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Food Preparation and Safety

Food Preparation and Safety

The Food Preparation and Safety program is designed to prepare the student with the necessary skills to be hired in an entry-level position in the hospitality industry.  There is a high demand for basic food preparation positions which often lead to advanced opportunities with employers.  During the 120 required hours of field experience (internship), students will be placed in well-known local establishments which often offer permanent positions.  Basic knife skills, basic Food Preparation, Introductory Baking and Sanitation skills are required courses.  Students will be prepared for employment in every aspect of the food industry, from private to public sector.  Incorporated into the curriculum is our farm to table Learning Garden The garden is located within an easy walk from SUNY Erie City Campus. The Learning Garden promotes experiential learning, workshops, demonstrations and meal planning. This program is highly beneficial for those individuals in search of first line jobs that lead to growth in the industry. Upon completion of the certificate, SUNY Erie's Career and Resource Center assists to successfully place students.

This certificate program is unique because the timing of the classes is slower to ensure all tactile and emotional needs of the student are met.  It is vital to decrease any hostile environment because professors work so closely with these individuals holding knives and cooking foods at high temperatures.  SUNY Erie's program can offer support and resources many individuals do not get from home.

Program Competencies

Upon graduation with a Certificate in Food Safety and Preparation, the graduate will be able to:

  • demonstrate food preparation methods appropriate for the specific production situation and food items;
  • maintain a safe and sanitary environment for food preparation and service;
  • identify and explain the use and maintenance of all major pieces of equipment;
  • effectively communicate verbally and in writing with superiors, peers, subordinates, and customers in both work and social settings; and
  • successfully produce various baked goods, including, but not limited to, cakes, cookies, pastries, bread and rolls.

Admission/Graduation Criteria

Special Admission Requirements/Prerequisites

Applicant must have sufficient physical abilities, manual dexterity and visual acuity to accomplish the following:

  • use knives to pare, slice and dice fruits and vegetables and produce and fabricate proteins;
  • use other kitchen tools to manipulate ingredients;
  • visually assess the appearance of a food item to determine whether it is cooked and plated properly;
  • taste items and distinguish flavors;
  • stand for 4 hours at a time without sitting;
  • be able to move and lift pots, pans and other items weighing up to 30 lbs; and
  • be able to walk, stoop, and bend while lifting items weighing up to 30 lbs.

Applicant must have sufficient intellectual ability to perform the following tasks:

  • process verbal and written instructions;
  • communicate verbally and in writing;
  • multiply or divide quantities in recipes as instructed;
  • be able to multi-task (execute multiple tasks simultaneously); and
  • be able to read the warning labels on kitchen equipment and adhere to instructions.

Applicant must additionally be capable of doing the following:

  • work effectively independently, and in small and/or large groups as part of a team;
  • take direction well from authority;
  • accept criticism from authority and peers;
  • handle a diverse array of personality types, often in close quarters, in an artistic environment;
  • be in the presence of sharp instruments, knives, and equipment that may be construed as dangerous;
  • be alert to one's own food allergies, personal preference or prohibition to certain foods (i.e. religious beliefs); and
  • be able to cook with alcohol and be in the presence of an abundance of alcohol and people consuming alcohol.


  • The Statler Foundation Scholarship
  • New York Restaurant Association Scholarship
  • American Academy of Chefs
  • American Culinary Federation
  • Chaine des Rotisseurs
  • The Gary Miller Scholarship
  • Jason Pahl Memorial
  • Norman D. Farmer Memorial Scholarship
  • Chef Paul Cannamela Memorial Scholarship
  • Ricky Costner, Jr. Memorial Scholarship


Total Degree Credits: 30.0

Summer I
HC 114 - Culinary Arts Basic Skills Credit Hours: 4
HC 142 - Working in a Learning Garden Credit Hours: 3

Fall Semester
HC 118 - Culinary Nutrition Credit Hours: 2 
HC 128 - Introduction to Baking Credit Hours: 4
HR 136 - Sanitation Credit Hours: 2

Summer II
HC 116 - Introduction to the Pantry and Garde Manger Credit Hours: 4
HC 143 - Working in a Learning Garden II Credit Hours: 3

Spring Semester
HC 124 - Introductory Hot Foods Credit Hours: 4 
HC 239 - Field Experience Credit Hours: 4

Note: This is the recommended sequence. Student should consult his/her academic adviser before registering.

Available At:

City Campus

Recommended H.S. Courses and/or Experiences:

Basic math and English
Emerson or BOCES food preparation courses or other similar programs or schools

Pre-Admission Recommendations:

HS or HSE (High School Equivalency) Diploma

Career Opportunities/Further Education:

Panty Cook
Food Preparation
Kitchen Steward
Dietary Aid
Institutional Food Service
Supermarket and Retail Employment
Stadium Service
Skilled Nursing and Retirement Homes
Gainful Employment Information 

Hegis Code:


Curriculum Code:



Business and Public Service
Food Preparation and Safety

Need Help?


City Campus
Student Support Center, Room O102A
45 Oak Street
Buffalo, NY 14203
P: (716) 851-1155
F: (716) 270-2821
M8 a.m. - 6 p.m.
T, W, Th and F8 a.m. - 4 p.m.