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Lesson 1
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Lesson 2
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Lesson 3
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Lesson 4
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Elementary School Food Safety Lessons

Lesson 1 Bacteria on the RunBAC Phooey

National Health Education Standards
(grades 1-4) 1:1; 3:1; 3:3  

Introduce this lesson: (modify introduction related to the number of lesson you are teaching)

“In these next five lessons we are going to learn how to get rid of 'bad' bacteria that gets in our food and makes us sick. Has anyone in this class heard their family members say 'we must have eaten something bad?' Well, it wasn't that the food was 'bad' originally, it was that bacteria or germs (write both words on the board) got into the food and made it 'bad.' The bacteria combined with the food and produced harmful microorganisms (write this word on the board) that makes us sick. Today, we are going to see a video and talk about how students in Mrs. Turkel's class got sick on at a school picnic and how the students at Smart Elementary School learned not to let that happen again! Watch for the words Clean, Separate, Chill, and Cook in this fun video. Are we ready? The video lasts 16 minutes. Watch carefully.”
Activity 1
Show Smart Kids Fight BAC™ to the students.
Activity 2

Ask the students:
“Can anyone tell me the first rule for 'fighting BAC'?” (Washing hands thoroughly and washing fruits and vegetables. Write on the board CLEAN.) Continue to ask the students the three other rules for fighting bacteria:

  • SEPARATE - to avoid cross-contamination;
  • COOK - to 160 degrees Fahrenheit;
  • CHILL - to stop bacteria from multiplying) Place the additional words on the board (SEPARATE, COOK, CHILL).
Activity 3 (optional)
If you have purchased activity books for each student, ask the students to take these booklets home to complete. Ask the students to have their parents sign that this has been done. Encourage students to complete the activity book with their adult family members and to read the storybook with their family. Give your students a time period for the return of the booklet and/or storybook.
activity 4
“Just so we don't forget the four important rules of food safety, we are going to go around the room and let each of you state one of the rules. Let's start here with James and move around, OK?”
Review the lesson by saying:
“You have learned four important rules for keeping food safe today. Be sure to talk to your family about these rules—Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill. You can help keep your family well if you explain what we have learned today.” (If you are sending home activity books and storybooks, provide a deadline for return.)
integration ideas
  • Leave the four rules of combatting germs on the board. Ask the students to choose one and write an illustrated story about a bacterium they defeated by Cleaning, Separating, Cooking, and Chilling.
  • Have students who are computer literate check the web site at and find out about Salmonella and E.coli bacteria. An essay from their findings can be written to share with the class.
  • Suggest to the Art Department that students have knowledge that can be put to work graphically. They can prepare food safety posters that, with permission, can be posted in the school cafeteria.
  • The English or Social Studies teachers can ask third and fourth grade students to research information about scientists who have developed food safety methods that have saved thousands of lives (i.e., Louis Pasteur [1822-1895]). Each student can prepare an essay that can be posted.
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