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Anyone is able to show up for the first shift without any prior training. If you’re coming for the first time, please just review the information here. If you’re ready to take the next step and lead others in the operation, this page is for you.

Most of the training is done one-on-one in the kitchen, but it starts here with an overview of basic safety practices, expectations, a short quiz, and next steps. Before fully leading on your own, you’ll need to:

  • Watch the two videos below
  • Read the Operations Training and Expectations material
  • Complete the quiz at the end
  • Pick up your key to the closet from DPS (this comes a couple days after completing quiz)
  • Run the shift 2-3 times alongside coordinators or experienced leaders
  • Take the 20 minute online van training (if applicable, and it will be sent to you separate)

Food Safety and Shift Logistics

We need you to help us ensure food safety. According to the CDC, food-related diseases affect tens of millions of people and kill thousands. Following some simple but important rules, you can help us keep the people we serve safe and healthy by preventing foodborne illnesses.

Hand washing. The very first thing you should do when you walk in the kitchen is wash your hands. Wash them thoroughly with soap and water for 30 seconds (sing Happy Birthday twice).

Food storage. The first place you should look for food is in the walk-in produce cooler. As you walk in, our usual cart is in the very front of that cooler on the left hand side. It should have multiple options for you to choose from, with date labels on each pan. If you can’t find what you need there, there are three other places to look: 1) you can find refrigerated items, such as string cheese or carrots, on the shelf along the back wall of that same produce cooler, 2) you can find frozen ½ trays of food in the freezer, which is located in the basement, and 3) you can find dry goods in the left side of the Campus Kitchen closet. Please review the list below for proper food storage techniques.

Storing and Holding Temperatures

  • Food kept above 140 degrees is safe for the day

  • After quick cooling, prepared food can be kept for up to 6 days in the cooler (must be used by day 7)

  • The temperature must be 40 degrees or less, ideally around 35 degrees

  • Food must be six inches or more above the floor

  • On the back shelf: To avoid raw meat from dripping on food below, foods should be kept in the following order (listed top to bottom): cooked prepared food, raw prepared food, raw produce, raw red meat, seafood, poultry.

Planning out meals. You will find full pans of food in the walk-in cooler. Our rack is located just inside the door, directly to the left. Please review the “Site-Specific Notes” near the end of this document for information on the number of pans to bring and dietary restrictions for each site. If you are going to the Brian Coyle Community Center you will also need to fulfill the USDA meal requirements, which are listed below and also can be found on the back of any “Meal Production Record” that you’re filling out. Never use refrigerated leftover food that is more than 6 days old. Ideally use food that’s no more than four days old.

Re-heating. Use the time and temperature charts below to determine what temperature to reheat your refrigerated or frozen pans of food at based on how much time you have before the start of the shift. Before putting the food in the oven, cover it with a piece of tinfoil. When you take the food out, it’s important to check the temperature. All of the food we serve (except the cold meals delivered to seniors) must be heated to 165°. This is important because it helps to prevent foodborne illnesses. To do this, you can stick the thermometer through the tinfoil into the center of the pan, but be sure that the thermometer rests in food, and not at the bottom of the pan. The thermometer should be fully immersed in food up to the little notch on the end of the metal stick. Rinse or wipe the thermometer with a sanitizing wipe (in the closet) after each temperature check. If the food is stir-able, you may want to stir it for even heat distribution before taking the temperature.

 Cooking and Cooling Temperatures

  • The “Danger Zone” is between 40 and 140 degrees – this is when contagions grow best

  • In transitioning from one point to another, it should be as quick as possible, no longer than 4 hours. When cooling food, it must reach 70 degrees within 2 hours and 40 degrees within an additional 4 hours (total cooling time is 6 hours max)

  • When reheating, all food should be brought to 165 degrees to eliminate pathogens

 Time and temperature chart for reheating refrigerated food

Time for reheating


1 hour


1.5 hours


2 hours**


2.5+ hours


**This time/temperature combo is ideal

 Time and temperature chart for reheating frozen food

Time for reheating


1.5 hours


2 hours


2.5 hours**


3+ hours


Clean up. When it’s time to leave, if possible, do not throw out the extra food while you’re at the site – this upsets people. You are also not allowed to let participants take that food home. Just pack up the food into the insulated bag and throw it away in a kitchen compost bin (green bags) when you get back to Augsburg. Wipe off the table that you served food at and in general, make sure you’re not leaving a mess behind. You can bring a rag from the Augsburg dishroom to clean with, but the rag must return to the dishroom when you are done. When you get back to Augsburg, throw away any excess food, put the pans and utensils in the sink, and wipe out the bags, if necessary. The dish crew is incredibly helpful! they are busy, but they are willing to help or tell you where to put things.

Summary and Helpful Hints

As a summary, here are the most important things you need to worry about as far as food safety:

  • Wash, wash, wash your hands!

  • All hot food must reach 165°. You must take the temperature before you leave.

  • All food must be warmer than 135° on site when you serve.
  • Again, wash hands. Make sure your volunteers wash their hands too.

