This January, Seneca College will offer continuing education students two subjects from its full-time hospitality management program: HTM100, introduction to hospitality and the tourism industry, and HTM130, food services safety and sanitation.

“Hospitality and the tourism industry is an intro subject,” says Barbara Pimenoff, Seneca’s continuing education co-ordinator. “It’s an overview of the entire hospitality industry in Canada and how it relates to tourism.”

Food services safety and sanitation teaches students how to supervise sanitation and food safety. “So they talk about food-borne diseases, ways of preventing them, food storage, transportation and control,” Pimenoff says.

For anyone considering a career in hospitality, “taking the intro course is going to give them a really good idea of whether it’s an industry they want to work in,” Pimenoff says.

Angela Zigras, chair of Seneca’s school of tourism and marketing and e-business, says food service safety and sanitation is important for people who want to work with food in any capacity, “whether it’s restaurants, hotels, catering or banquet management,” she says “A lot of people in those fields don’t have CPR and first-aid training, or the Ontario government’s food handler certification, which they would get in this course.”

Seneca began offering its full-time hospitality management program in September. “The response was much greater than expected,” says Pimenoff, “so we decided to offer two of the subjects through part-time studies.”

Neither subject is currently part of any accompanying part-time certificate, though full-time hospitality management students can enrol and have the courses count toward their diploma. “So if there are students, say, that want to work ahead or perhaps were not successful when taking the subject in their regular program and need to repeat it, us offering it through continuing education gives them an opportunity to complete it at night,” says Pimenoff.

Pimenoff believes there is plenty for non-hospitality management students to get out of the courses. “I think that any student looking to work in food services of any kind ... will find these are transferable skills,” she says.

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