Standard Operating Practices

Food Services - Central Feeding


  1. To provide clear direction to all food service staff within CSC in carrying out their daily responsibilities in bringing about the highest possible quality food service program in institutions with central feeding.


  1. Commissioner's Directive 880: Food Services.


  1. Standard Operating Practices on Materiel Management;

    Sanitation Code for Canada's Food Service Industry;

    CD 345 and Standard Operating Practices on Fire Safety;

    Canada's Food Guide to Healthy Eating;

    Nutrition Recommendations for Canadians;

    Treasury Board Manual: Occupational Safety and Health;

    Religious Diets: General Guidelines;

    CSC Security Manual, Part 1: Operational and Preventive Security Guidelines and Standards;

    Standard Operating Practices on Employee Clothing Entitlements;

    Memorandum of Understanding between CORCAN Agribusiness and CSC Food Services;

    Canadian General Standards Board Food Standards;

    Minimum Quality Standards for Agribusiness Products;

    Treasury Board of Canada: Hospitality Policy;

    Financial Administration Act.


  1. Central Feeding: meals are prepared in a central kitchen and delivered in one or more of the following ways:
    1. Cafeteria Style
      1. The two types of cafeteria service are open line and closed line. In open line service, inmates are allowed to see what the server is placing on their trays. In close line service, inmates are not able to see the servers and the tray is provided through a hole in the wall at the end of the serving line.
    2. Satellite Meal Delivery
      1. The following types of satellite meal delivery are currently being used within CSC correctional facilities:
        • Hot and cold bulk food carts: food is sent in bulk from the kitchen to range serveries where meals are assembled and distributed to the inmates.
        • Tray service carts: food is portioned onto individual trays, placed in carts with active (heater/refrigeration units) or passive (insulation) temperature control mechanisms to retain the appropriate serving temperatures.
      2. Inmates eat their meals in servery dining areas or in their cells. Satellite tray service is also used for meal service in segregation and hospital units.


  1. All meals shall be prepared under the direct supervision of Food Services staff members or approved contractors according to a pre-approved institutional and/or regional menu cycle.
  2. Food shall not be withheld, nor the meal quality standards reduced, as a corrective sanction against inmates.

Cycle Menus

Menu Design
  1. When planning the basic cycle menus for inmates, Food Services staff shall:
    1. consult and use the current version of Canada's Food Guide to Healthy Eating and the Nutrition Recommendations for Canadians during the menu planning process to aid in achieving a nutritionally adequate diet, consistent with our policy objectives.
    2. plan menus to facilitate the management of diet in recognition of the increasing demand for therapeutic diets.
    3. seek the input of the inmate committee(s) to take into account, within reason, likes and dislikes of inmates
    4. take into account the:
      1. availability of food and supplies
      2. ease of preparation
      3. proper presentation
      4. cost of items
  2. Under normal circumstances, inmate menu cycles shall be a minimum of 5 weeks and provide 3 meals daily; one of which shall normally be a hot meal. Menus may change under emergency circumstances.
Menu Approval
  1. A registered dietitian shall review Institutional / Regional menu plans for kitchens run by CSC staff or by contractors. This review shall be done, at least annually, to ensure that the Recommended Nutrient Intakes for Canadians are met.
  2. The dietitian shall provide his/her recommendations to the Chief of Food Services. The Chief should ensure that the appropriate menu modifications are made within a reasonable deadline.
  3. Once approved by the dietitian, menu cycles shall be circulated to the institutional head or Assistant Warden Management Services, or delegate, for authorization.
  4. Once authorization has been given, menus should be circulated and/or posted.
  5. Modifications to approved menus shall be submitted for review by a registered dietitian in order to ensure that they are nutritionally appropriate.

Meal Service

  1. Under normal circumstances, no more than 14 hours shall elapse between the end of the last meal of one day and the beginning of the first meal on the following day.
  2. The scheduling of meals shall be left to the discretion of the institutional head and/or Assistant Warden, Management Services.

Food Costs

Food Cost Control (Nutritek)

  1. CSC Food Service facilities with central meal production should use the Nutritek software as a tool to manage daily meal production.
  2. Nutritek is a food service management software that helps to standardize food quality, improve food delivery and helps control costs by:
    • simplifying food purchasing : provides fast and accurate forecasts of the types and quantities of food required for a given menu;
    • standardizing meal production: improves meal quality through standardized recipes;
    • improving inventory management: provides accurate inventory usage date, including unforeseen inventory losses.
    • controlling waste by forecasting production according to inmate counts and tracking usage.
  3. Menus, serving sizes and standardized recipes must be inputted into the system to obtain this information. Department of National Defense and CSC Quebec Region standardized recipes are available in the Nutritek food services management software system in all CSC facilities with central food production.


  1. The Chief Food Services shall follow CSC rules and regulations on purchasing outlined in the CSC Materiel Management Policies.
CORCAN Agribusiness
  1. In those regions where CORCAN operates an Agribusiness Program, Food Services should purchase and use food products produced by the institutional farms.
  2. Business dealings between CORCAN and CSC Food Services shall be managed according to the Memorandum of Understanding.
Food Specifications and Standards
  1. All food products acquired for Food Services operations shall conform to:
    • the requirements of the Canadian Acts and Regulations Governing Food Products as outlined in the Sanitation Code.
    • the requirements of the Food Standards set by the Canadian General Standards Board(CGSB);
    • the Minimum Quality Standards for Agribusiness Products issued by National Headquarters.
  2. Food Services should refer to the most up-to-date list for food standards, which includes details on latest issues and amendments, and ordering instructions.
  3. Government inspected and/or graded foods should bear the appropriate stamp indicating such inspection and/or grading has been carried out.

