Unit of competency details

SITHCCC029A - Prepare foods according to dietary and cultural needs (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to SITHCCC307 - Prepare food to meet special dietary requirementsTitle changed to better reflect the intent and content of the unit. Unit structure made consistent across all cooking units. Re-worked Elements, Performance Criteria, Required Skills and Knowledge to more fully articulate content. 17/Jan/2013
Supersedes THHBCAT01B - Prepare foods according to dietary and cultural needs 31/Dec/2010

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 01/Jan/2011

Qualifications that include this unit

CodeSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Code columnTitleSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Title columnRelease
HLT32807 - Certificate III in Health Support ServicesCertificate III in Health Support Services
SIT30907 - Certificate III in Hospitality (Asian Cookery)Certificate III in Hospitality (Asian Cookery)
SIT40407 - Certificate IV in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery)Certificate IV in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery)
SIT20407 - Certificate II in Hospitality (Asian Cookery)Certificate II in Hospitality (Asian Cookery)
SIT40607 - Certificate IV in Hospitality (Catering Operations)Certificate IV in Hospitality (Catering Operations)
SIT30807 - Certificate III in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery)Certificate III in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery)
SIT31007 - Certificate III in Hospitality (Catering Operations)Certificate III in Hospitality (Catering Operations)
SIT60307 - Advanced Diploma of HospitalityAdvanced Diploma of Hospitality
SIT50307 - Diploma of HospitalityDiploma of Hospitality
HLT32812 - Certificate III in Health Support ServicesCertificate III in Health Support Services
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SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 110109 Cookery 

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 110109 Cookery 25/Nov/2008 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to prepare and cook foods to meet both basic and specific dietary and cultural needs, generally under instructions from others. It covers the ability to apply basic nutritional principles as well as deal with special dietary and cultural requirements normally encountered in a variety of hospitality and catering establishments. Menu planning to meet dietary and cultural needs is found in the unit SITHCCC035A Develop menus to meet special dietary and cultural needs.

Basic nutritional requirements generally refer to recommendations made in the Dietary Guidelines for Australians endorsed by the Australian government and other recognised health authorities. These guidelines include recommendations made for the general public, including infants, children, adolescents, adults and older Australians in order to maintain a healthy and balanced diet.

Special dietary and cultural requirements include therapeutic and contemporary eating regimes as well as customer requests and preferences, and specific cultural and religious needs.

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

This unit applies to all qualified cooks in hospitality and catering operations where food and related services are provided, such as hotels and restaurants, cafeterias, kiosks, canteens, cafes, educational institutions, health establishments, defence forces, corrective services, residential catering, in-flight and other transport catering, events catering and private catering.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Prerequisite units 

This unit must be assessed after the following prerequisite unit:

SITXOHS002A Follow workplace hygiene procedures

Employability Skills Information

Employability skills 

The required outcomes described in this unit of competency contain applicable facets of employability skills. The Employability Skills Summary of the qualification in which this unit is packaged will assist in identifying employability skills requirements.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the required performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised  text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge and/or the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria




Prepare and present foods to meet basic nutritional needs.


Select appropriate ingredients to ensure optimum quality of end products, including raw foods and convenience food products.


Employ suitable preparation and cooking techniques to retain optimum nutritional values.


Present a variety of nutritionally-balanced food in an appetising and attractive manner.


Prepare and present foods to meet special dietary requirements.


Identify the requirements for special diets according to instructions from relevant persons .


Select ingredients essential for special dietary requirements .


Modify food texture where appropriate to suit specific requirements.


Present food in an appetising and attractive manner.


Prepare foods to satisfy specific cultural or religious needs.


Identify and meet requirements for specific cultural groups  or special customer requests, according to instructions from relevant persons.


Employ appropriate equipment and cooking techniques for specific diets.


Prepare and serve food taking into account specified or requested cultural or religious considerations.


Present an adequate range of nutritionally balanced food in an appetising and attractive manner.


Communicate specific cultural or religious requirements to be addressed in food preparation to other team members and customers as appropriate.

