This position is located in the Nutrition and Food Service of a Veteran Affairs Medical Center. Nutrition and Food Services is responsible for providing meals and nutritional care to Veteran patients at the Medical Center. The primary purpose of the Cook, WG6, is to prepare nutritious, high quality meals for service to the Veterans. The work of this position is involved in the preparation of regular or special diet foods and meals. SKILL AND KNOWLEDGE Knowledge of food preparation, principles, and cooking properties including a practical understanding of the physical changes that occur during the process and cooking of food. Working knowledge of the planning process involved in cooking entire meals involving multiple steps, methods, and ingredients which includes the different preparation methods for various food items, necessary time for cooking, and how to schedule and coordinate the preparation to produce complete meals on time. Has ability to read, write, count, and do simple arithmetic. Is able to read menus, work schedules, production sheets, package directions, simple recipes, and policies and procedures. Has ability to follow oral and written instructions and worksheets. Reads and follows production sheets and tray assembly documents. Skill in making precise measurements and weights to follow recipes and portion control for requisitions and recipes. Has ability to learn basic computer skills to complete all computer-based training. Participates and responds to classroom and on-the-job training. Can carry out cooking procedures and seasoning. Has the knowledge and ability with baking, grilling, steaming, and roasting foods. Can determine optimal doneness for grilled, baked, and other cooked items and makes adjustments when needed. Is able to adjust cooking times to compensate for holding, re-thermalization, and emergency equipment situations. Practical knowledge in yield calculations to ensure appropriate quantities of food are produced according to service needs. Applies knowledge of sanitation principles to safeguard food against spoilage and waste. Demonstrates work practices to maintain hot and cold food temperatures. Has knowledge of modified/combination diets and is able to identify which ingredients contribute sodium, sugar, fat, potassium, and other nutrients that may be restricted on special diets. Follows standardized recipes carefully without making unapproved substitutions. Understands food and nutrition terminology, measurements, and serving information in standardized recipes and on master menus. Has knowledge of approved portion control practices. Knows characteristics such as color, flavor, consistency, texture, temperature and cooking time required of various foods prepared. Knowledge and skill to perform assignments and operates equipment in a safe and efficient manner. Can operate, breakdown and clean food specialized food service equipment i.e. blast chillers and combination-ovens. RESPONSIBILITY Completes assignments under the general supervision of the Cook Supervisor. Responsible to complete daily assignments and work from oral instructions and written guides such as menus, recipes, and production worksheets with little intervention. Refers clinical nutrition issues to the Registered Dietitians. Detailed instructions are given only for special projects. Products are evaluated for taste, texture, appearance, and overall adherence to recipe. Provides quality meals, quality meal service has an impact on patient satisfaction and overall hospital experience. Food taste, temperature and appearance affect patients' food consumption and nutritional therapy, which have an effect on wellbeing and health. Adhere to recipes and worksheets to ensure patient satisfaction and prevent patient safety incident. Makes judgments about recipe modifications while maintaining the original balance between ingredient quantities and number of portions needed to meet number of servings required. Suggests to higher level cook or supervisor adaptations of standardized recipes to allow for differences between available equipment and equipment specified in the recipe. Works as scheduled; performs assignments, organizes work, and knows steps to complete assignments to meet deadlines. Knows when to seek assistance or guidance. Follows food safety and hazard analysis critical control (HACCP) principles in preparation and handling of food products to prevent bacterial contamination and food-borne illness. Policies and procedures for proper food handling, infection control, and safety are derived from Joint Commission standards, VHA standards, OSHA, Serv Safe and the FDA/State Specific Food Code. Failure to practice safe food handling techniques and/or to adhere to sanitation policy can result in food borne illness. Follows equipment operation procedures, patient identification procedures, and safety practices to prevent accidents and injury to self, patients and coworkers. Responsible for the safe and manufacturer recommended care and use of equipment. To include the knowledge of basic inputs and care functions of kitchen equipment, i.e. soaps, cleaning agents and lubricants. Cooperates with supervisors and co-workers and displays patience, understanding, and a customer service attitude during daily contact with patients and staff. Interacts with other cooks and ingredient control staff to cooperatively and efficiently produce meals and accomplish routine cleaning. Maintains clean, orderly work areas; sanitizes per established procedures; uses PPEs provided. Maintains good personal hygiene, clean and neat appearance, and observes approved dress code. Attends