Receipt of Food Deliveries

  1. Food deliveries should be checked upon receipt. Particular attention should be paid to the following:
    • foods and quantities received should correspond to what was ordered.
    • perishables should be checked for freshness or bruising.
    • canned foods should be checked for swelling or leaks.
    • frozen foods should be checked for evidence of thawing.
  2. Commodities that are found to be unsatisfactory and do not meet the standards prescribed must not be accepted and should be returned to the supplier for replacement.

Food Preparation

Standardized Recipes
  1. In order to enhance potential cost savings and to prevent food waste, Food Services staff shall use standardized recipes in food preparation whenever possible.
Portion Control
  1. Food Services staff shall ensure that food items are served uniformly and in the correct portion sizes.
  1. Food Services staff shall ensure that the proper measures are taken to ensure the security of food stores in order to minimize theft.

7. Diets

7.1 Religious Diets

Religious diets shall be provided to inmates following the procedures outlined in the Religious Diets, General Guidelines.

7.2 Therapeutic Diets

7.2.1 Management of Therapeutic Diets

Inmates with certain medical conditions may require therapeutic diets.

7.2.2 Food Services Responsibilities

The Food Services Chief:

  • should take steps, with the assistance of a registered dietitian, to ensure that the food items and meals offered can be easily modified to meet the requirements of the type of therapeutic diets most frequently requested;
  • shall ensure that diet menus/meals are reviewed and approved by a registered dietitian to ensure that they meet the appropriate therapeutic diet standards;
  • shall ensure that sufficient stocks of the necessary specialty food items are available to meet prescribed dietary requirements;
  • where feasible, shall consider the possibility of offering an alternate choice of entrée that meets the requirements of most therapeutic diets.

The Diet Manual of the Ontario Dietetic Association and the Ontario Hospital Association, distributed by Food Services at National Headquarters, or any equivalent provincial manual recognized by the appropriate provincial dietetic association and /or Dietitians of Canada, shall normally be used for planning and preparing therapeutic diets.

7.3 Authorization of Therapeutic Diets and Dietitian referrals

Therapeutic diets for inmates shall be available upon authorization by the institutional physician and/ or recommendation by the institutional/regional dietitian.

Normally, such diets should only be prescribed based on the results of diagnostic tests or examination.

They shall be prescribed using the "therapeutic diet requisition" form (CSC 568).

The therapeutic diet request shall include an expiry date for any diet prescribed or recommended to treat a temporary medical condition. A follow-up or reassessment date shall be included for diets prescribed or recommended to treat a chronic or long-term medical condition.

During the inmate's evaluation and counselling session, the registered dietitian should set the expiry or reassessment date, indicate it in writing on the diet requisition and inform the inmate of it. The dietitian shall also inform the inmate of the modifications that will be made to the menu to meet the requirements of his diet.

Food Services will automatically discontinue diets at expiry dates.

Inmate shall be responsible for contacting Health Services to request a renewal of their diet.

7.4 Cancellation of Therapeutic Diets

The Food Services staff shall document any observations of inmates failing to adhere to their therapeutic diet.

Inmates who accumulate documentation outlining 3 different incidents in which they failed to adhere to their therapeutic diet within a thirty- (30) day period will be considered for cancellation of their diet. The Chief Food Services shall initiate cancellation of a therapeutic diet in consultation with Health Services, including the institutional/regional dietitian. Health Services shall be responsible for cancelling the diet.

Inmates whose diet cannot be cancelled due to medical reasons, e.g. inmates with diabetes, should be sent to the Health Centre for further counselling.

7.5 Special Considerations

Allergy diets should only be prescribed as a result of allergy testing or if the inmate can provide written confirmation by a physician of previous testing which had led to the diagnosis of a food allergy. Particular attention should be paid to nut, bean and fish/seafood allergies. As these allergies tend to be very severe to life threatening, they will be ordered upon request.

A lifestyle diet is a semi-vegetarian or vegetarian diet that an individual adopts out of personal preference for various reasons.

Vegetarian diets shall only be provided to inmates for religious or medical reasons.

8. Other Food Service Activities

As required, Food Services may be responsible for providing food and services in the following activities:

8.1 Hospitality

Subject to the provisions of the Financial Administration Act and Treasury Board of Canada Hospitality Policy, hospitality (i.e. meals and/or non-alcoholic refreshments) may be provided to staff members, authorized guests, eligible organizations outside of an institution, and inmates.

All expenses incurred in the provision of food and beverages for hospitality (group programs, functions, special events and/or club activities) as approved by the institutional head shall be recovered by Food Services in the form of journal vouchers from the appropriate budget manager.

Wherever possible, hospitality should be extended at the Institution using the resources and the facilities of the Food Services section subject to the operational requirements of it.

8.2 Socialization

Socialization is the provision of foodstuffs and/or non-alcoholic beverages to authorized guests, members of the general public and inmates participating in approved programs and activities such as annually programmed social activities.

Food costs for the approved social functions shall be borne by the responsible organization; activity centre or trust account of the sponsoring group such as the Inmate Welfare Fund and recovered to the Food Services budget.

8.3 Private Family Visits

The Chief, Food Services shall credit each inmate eligible for a private family visit for an amount equal to the approved per diem X the duration of the visit (number of days).

