CDM, CFPP of the Month - November 2021

Brittney Maderia, CDM, CFPP

Name: Brittney Maderia, CDM, CFPP

Job Title: Dietary Director
Employer: Meadow Wind Health Care Center
Job Location: Massillon,OH

Years in Current Position: 4 Months

CDM, CFPP Since: 2020

Why did you decide to become a CDM, CFPP?

I worked in restaurants for a couple of years as a cook. It was a great learning experience and I am grateful for those opportunities. But, something was missing. I realized that something was interacting with the customers. I wanted a place where I could have a group of individuals and connect with them through food service. Then, I learned about becoming a CDM, CFPP. It was the perfect fit! I love making a difference in my residents' lives. I also love the knowledge that I’ve learned about food safety and sanitation by becoming a CDM. 

What are your main responsibilities in your current position?

I have a lot of responsibilities as the Dietary Director. 

Some of my main responsibilities include: 

  • Purchase food and supplies, stay on budget 
  • Supervise the receiving of food and supplies 
  • Supervise the food preparation and service 
  • Maintain records of residents’ profiles, meal census, menus, diet cards, diet roster, diets served and purchase records
  • Participate in employee selection, evaluation and termination 
  • Prepare work and cleaning schedules
  • Assume responsibility for compliance with federal, state and local requirements
  • Observe infection control procedures 
  • Interview residents and determine specific dietary needs and preferences.  
  • Ensure proper maintenance of equipment 

How do you organize your time at work to make sure you accomplish all your responsibilities?

The best way for me to stay organized at work in order to make sure I accomplish all my responsibilities is to write out a schedule. As a manager, a lot can be added to your plate during the day. It’s important to not get too distracted and forget important things that have to be done. Some examples of what I’d write on my schedule would be: place the delivery order, print tray cards, meet with so and so. I can add things to the schedule as the day progresses. Now I have a visual of what I need to take care of before leaving the facility. 

What is an example of an innovative way you have made change at your facility and how did you implement it?

The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of an innovative way I have made change at my facility would be keeping our puree eggs from drying out. Our puree eggs, when they get placed in the steam table, I noticed would become dry. The other puree items such as meat, would be fine. I implemented change by putting the puree eggs in our bowls with a lid, then placing them in a pan in the steam table. The eggs still stay at temperature, and are the perfect texture. When serving, we transfer to a plate (unless the resident likes food in bowls). 

What was your first job in the foodservice industry?

My first job in the foodservice industry was working for a pizza shop. I was 16 at the time, and still in high school. I showed a lot of initiative and eventually became a shift leader.  

Who has been your biggest mentor in food service and how have they helped shape your career?

My biggest mentor in foodservice would be the Dietary Manager who I shadowed during my practicum experience while I was in college. She was a very patient person and taught me a lot during my time at her facility. It shaped my career because it was the first look I had into what my role consisted of in a facility. She gave me a lot of inspiration. It really helped push me forward. If she happens to read this, I want to say thank you again! 

What are the biggest challenges you face in your position and how do you handle them?

I believe the biggest challenges I face in my position would have to be staffing issues and ordering issues.

I handle the staffing issues one step at a time. If there is a call off, the first thing is to see if any staff want to pick up the shift. If that fails, I will step in and fill that role. I will then handle the call off accordingly.  

The ordering issue is when the vendor is out of stock on certain items. I handle this by trying to get a substitute as close to the original product as possible. If I can’t get a product needed for the menu, I will change that menu item with approval. It is great if you have multiple vendors. That way you have more chances at being able to order needed items. 

What is your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of my job is being able to help my Dietary team. It is a great feeling knowing that they can rely on me. That way we can better serve our residents and create a great environment for everyone in the facility. 

How do you stay up to date with current innovations and trends?

Social media such as Instagram and the internet in general is a great way to stay up to date with current innovations and trends. I love following food inspired accounts and seeing what they create. It can even be the simplest recipes, and it makes you question how you didn't think about that idea yourself. 

How do you envision the foodservice industry changing in the next few years?

I envision a lot of new technology in the foodservice industry in the next few years. This new technology will make foodservice operations run even smoother and more efficiently. I also envision wages to continue to increase in the foodservice industry in the next few years. I believe that increase will provide more employment opportunities in food service. 

What is your advice to those just getting started in the foodservice industry?

My advice for anyone just getting started in the foodservice industry is to never give up. This type of work can be very tiring and stressful at times. You just have to stay positive and keep moving forward. Hard work and determination in this field can provide you with endless possibilities and benefits. You can do it! Believing in yourself is the first step! I get a lot of motivation from this quote by Mary Anne Radmacher. It states, “As we work to create light for others, we naturally light our own way.”