Director of Food and Nutrition Services Qualifications

We have recently received in influx of questions related to the qualifications for director of food and nutrition services in skilled nursing facilities. The federal regulation (F801) requires one of the following qualifications (if a qualified dietician or other clinically qualified nutrition professional is not employed full-time):

  1. A certified dietary manager; or
  2. A certified food service manager; or
  3. Has similar national certification for food service management and safety from a national certifying body; or
  4. Has an associate’s or higher degree in food service management or in hospitality, if the course study includes food service or restaurant management, from an accredited institution of higher learning; or
  5. Has 2 or more years of experience in the position of director of food and nutrition services in a nursing facility setting and has completed a course of study in food safety and management, by no later than October 1, 2023, that includes topics integral to managing dietary operations including, but not limited to, foodborne illness, sanitation procedures, and food purchasing/receiving.

CMS has noted that the approved certifications and course requirements would be the equivalent of a ServSafe Food Manager certification. Additional food manager courses we have found to meet the requirements include: AAA Food Handler, Learn2Serve, and State Food Safety.