The provision of food to inmates and participants for the private family visits program should preferably be arranged with local grocery suppliers. In such a case, inmates should purchase the required foods directly from the grocery supplier.

Cost for the inmates and visitors who participate in the family visiting program shall be recovered to the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

The amount of food ordered shall be subject to the approval of the institutional head.

9. Emergency Food Service

During emergency situations, food services will be called upon to prepare meals for staff and inmates. Site specific contingency plans should incorporate the following considerations.

9.1 Short Term Response

There should be a minimum of three days' menus and supply of food on hand in the event of an inmate conflict or interruption of food deliveries, particularly in remote sites were alternative food supply sources are not as accessible. These menus should require minimum staff to prepare and serve them.

9.2 Outside Support Plan

The Chief Food Services should have a reciprocal arrangement with neighboring institutions in order to obtain food and/or other supplies in the event of an emergency. This should be the first option exercised.

As a secondary plan, the Chief Food Services should also make arrangements in advance for emergency meals from an outside source. The immediate area should be researched to locate other food service providers (government or commercial) that could, on a short-term emergency basis, provide the institution with a limited menu. The outside support plan should include details of how the meals would be transported from the designated source. Making arrangements with suppliers of bottled water should also be considered as many emergencies may lead to the contamination of the normal water supply. Keeping a 72-hour supply of bottled water on hand is recommended.

During extended emergencies the Chief Food Services will be expected to provide advice to the Crisis Manager as to identifying and obtaining food supplies (i.e. DND, municipal, provincial or federal emergency agencies).

9.3 Support from CSC to the Community

In the event of a natural disaster, the CSC facility may be less affected than the adjacent community. As part of the overall effort to provide assistance the Chief, Food Services may, if requested, coordinate the provision of meals to affected members of the community.

10. Health

10.1 Hygiene and Sanitation

The storage, supply and handling of food shall comply with the Sanitation Code of Canada's Food Services Industry, issued by the Canadian Restaurant and Food Services Association and Treasury Board Manual on Occupational Health and Safety 2-18.

Kitchen staff shall be encouraged to keep and inform themselves of proper hygienic and sanitary requirements and be familiar with how to maintain a high standard of sanitation. Similar instructional material shall be made available to inmate workers.

10.1.1 Food Services Officers Duties in Sanitation

Chief Food Services:

The Chief Food Services shall be responsible for:

  • ensuring that clean and sanitary conditions exist in the dining and food preparation areas at all times.
  • providing the on-job-training of food services personnel including officers in the techniques of how to maintain proper sanitation and hygiene standards;
  • ensuring that he/she and all of the Food Services staff have the knowledge of food borne diseases. An explanation of food borne illness can be found in the Sanitation Code.

Food Services Supervisors and Food Services Officers:

Food Services Supervisors and Officers, in the normal course of daily duties, shall be responsible for consistently applying the appropriate hygiene and sanitation practices.

In addition to the safety and sanitation guidelines outlined in the Sanitation Code and TB Manual on Occupational Safety and Health, chapter 2-18, particular attention should be paid to the following:

10.1.2 Sanitation Inspections

Chief, Food Services:

The Chief, Food Services shall inspect the Food Services Department at least weekly. A sanitation inspection checklist is to be used and records of the inspections are to be kept for a period of at least three (3) months. Sample Inspection forms and schedules can be found in the attached CSC Food Services Quality Assurance Guide.

Any deficiencies which may cause health or safety hazards are considered unacceptable and remedial action shall be initiated immediately.

Food Services Supervisors:

Food Services Supervisors shall inspect daily all food preparation equipment such as ranges, ovens, refrigerators, mixers and dishwashers in order to determine their sanitary and operating conditions, and to make necessary changes, alterations and corrections in procedures and staff and inmate work habits.

Unsanitary and defective equipment shall be taken out of service until proper repairs/ corrections are made.

Careful attention shall be given to refrigerator, freezer and dishwasher temperatures.

Food services supervisors shall visit each food serving point at least once per day to determine and correct any deficiencies.

When inspecting meal service, particular attention shall be given to the presentation of the meal, quality, quantity, serving, cleanliness, dress of staff and inmates, supervision and that all meal components are as defined by the menu. If it is apparent the meal is not as per menu an inquiry shall be made regarding the change, ensuring that the substitute meal is acceptable.

10.1.3 Hygiene and Health: (Sanitation Code, section E)

Hand washing signs should be posted in proper and prominent areas, e.g. washrooms, food preparation areas near the sinks or wash basins.

Personal hygiene checklist should be posted throughout the kitchen/dining areas and enforced.

Staff & inmates shall wear clean, Food Services clothing, including hat or hairnets, authorized and issued by CSC.

Such clothing should not be worn outside of the food service establishment.

Rings or jewellery that may constitute a safety hazard shall not be worn.

10.1.4 Inmate Workers

In addition to the above, where required by Provincial regulations, inmates engaged in food handling preparation, processing or serving should be subject to an initial medical examination to ensure that they are fit for work in a food service environment.

Food Services Supervisors are expected to refer inmates with the following conditions to Health Services for treatment:

  • uncovered, open, weeping skin lesion or wound;
  • upper respiratory infection (cold, flu);
  • gastro-intestinal infection (gastro, diarrhea);
  • poor personal hygiene;
  • any other health problem they believe should be referred for treatment.
10.1.5 Infectious Diseases

A correctional environment poses unique challenges in the area of control of infectious diseases such as hepatitis and tuberculosis. For these reasons, all food services employees should be trained in the prescribed methods to handle the presence of blood or body fluids resulting from food preparation accidents or inmate altercations.