education and training sessions. Complies with mandatory training requirements. Maintains personal computer access. Utilizes computer as required. Is compliant with computer security mandates; protects patient privacy. Assists in training lower grade cooks and advises on improving work methods. To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement. EXPERIENCE: A specific length of training and experience is not required, but you must show evidence of training or experience of sufficient scope and quality of your ability to do the work of this position. Evidence which demonstrates you possess the knowledge, skills, and ability to perform the duties of this position must be supported by detailed descriptions of such on your resume. Applicants will be rated in accordance with the OPM Federal Wage System Qualification Standards. SCREEN-OUT ELEMENT: Your qualifications will first be evaluated against the prescribed screen out element, which usually appears as question 1 in the on-line questionnaire. Those applicants who appear to possess at least the minimal acceptable qualification requirement are considered for further rating; those who do not are rated ineligible and are eliminated. The potential eligibles are then rated against the remainder of the Job Elements: Dexterity and Safety Interpret Instructions, Specifications (other than blueprint reading) Materials Technical Practices Use and Maintain Tools and Equipment Without more than normal supervision Work Practices Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religions; spiritual; community; student; social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience. Note: A full year of work is considered to be 35-40 hours of work per week. Part-time experience will be credited on the basis of time actually spent in appropriate activities. Applicants wishing to receive credit for such experience must indicate clearly the nature of their duties and responsibilities in each position and the number of hours a week spent in such employment. ["Major duties and responsibilities include: Independently prepares and cooks a variety of items including regular and therapeutic diet (diabetic, low sodium, low protein, gluten free, etc.) entrees and dessert items Follows menus, production sheets, and recipes to prepare items in the quantity needed Grills eggs, meat patties, pancakes, French toast; broils meats; makes cold sandwich fillings and assembles a variety of sandwiches Uses a variety of methods to prepare meats, fish, and poultry including broiling, roasting, baking, frying, boiling, steaming, stewing, braising, and grilling Slices meat items by hand, confirming to specific size requirements or weight specifications Prepares fresh, canned, and frozen vegetables; bakes frozen potatoes, pre-made cookie dough, and muffin batters Prepares and heats convenience items, and prepares pureed foods and adjusts consistency with thickeners Washes, peels, and cuts fruits and vegetables; assembles and mixes salad ingredients and dessert items, including gelatin molds and fruit crisps Plans cooking processes to produce meals on time and at the proper temperature which may require coordination of cooking several items with different cooking times Makes a variety of desserts such as cobblers, brownies, cookies, and pastries Weighs, measures, and assembles ingredients for regular and modified diets Operates a variety of kitchen equipment and follows appropriate safety procedures Follows sanitary food handling procedures Disassembles and reassembles equipment for cleaning Cleans and sanitizes work areas, and performs deep cleaning tasks when needed Operates industrial dish machine Performs other related duties Work Schedule: 5:30a-2p, 6a-2:30, 10:30-7p Position Description Title/PD#: Cook/PD99818S Physical Requirements: Subject to continuous standing, walking, frequent bending, reaching, pushing, and pulling. Lifts or moves objects weighing up to 40 lbs. unassisted. Manipulates cumbersome and heavy objects, such as washing stainless steel mixing bowls, pushing heavy carts on caster, or operating heavy equipment. Manual dexterity needed to safely operate equipment and to handle sharp knives and blades. Hand-eye coordination and ability to concentrate and react quickly to serve food and operate equipment. Working Conditions: Performs work in areas of temperature extremes. Work is carried out in kitchen/dish room areas that are often hot, uncomfortable, and noisy. Environment includes exposure to extreme cold while working in walk-in refrigerators and freezers for extended periods of time to complete duties. Works with other cooks, food service workers, and supervisors. Exposed to stems, cooking odors, and noise from equipment and conversation. Subject to hazards of cuts, bruises, strains, burns and falls in kitchen equipment. Strong cleaning and sanitizing solutions may be skin and respiratory irritants. Performs work in patient care settings where there may be exposure to contagious disease. May have contact with patients who demonstrate verbally and/or physically aggressive behavior. Required to wear proper hair covering and clean uniform. Wear disposable gloves when handling food for service, and proper protective equipment when completing cleaning activities."]
About Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration
Providing Health Care for Veterans: The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system, providing care at 1,255 health care facilities, including 170 medical centers and 1,074 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics), serving 9 million enrolled Veterans each year.