  • If you forget any of the steps listed above, all of the steps you need to complete can be found on the back of the yellow “Meal Production Record” form that you’ll fill out each shift. You can also find all of the USDA meal requirements here.

Meal Production Records

When do I complete this form? Always fill out a production record, no matter which shift you’re running.

Why do I need to complete this form? This form is important so that if something happens, we can go back and check that we did everything we could to ensure food safety.

How do I complete this form? You will be trained on how to fill out this form during your on-site training. Basically, you’ll need to write down your name, the date you served the meal, where you served the meal, what you served, when the leftover food was first prepared, and what temperature it was at when it came out of the oven. The most important thing is to remember to fill it out for every shift.

Meal Count Forms

When do I complete this form? The meal count forms need to be completed for every meal that is subsidized by the USDA Child Food Program. These meals are the ones we serve at the Brian Coyle Community Center.

Why do I need to complete this form? We need these forms to be filled out so that we can report back to the USDA and receive funding to continue these meals.

How do I complete this form? If you need to fill out this form, you will be instructed on how to do so during your on-site training. Mostly, it involves recording the date, what you served, what the serving sizes were (refer to the USDA requirements), and how many meals were served to different groups (1st meals to children, 2nd meals to children, meals to adults, etc.).

Site-Specific Notes

Brian Coyle Community Center

  • 3-4 pans of food

  • No pork. Do not use food that may have pork (like meat lasagna or meatballs)

  • Because this meal is reimbursed by the USDA, every child participant must receive every food item on their plate. They don’t have to eat it, but it does have to go on their plate.

  • We are focused on the kids during this shift, so make sure that kids get their meals before adults.

Peace House Lunch

  • 1-3 pans of food; fresh produce, if available

  • Best to avoid pork, if possible

Senior Lunches

  • 3-4 pans of food

  • Use freshest food available (1-3 days old)— We use the freshest food available because we are not reheating it ourselves and can’t necessarily ensure that it will get up to the correct temperature in people’s home microwaves. By using fresher food, we decrease the probability of foodborne illness.

  • Use pork as first priority protein for this meal, since it can’t be used at many of our other sites. Check the meal delivery roster for any special notes on dietary restrictions.

Ebenezer Tower

  • 6-8 pans of food

  • Use pork as first priority protein for this meal, since it can’t be used at many of our other sites. If possible, also bring an alternative protein.

Trinity Lutheran (once per month)

  • 3-4 pans of food

  • No pork

Expectations of Being a Shift Leader

What you can expect from us:

  • We will provide you with adequate online and in-person training to do your job. If you ever feel uncomfortable about or unsure of what you’re doing, please refer to the paper materials we provide you with to see if you can’t find an answer there. If you still need help, please contact Allyson.

  • You should always know who to expect for volunteers. You will be trained on VolunteerHub so you can check for volunteers.

  • A list of other shift leaders and their contact information so that if you do need someone to cover your shift, you have the tools to get a hold of them.

  • We will check in with you mid-semester via an online evaluation form for you to give us feedback and at the end of the semester via an in-person conversation. This will give you an opportunity to let us know how we’re doing. The end-of-semester check-in is also a good time for us to sign any forms you need for class credit.

  • If you ever have a question or concern, please keep us in the loop. We’re here to help and to make sure you have the support you need to do your job well, have a meaningful experience, gain course credit, and maybe even learn something. If there’s anything we can do to support you better, please let us know. Contact Allyson Green at anytime with questions, concerns, or ideas – (612)-330-1624 or  (608)-512-6929,

What we expect from you:

  • Our meal partners require annual Civil Rights Training to ensure that there is no discrimination within the service of our operation. Please watch this video or read over this short presentation.
  • We ask that you represent the Campus Kitchen at Augsburg University in a professional manner. While on the job, please avoid unflattering language, maintain a professional demeanor even when stressed, and do your best to promote a healthy, positive environment for our volunteers and guests.

  • We expect you to do your work to the best of your ability. This means checking the website for any volunteers that might be coming and greeting them at the beginning of your shift, maintaining food safety, filling out necessary paperwork, driving carefully, and designating appropriate duties to volunteers as you see fit.

  • As a shift leader, we rely on you to make these meals happen. If you’re not there, we have trouble getting meals to the communities that we are accountable to. We hope that you’ll be able to make all of your shifts, but if you can’t, we ask that you let us know at least one week in advance and we will excuse that absence. If your schedule changes at the last minute (within 1 week of your scheduled shift), we ask that you find another shift leader to take your place. If that falls through as well, we can work something out, but we can only accept 1 of these unexcused and unfilled absences per semester.

  • If you are sick, please don’t come to the kitchen. However, we still expect you to make every effort possible to fill your shift. This will mean contacting other shift leaders to ask others to switch shifts with you or in some other way help you cover your shift. The same goes for other emergencies that might come up. Again, we can only accept 1 unexcused and unfilled shift absence per semester.

  • While we’re on the subject of illness, if you recently worked with us and later find out that you’re sick, please let us know so that we can give you a short form to complete. Our health inspectors require us to keep record of it.

By completing the form below you are agreeing to comply with the practices and expectations:

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