All food services employees shall exercise universal precautions, regardless of the infection status of the injured.

Information on proper methods to handle blood and body fluids isavailable from the Occupational Health and Safety Agency of Health Canada or may be obtained from each institution's Health Services.

Certified first aid kits in the Food Services area shall contain the supplies needed to protect staff from direct contact with blood or body fluids (disposable gloves, etc.). The institutional Occupational Health and Safety Committee is responsible for monitoring the first aid kits to ensure they contain these supplies. The Chief Food Services is responsible for renewing the first aid kit supplies.

11. Safety

11.1 General Requirements

It is the policy of CSC Food Services to provide and maintain a safe work place and safe working conditions.

Employees shall perform their work in a proper manner and familiarize themselves with their responsibilities toward maintaining a safe and healthy workplace and the regulations that pertain to their jobs.

All accidents (NO MATTER HOW SMALL OR INSIGNIFICANT) shall be reported, recorded and remedial action taken to prevent reoccurrence.

All food services workers should be encouraged to discuss possible work hazards and be allowed to recommend remedies.

More information on safety practices specific to food service facilities and equipment are available on the Food Services site of the CSC Infonet.

For more information on occupational safety and health regulations and procedures, please contact your regional Return to Work Advisor and/or Occupational Health and Safety Advisor.

11.2 Fire Safety

Due to the presence of highly flammable substances such as paper, grease and oil as well as gas operated food production equipment and many other sources of intense heat, there is a high risk of fire outbreaks within institutional food services.

Food Service managers shall become familiar with all fire safety regulations and procedures of the Correctional Service of Canada, as outlined in CD 345 and the Standard Operating Practices on Fire Safety.

Due to the risk of spontaneous combustion, all clothing with oil stains shall not be stored in enclosed spaces.

11.3 Quality Assurance(QA) Program

A documented Quality Assurance Program should be implemented in every Food Services operation within the Correctional Service of Canada to ensure that the best possible food services, within available resources, are being provided.

The Chief Food Services of the institution is responsible for QA activities.

Section "J" of the Sanitation Code for Canada's Food Service Industry, or the Quality Assurance Guide found in Annex "B" of these SOP may be used as a reference in developing a Quality Assurance Program.

12. Security

12.1 Security of Food

All storerooms and refrigeration units shall be lockable and access is to be limited to Food Services Staff only.

All storerooms and refrigeration units shall be kept locked at all times except for receiving and issuing foods and supplies.

The security keys for opening of the kitchen and storerooms shall be kept in a secure location.

Any discovery of theft of food must be reported immediately to the appropriate authorities.

Inmates should be checked randomly by a frisk search for contraband before leaving the kitchen area in accordance with CCRA and CSC policy requirements.

Regular inspections of the entire kitchen premises should be undertaken to minimize the possible production of any unauthorized substances (brews, etc.).

In those facilities using food transport carts, the carts and their contents shall be inspected when they are prepared and ready for shipment and upon return to the kitchen for possible presence of contraband.

12.2 Bartering of Food

Foodstuffs purchased by CSC Food Services, using public funds, are for the preparation and service of daily meals and/or other functions for inmates and authorized personnel. Such foods are not to be sold or bartered to any individual or organization.

12.3 Security of Equipment

12.3.1 Control of knives and sharp tools

Institutional heads shall be responsible for ensuring that appropriate procedures are in place for effective tool control through institutional standing orders. Food Services staff shall ensure that control of knives, meat forks and other sharp instruments is performed according to these standing orders.

12.3.2 Control of Other Equipment

All equipment should be regularly checked to ensure that they have not been altered, vandalized or stripped of parts (particularly electrical).

All incidents of equipment dysfunction or unauthorized alterations should be reported immediately.

13. Inmate Employment

Wherever possible and appropriate, Food Services shall provide employment opportunities for inmates to assist them to become law-abiding citizens by developing work, social and life skills.

The following are examples of tasks that could be performed by inmate workers:

A.M. Cook
Salad Cook
Dining Room Cleaner
Dishwasher / Pots & Pans      
Store Room, Helper
Diet Cook
P.M. Cook
Vegetable Preparation
General Kitchen Cleaner
Cook Helper
Baker Helper
Butcher Helper / Meat Cutter
General Cleaner
Dessert Cook

The Chief Food Services or designee shall write the job descriptions for Food Services inmate workers. A signed copy of the position descriptions shall be posted in the kitchen. The workers shall nonetheless receive a written and verbal explanation concerning all general rules and procedures of the Food Services program.

13.1 Work Schedules

The Chief Food Services and/or the Assistant Chief Food Services shall prepare, distribute and post a work schedule for all food service inmate workers.

Unless there is prior approval by the Chief Food Services, the posted schedule shall not be changed except in the case of an emergency.

13.2 Training

Food Services staff should offer on the job training to enhance the inmate's ability to perform kitchen duties.

In institutions where externally accredited food Services training programs are being sponsored by the education and personal development division, Food Services staff shall assist in the delivery of the program.

Food Services staff shall explore the possibility of certification of the training given to inmates by certificates, whether they are internal (CSC) or external (community college and/or provincial trade certificates).


 Original signed by:
Ole Ingstrup


Food Services managerial and financial information shall be reported on the Food Services monthly report.

The report shall summarize data for food/meals issued to staff, other institutions and/or eligible outside organizations, but exclude foodstuffs purchased from the inmate canteen.