Required Skills and Knowledge


This section describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level, required for this unit.

The following skills must be assessed as part of this unit:

  • a variety of cooking techniques and recipe modification to suit special dietary requirements
  • logical and time-efficient work flow
  • presentation techniques for food
  • problem-solving skills to consider and respond to special customer needs and requests
  • literacy skills to read menu options for customers with special dietary needs and preferences
  • communication skills to liaise with other team members, clarify requirements, provide information and listen to and interpret information and non-verbal communication
  • numeracy skills to calculate quantities, portions and kilojoules for given foods and quantities.

The following knowledge must be assessed as part of this unit:

  • cultural, dietary and special requirements that may apply in different contexts
  • basic principles and practices of nutrition, including:
  • nutrients and their food sources
  • influences on food choice
  • food and beverage selection influences
  • food labelling and interpretation
  • identification of food additives and preservatives
  • health implications of food choices
  • Dietary Guidelines for Australians, their role and general content
  • main types and characteristics of special diets that are part of contemporary Australian society
  • common dietary sensitivities, including food allergies and intolerance, diabetes and other medical conditions
  • existence of drug-food interactions and the health and legal consequences of failing to address special requirements
  • commodity knowledge of ingredients suitable for meeting basic nutritional and special dietary needs
  • effects of various cooking methods and food storage on nutrients
  • principles and practices of hygiene and legislation on food safety, including national Food Safety Standard 1.2.3.

Evidence Guide


The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, the range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for this Training Package.

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency 

Evidence of the following is essential:

  • ability to prepare or modify a range of dishes to meet different dietary requirements
  • knowledge of the dietary requirements of major cultural groups in Australia
  • knowledge of the consequences of failing to address special requirements for food allergies, diabetes and other medical conditions and customer-identified drug-food interaction
  • industry-realistic ratios of kitchen staff to customers
  • preparation of dishes for customers with particular dietary needs within typical workplace time constraints.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure:

  • demonstration of skills within a fully equipped operational commercial kitchen, including industry-current equipment, as defined in the Assessment Guidelines
  • access to specific equipment required for dietary and cultural needs, such as bulk cookery equipment used within the industry sector
  • use of authentic ingredients and food items.

Methods of assessment 

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

  • direct observation of the candidate preparing dishes to meet dietary, cultural and medical needs and preferences
  • sampling of dishes prepared by the candidate
  • evaluation of the suitability of dishes prepared by the candidate
  • oral or written questions to assess knowledge of dietary constraints and consequences resulting from cultural, preferential or medical needs
  • review of portfolios of evidence and third-party workplace reports of on-the-job performance by the candidate.

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended, for example:

  • SITHCCC035A Develop menus to meet special dietary and cultural needs.

Assessing employability skills 

Employability skills are integral to effective performance in the workplace and are broadly consistent across industry sectors. How these skills are applied varies between occupations and qualifications due to the different work functions and contexts.

Employability skills embedded in this unit should be assessed holistically with other relevant units that make up the skill set or qualification and in the context of the job role.

Range Statement


The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording in the performance criteria is detailed below.

Relevant persons  who give instructions or requests for special dietary requirements may include:

  • customers or family members
  • supervisors and managers
  • dieticians
  • diet technicians
  • health and medical personnel
  • religious personnel.

Special dietary requirements  may include:

  • vegetarian
  • vegan
  • modified sodium or potassium
  • low-fat or low-cholesterol
  • lacto-ovo
  • high-fibre
  • gluten-free
  • high or low-energy
  • diabetic
  • modified texture
  • high or low-protein
  • fluids
  • food exclusions for allergies and food intolerance
  • food exclusions related to specific medications
  • contemporary eating regimes and trends, such as macrobiotic, liver cleansing and elimination
  • high or low carbohydrate.

Special cultural groups  may include any ethnic, cultural or religious groups with special dietary requirements or sanctions, such as:

  • kosher
  • halal
  • vegetarian
  • Hindu.

Unit Sector(s)



Competency field

Competency field 

Commercial Cookery and Catering