patients at the Loch Raven VA medical center. The event was open to any of the current residents, so we also had to make sure there were modified texture versions of our menu to accommodate certain patients.

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menu picture for website



Recipes for Fall Vegetables

-Danielle Ferguson

In an attempt to promote sustainability and variety while on campus, I created this infographic to help others use seasonal vegetables last fall! It’s perfectly to go along with thanksgiving dinner or with your favorite protein.

Fall Vegetables

Observing and Analyzing the Flow of Food at Brooke Grove Retirement Village

-Becky Handley and Melissa Talley

During our Food Service rotation at Brooke Grove Retirement Village, Melissa and I analyzed the current flow of food, from preparation in the kitchen to delivery to the resident. We conducted a survey with Food Service Staff and Nursing Assistant Staff to determine any gaps in knowledge of current procedures and gather suggested areas of improvement. After analyzing the gathered data and current state of implementation, Melissa and I developed three courses of action (COAs) to assist in improving efficiency and accuracy of the ordering systems and flow of food at this living community, as outlined in the below presentation.

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Employee Inservice Training

-Danielle Ferguson

Black and White Vintage Illustrations Dinner Menu (1)-1

Working in foodservice means working as part of a team. One way to make sure the “team” is on the same page is through employee inservice training. This infographic that Danny and I created was part of an employee inservice at the hospital where we completed our foodservice rotation!

Diet orders through the system

-Alex Long

This info-graphic explains how a patient receives a diet order in a clinical setting, then how that diet order flows through the foodservice system and translates into the patient getting a meal.

inPatient Diet orders