The following information is required to complete the FSMR. In order to ensure that the information is comparable from one institution to another, the information noted on the FSMR should be collected in the suggested manner.

Inmate Meal Days

This figure should be calculated by adding the actual daily physical inmate counts for each day of a given month.

Officer Meal Days

(Number of staff receiving meals) x (the number of days in the month) x 0,45.

Officer Overtime Meals

All overtime meals x 0,45.

Purchases from Outside Suppliers

The sum of all foods purchased during the reporting period.

Purchases from Agribusiness

The sum of all food purchased from CORCAN agribusiness operations during the reporting period.

Purchase Credits

This includes all Other Food Services activities for which the cost of foods used were credited back to Food Services.

Opening and Closing Inventory

These figures should be based on the results of an actual physical inventory of all foods stored within the Food Services area performed at the end of each reporting month.

The closing inventory is the total value of the food inventory on-hand at the end of the reporting month.

The opening inventory is the total value of the food inventory on-hand at the beginning of the reporting month. It should be equal to the closing inventory of the preceding month.

Ration Account

The budget forecast for purchasing food supplies other than CORCAN Agribusiness products. The total budget should be divided by the number of reporting months. The resulting figure should be entered each reporting month.

Agribusiness Account

The budget forecast for purchasing CORCAN Agribusiness products for the current fiscal year. The total budget should be divided by the number of reporting months. The resulting figure should be entered each reporting month.

Unrecoverable Credits

This includes the cost of all Other Food Services activities for which the cost of foods used were not credited back to Food Services. Meals, therapeutic and religious diets, hospital extras, hospitality, socialization and private family visits must be reported separately.

The Food Services monthly report is to be completed and checked for accuracy. A copy of the report must be forwarded to NHQ Food Services prior to the last day of the month following the reporting month.

The form that is required to complete the FSMR is available in electronic format from NHQ Food Services.


Purpose of Quality Assurance

One of the main policy objectives of CSC Food Services is to provide a variety of nutritious foods for all inmates in the institutions of the Service at an acceptable quality and cost.

Quality Assurance should help to ensure that the best possible food services, within available resources, are being provided.

A. What is Quality Assurance?

Quality Assurance is making sure that your department is providing the best food service it can within the financial, labour, equipment and raw material resources that you have. Efforts should be made to co-ordinate Quality Assurance activities in Food Services with overall institutional efforts to improve quality in those institutions where continuous quality improvement programs are in place.

B. How Do You Get Started?

Establish what your institution's and department's goals are; assess all of the quality control procedures that you and your staff are carrying out, and measure whether your present service actually meets your institution's and department's goals. It is also important to identify key players from other departments whose activities may have an impact on Food Services (Health Services, Chaplaincy, Visitation and, especially, the inmate committee) and involve them in resolving joint concerns.

C. Why Do You Need Q.A.?

  1. It will tell you if you are doing what you say you are doing.
  2. It will tell you if you are doing what you should be doing.
  3. It will tell you how well you are doing what you should be doing.
  4. It will tell you how to change your methods if you are not meeting your goals.

D. When Do You Have to Have QA in Place and Working?

Q.A. is an ongoing process. You probably already have some measuring tools in place.

E. Who Will be Doing Q.A.?

The Food Service Supervisor of the institution is responsible for Q.A. in collaboration with Health Services and the institutional JOSH committee.

F. What About Follow-up?

When the expected performance standards are not met, corrective action will be taken to correct deficiencies.

Starting QA

1. Establish the Principal Areas or Functions of Your Department

QA will follow the main areas of responsibility in your department. Examples of the areas or functions you may establish are:

  • Menu Planning
  • Food Purchasing, Receiving
  • Food Production
  • Tray Delivery/ Distribution
  • Meal Service
  • Segregation
  • Organisation and Administration
  • Sanitation and Administration
  • Sanitation, Food Safety, General Safety
  • Diets/ Special Foods

2. How to Set Up Q.A.

  1. Establish department goals and principal functions.

  2. Choose one principal function and determine what quality measures you already have in place.

    For example:

    Principal Area
    to be Monitored
    Monitoring Tools
    or Controls I Have
    Monitoring Tools
    or Controls I Need

    Sanitation and Safety 1) Public Health Report

    2) Preventive Equipment Reports

    3) Refrigerator Temp. Checks
    1) Sanitation Check List

    2) Temperature Charts

    * NOTE:
    All your monitoring tools must be based on standards and criteria in order that you have something to measure against. Some measuring tools will be simple checklists of existing policies and procedures; some will be checks of actual practices in the food service department. For further information and examples or monitoring tools, see Basis for Departmental Quality Assurance.

  3. Develop the monitoring tools or controls you need to assess the principal area chosen and then set a schedule for when these checks are done:

    For example:

    Sanitation check list - weekly temperature charts - beginning of every meal.

    Public Health Report - as done by P.H. Inspector.

    Preventive Maintenance Report - biweekly Refrigerator Temperature Checks - 2 times daily.

  4. Assign staff to monitor the areas identified.

  5. Review all monitoring reports and document the action you will take or did take to correct any deficiency. Indicate when corrective action will be completed.

    For example:

    Meat Refrigerator - Temperature too high on Monday, October 5.

    Action Taken: Maintenance called and problem corrected in 1 hour.


Once you have established a manual containing your QA, you will simply be monitoring the identified functions.


