Childcare centres are first cab off the rank for Dietary Hawk training and certification
Training and certification to help food service businesses, including early childhood education and care (ECEC) services, to navigate increasingly complex dietary requirement demands has launched in South Australia.
Dietary Hawk created by Adelaide-based healthy cooking school Sprout, established by dietitian Themis Chryssidis and Australian MasterChef reality TV series participant Callum Hann in 2011.
The online training portal can cater for up to 5000 users a month with the capacity to be quickly scaled to accommodate many more customers, Mr Chryssidis said the training program was created by a team of experienced dietitians and chefs, offering “an affordable solution to a growing concern.”
Some of the most common food allergies in Australia are cow’s milk, egg, nuts, wheat, shellfish and soy while an increasing number of people who eat out require vegan and halal meals – these allergies and preferences can pose challenges for those tasked with preparing food for others.
The online training mirrors Australian Government laws around alcohol service through the creation of a Dietary Hawk Responsible Person qualification for supervisors and managers and a Dietary Hawk Responsible Service qualification for general staff.
The Dietary Hawk Responsible Person online course takes about 10 hours to complete and is aimed at anyone who is in charge of a venue serving food. The Responsible Service course takes two to three hours and targets staff who have less responsibility but still complete important food service tasks.
“The idea is to have a Dietary Hawk Responsible Person with that core knowledge on the premises at all times and every other staff member has to have completed the Dietary Hawk Responsible Service course,” Mr Chryssidis said.
“The Responsible Person course takes people through how to create dietary requirement management plans and how to implement systems in the business from the ordering through to the serving – all facets of the food service and it’s about them being able to communicate this with the team,” he added. The Responsible Service course, however, is about these people understanding the terminology and knowing what to do and why they’re doing it.
The training and certification covers allergies, intolerances including coeliac disease and religious and personal preferences such as vegan and halal, and participating businesses will be regularly audited to ensure standards are maintained. Mr Chryssidis said there were no similar certified training courses in Australia despite one in four people now having a dietary requirement.
Childcare services were chosen as the first port of call because “this has been identified as a critical market “ Mr Chryssidis noted.
Certified venues will be able to display Dietary Hawk certification signs and will be listed on the Dietary Hawk website and eventually mapped on a free app.
More information about the offering is available here.