The following chart lists the principle functions of the department. It identifies topics that could be assessed within these principle functions and suggests monitoring tools for the evaluation of the quality of service. The majority of the suggested monitoring tools are quality control measures that are already in place, though many institutions are not currently documenting them. Quality control must be documented to be of use for quality assurance.

1. Menu Planning
  • Nutritional adequacy
  • Canada's Food Guide
  • Recommended Nutrient Intakes for Canadians
  • Inmates & staff acceptability
  • Meetings with inmate committee and union representatives.
  • Food return audit (Optional)
  • Resource allocations (physical, financial, human)
  • Budgets (salaries, supplies)
  • Food Service Monthly Report
  • Equipment utilisation checklist
  • Staff utilisation checklist (Duty Roster) Dietitian authorisation
2. Food Purchasing
  • Quality and quantity
  • Established specification checklist (CGSB Standards)
  • Resource allocations
  • Purchase Registers
  • Food Service Monthly Report
  • New Products
  • Taste panel
  • Established specifications checklist (CGSB Standards)
  • Quality and quantity
  • Established specifications checklist (CGSB Standards)
  • Minimum Quality Standards-Agribusiness
Receiving and Storage
  • Delivery Schedules (Optional)
  • Accuracy and timing checklist
  • Standardised recipes
  • Concurrent audit of use standardised recipes
  • Leftover food audit
  • Food shortage audit
  • Quality and quantity
  • Concurrent food portioning audit
  • Leftover food audit
  • Food shortage audit
  • Taste checks
  • Tray return audit (Optional)
  • Facility - wide and / or departmental inmate satisfaction questionnaire and / or interview
  • Checklist to determine use of proper cooking procedures and standardised recipes (Meal Production Plan)
  • Cooking time and temperature
  • Checklist of cooking times, oven temperatures, internal food temperatures, holding time and temperatures
  • Use of resources
  • Food sanitation and safety
  • Budget
  • Food Service Monthly report
  • Audit of preparation waste
  • Equipment usage audit
  • Audit of use of leftovers
  • Food samples taken and held for 3 days min.

3. Meal Service / Meal Assembly
  • Tray set- up
  • Food temperatures
  • Portion Control
  • Tray audit
  • Temperature audit
  • Belt line audit (Optional)
  • Inmate questionnaire and / or interview
Meal Service / Meal Delivery
  • Unnecessary trays
  • Tray delivery audit
  • Accuracy of inmate feeding information (e.g. diets, correct tray, food and time of delivery
  • Audit of Diet Authorisation
  • Inmate questionnaire and / or interview (Optional)
4. Sanitation and Safety
  • Regulations and Guidelines
  • Public health inspection report
  • Internal infection control inspection report
  • Pest control report
  • Audit of checklists of departmental inspections, cleaning schedule, personnel and equipment sanitation
General Safety
  • Occupational Health and Safety
  • Ministry of Labour safety inspection report
  • Facility - wide occupational health and safety inspection report
  • Audit of incident reports
  • Audit of checklist of departmental safety inspections
  • Audit of preventive maintenance equipment program
5. Nutritional Care
  • Optimum nutrition
  • Audit of Diet Authorisation
  • Nutrient intake record
  • Audit of length of time patients left on diets
  • Canada's Food Guide
6. Organisation and Administration
  • Mission Statement, Goals and Objectives
  • Policies and Procedures (updated)
    -Departmental Manual
    -Food Service Manual

  • Audit of checklist based on departmental standards
  • Standards of Service
  • Job Descriptions (including Special Skills inventory, if applicable)
  • Performance Appraisals
  • Education and Training
  • Management and Operational Audits


  1. To evaluate the sanitation condition of the entire food service operation including the kitchen and dining room (s).
  2. To assist Food Service personnel in monitoring cleanliness of kitchen and dining room (s).
  3. To evaluate personal hygiene of kitchen workers.
  4. To comply with sanitation standards as set out in the Sanitation Code.
  1. The food service supervisor or designated representative is to do the inspection.
  2. Frequency of inspection to be determined by the food service supervisor. It is suggested at least once a week or whenever necessary.
  3. The Sanitation Inspection checklist will be used and records will be kept for at least 3 months.
  4. Results will be discussed at food service staff meeting and corrective actions are to be carried out immediately.
  1. Performance levels for cleanliness of kitchen and dining areas are expected to be 100 %.
  2. Any deficiency, which may cause a health or safety hazard, is considered unacceptable.
  3. Problem areas identified should initiate immediate remedial action.



Racks clean
Temperature below 42° F
Interior free from accumulated spilled foods
Open tin cans not used for repeated food storage
Inside and outside, around handle, all clean
Meats hung so air circulates freely
No offensive odours
Prepared foods not stored directly on top of each other
Ground grown vegetables kept on bottom shelf
Leftovers covered


Temperature of foods maintained above 140° F
Proper water level maintained
Adjoining cutting-board, clean and free from food particles


A. Washing

Sufficient detergent available for day's usage
Dish water clean and proper amount of detergent being used
Temperature of dishwashing water not under 140° F, in machine
Check spray opening for stoppage by food scraps
All screens in dishwasher unobstructed
Check for overloading and improper racking

B. Rinsing

Temperature above 180° F (if water used as sanitising agent)
(Otherwise) accepted chemical in proper amounts in rinse
Removal from racks and sorting done in sanitary manner

C. Storage

Silverware stored in clean compartments with handles pointing outward
Check for food particles between fork tines
Glasses and cups stored on sanitary surfaces, inverted and protected from dust and dirt


Fingernails clean and short
Hair covering
Clean uniforms
No food handler suffering from common cold or other communicable disease


Metal garbage containers clean (cleaned after each use)
Tightly-fitted lids on all garbage cans
Adequate containers in food preparation rooms for immediate disposal of refuse
Storage area orderly and free of offensive doors and spilled foods


Toilet floors and fixtures cleaned and disinfected
Soap and single service towels available
Check to see if "Hand washing Sign" posted where necessary
No foods stored in toilet or vestibule
Doors are self-closing


Stiff brooms not being used for sweeping
Sanitary storage of clean linens
Clean and orderly


Pots and pans clean and properly stored
Can openers clean
Check for condensation dripping from hood to food on range
Thorough cleaning of work tables, benches, racks, cutting boards, food preparation equipment (all working parts of culinary machinery that may or does touch foods should be disassembled and cleaned


All foods properly protected from dust, dirt, insects, rodents and sneezes
Floors and walls clean
Foods not stored on floor
No deleterious chemicals or substance kept or placed where there is possibility of their getting into foods.
Mops placed in suitable location and in racks


1. _______________________________

2. _______________________________

3. _______________________________

4. _______________________________



When checks are in NOK column, action is necessary.

When in doubt, see your District Sanitation Inspector.

  1. To provide kitchen staff a planned schedule to perform all cleaning tasks in food service areas.
  2. To ensure all food service areas, furniture, and equipment are properly cleaned.
  3. To keep record of the areas cleaned and person (s) responsible for the cleaning.
  1. Food Service Supervisor assigns personnel to perform cleaning tasks.
  2. Cleaning is based on the specified frequency, e.g. daily, weekly, monthly or as required.
  3. Perform cleaning tasks.
  4. When tasks are completed, check the performance.
  1. 100 % performance level is expected.
  2. Unsatisfactory performance should be commented on and tasks should be repeated when necessary.

N.B. The following Cleaning Schedule is a sample ONLY; Chief Food Services are to make schedule pertaining to their own operation.


     D - Daily
     W - Weekly
     M - Monthly
     A - As Required


1) Steam table(s) D
2) Serving Counter D
3) Preparation Table(s) D
4) Counter (s) D
5) Shelving (s) W
6) Dishwasher D
7) Steam Kettle D
8) Refrigerated Counter (s) D
9) Refrigerator A
10) Storage Cabinet (s) W
11) Stove and Grill (s) D
12) Under & Behind Equip. W
13) Floors D
14) Walls W
15) Ceiling and Fixtures M
1) Refrigerated Display D
2) Tables D
3) Chairs D
4) Carts D
5) Floors D
6) Walls W
7) Ceiling and Fixtures M


     D - Daily
     W - Weekly
     M - Monthly
     A - As Required


1) Compartment Sink D
2) Mixer (s) D
3) Steam Cabinet (s) D
4) Steam Kettle (s) D
5) Grill (s) D
6) Deep Fryer (s) Exterior D
7) Deep Fryer (s) Interior W
8) Oven (s) Exterior D
9) Oven (s) Interior A
10) Preparation Table (s) D
11) Under & Behind Equip. W
12) Floors D
13) Walls W
14) Ceiling and Fixtures M
1) Potato Peeler (s) D
2) Mixer (s) D
3) Walk-In (s) A
4) Janitor (s) Room D
5) Washroom (s) D
6) Floors D
7) Walls W
8) Ceiling and Fixtures M


     D - Daily
     W - Weekly
     M - Monthly
     A - As Required


1) Bread Room W
2) Storage Room (s) W
3) Floors W
4) Walls M
5) Ceiling & Fixtures M
1) Ovens D
2) Table (s) D
3) Other Equipment A
4) Floors D
5) Walls D
6) Ceiling & Fixtures D
1) Cart (s) W
2) Shelving W
3) Storage Cabinet (s) M


     D - Daily
     W - Weekly
     M - Monthly
     A - As Required


1) Dishwashing Machine D
2) All Cutlery & China D
3) Under Equipment W
4) Sinks and Tables D
5) Waste Disposal D
6) Floors D
7) Walls W
8) Ceiling M
1) Floors A
2) Walls A
3) Ceiling A
1) Serving Counter (s) D
2) Prep. Table (s) & Sink (s) D
3) Plate Warmer W
4) Toaster D
5) Refrigerated Counter (s) D
6) Steam Table (s) D
7) Steam Kettle (s) D
8) Under Equipment W
9) Floors D
10) Walls W
Check Production
  1. To provide food services personnel a daily plan for meal production.
  2. To determine quantity of production.
  3. To control amount of ingredients drawn from inventory and portion sizes of the meal.
  4. To record number of servings leftovers.
  5. To allow for special instructions or comments to be observed by meal production workers.
  1. The food service supervisor is to prepare Production Control Sheet at least 24 hours before production.
  2. Adjustments should be made to reflect change of production quantities whenever necessary.
  3. Production Control Sheets should be kept for at least 3 months for record reference when required.
  1. 100 % performance level expected.

N.B. The following Production Control Sheet is a sample ONLY. It may be replaced by CSC Form 423 (April 80) Daily Meal Production Plan or by the production reports produced by the Nutritek software.






Menu Item Day Served Number Servings Prepared Portion Size (cooked) Quantity Ingredient Issued/drawn Number Servings Leftover
Meal Report
  1. To ensure that meal service is up to acceptable standard.
  2. To provide record of meal quality for food service supervisor to refer to when required.
  3. To evaluate the temperature, taste and appearance of meals served to inmates.
  4. To monitor and correct deficiencies in regards to quality of meals.
  1. All three meals are checked daily by food service supervisor or designated representative.
  2. Menu items are randomly selected to be evaluated for each meal.
  3. Special comments should be recorded accordingly.
  1. A desirable 100 % performance level is considered excellent.
  2. It is recognised that there is a variance in acceptability of food by different individuals, a performance level of 90% positive comments is acceptable.

Note: For those sites where food is prepared in a central kitchen and shipped by cart, in trays or in bulk, to the range serveries, particular care should be taken to randomly measure the temperature of foods at the point of receipt to ensure that foods are served at the appropriate temperatures.



Menu Day:


B L D (Circle)


Soup of the day 180° F          
Clear Soup 180° F          
Cream Soup 175° F          
Cereal (Hot) 175° F          
Entrée # 1 140° F Hot
40° F Cold
Entrée # 2 140° F Hot
40° F Cold
Vegetable # 1 140° F Hot
40° F Cold
Vegetable # 2 140° F Hot
40° F Cold
Potato 140° F Hot
40° F Cold
Gravy / Sauce 180° F          
Salad 40° F          
Tea 185° F          
Coffee 185° F          
Milk 35° F          
Juice 35° F          
Fruit 40° F          
Pudding/Dessert 40° F          
General Comments:

Reviewed By:







Start:________________ FINISH:________________

SUPERVISOR:_____________________ DUTY OFFICER:_____________________


Start:________________ FINISH:________________

SUPERVISOR:_____________________ DUTY OFFICER:_____________________


Start:________________ FINISH:________________

SUPERVISOR:_____________________ DUTY OFFICER:_____________________

Cooler / Freezer Temperature Control
  1. To ensure proper temperatures in all coolers and freezers so that opportunity for bacteria growth is well controlled.
  2. To control temperatures of coolers and freezers for proper storage of raw and cooked food.
  1. Check all thermometers of coolers and freezers to ensure proper temperatures.
  2. At least twice a day, cooler / freezer temperatures should be checked and recorded.
  3. Temperature Control Sheet should be kept for at least 3 months for record purpose.
  4. Check time can be determined according to kitchen routine.
  1. 100 % compliance to the specified temperature range should be observed.
  2. Any deficiency should be reported immediately for repair.


Check Time - 0500 hours 1700 hours




Date   1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Cooler No 1 am                                                              

Cooler No 2 am                                                              

Cooler No 3 am                                                              

Cooler No 4 am                                                              

Cooler No 5 am                                                              

Freezer No 1 am                                                              

Freezer No 2 am                                                              

Freezer No 3 am                                                              


Proper Temp. All Refrigerator 38° to 40° F (2° C to 4° C )

Freezer Temperature 0° to +10° F (-18° to -12° C )

Tray Audit
  1. To ensure meal service and meal assembly are within acceptable standard.
  2. To monitor the quality of meals as set up in a tray in regards to food aroma, temperatures, texture, taste and appearance.
  3. To ensure correct portion sizes and correct food groups in a meal.
  1. Food service supervisor or designated staff member should co-ordinate the checking of trays using the Tray Audit Form.
  2. This tray audit procedure should be done at least once every three months.
  3. Random selection of meals and trays can be carried out during the audit.
  4. Any problem identified should be reported immediately.
  1. 80 % positive responses for each audited tray are considered acceptable performance.


Circle appropriate response
OVERALL TRAY APPEARANCE Correct and appropriate, i.e. appealing, appropriate and without spots

No mistakes
One mistake
Two mistakes
Three mistakes

(Circle Description which Applies)


AROMA 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3
TEMPERATURE 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3
APPEARANCE 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3
TASTE 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3
TEXTURE 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3
  Grand Total Average Score

Evaluation Scale:
  0= appropriate
  1 = acceptable
  2 = inadequate
  3 = unacceptable

Circle the appropriate response

Is overall tray appearance:?

Correct and Appropriate,
i.e. Attractive, Convenient, without Stains, Chips or Spills

No mistakes
One mistake
Two mistakes
Three mistakes

Accuracy are tray items?

Cutlery, Dishes, Napkins, Condiments (As Standard Tray)

No mistakes
One mistake
Two mistakes
Three mistakes

Are food items?

According to the Menu i.e. The Diet or Texture Modifications

No mistakes
One mistake
Two mistakes
Three mistakes

Are portion sizes?

As Specified i.e. Weight, Measure, Size, Volume

No mistakes
One mistake
Two mistakes
Three mistakes


How many food groups included?

One Group
Two Groups
Three Groups
Four Groups


Was Tray delivered as schedule?

On time





Summary Report
  1. To report on performance of the Food Service Division based on particular standards reviewed.
  2. To provide record of which functional areas were looked at and the assessment of findings.
  3. To provide report on any identified problem and corrective action plan.
  1. The food service supervisor should complete Summary Report Form after each functional area is audited or reviewed.
  2. If problem is identified, indicate corrective action plan and assign time frame for next review.
  3. The Summary Report should be sent to the institutional head as a proper reporting procedure.
  1. 100 % compliance of reporting procedure is considered acceptable performance.


Time Period:

Standards reviewed [wh1] Assessment of findings If problem identified, indicate:
Cause / Attribution / Place Action Plan (who/what/when)








Department / Audit Committee:


For more information

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit the Canada Gazette and Consulting with Canadians websites.