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Elementary School Food Safety Lessons

Lesson 2 Mystery of the Poisoned Panther Picnic

National Health Education Standards
(grades 1-4) 1:8; 3:1; 3:3; 6:1
Time: 30 minutes
Teacher note
This lesson is discrete and can be taught as a single lesson or in conjunction with others in this series. The Teacher Resources include pre-and post-tests for this lesson; these may be used at the teacher's discretion. The lesson includes three activities.
Student Learning Objectives
  1. Students will learn that bacteria grow quickly and where some bacteria can grow.
  2. Students will begin to understand that bacteria may be in food as a result of a sick person contaminating the food.
  3. Students will learn that when food is left out in temperatures between 40°F (4°C) and 140°F (60°C), these temperatures are ideal for the growth of bacteria.
  4. Students will learn a simple rule related to food safety: “Keep it clean. Keep it cold or keep it hot. Or don't you dare eat what's not.”
  5. Students will learn that bacteria can multiply if cold foods become warm.
Required Materials
  • The Mystery of the Poisoned Panther Picnic video [12:57 minutes]
  • Danger Zone overhead transparency (optional) (see Teacher Resources)
  • Food Safety Rules Fact Sheet
  • Optional material: Food Safety: The Mystery of the Poisoned Panther Picnic: Youth Curriculum (Dept. of Food and Nutrition, Purdue University, (765) 494-8228, $10.00)
Preparation
  • Send for and review The Mystery of the Poisoned Panther Picnic video, $20.00.
  • Prepare the overhead transparency Danger Zone.
  • Ask that a video tape recorder and monitor be placed in your room.
  • Place this rule on the board: “Keep it clean. Keep it cold or keep it hot. Or don't you dare eat what's not.”
Teacher note
This lesson was drawn from Lesson 2 “The Mystery of the Poisoned Panther Picnic” found in Food Safety: The Mystery of the Poisoned Panther Picnic: Youth Curriculum by Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service, pages 9-11. “Danger Zone” overhead transparency and “Food Safety Rules Fact Sheet” were also drawn from the Youth Curriculum, pages 13-15.

The Producer through Consumer: Partners to a Safe Food Supply” curriculum found in Food Safety: The Mystery of the Poisoned Panther Picnic: Youth Curriculum was developed to help fourth, fifth, and sixth graders see how they fit into the food safety system. The curriculum consists of five sequential lessons along with an optional field trip activity. Each lesson includes a detailed teaching plan with overhead transparency masters, game cutout sheets, and background fact sheets. Fourth grade teachers of this curriculum may be interested to review the additional lessons found in this well-developed curriculum.

*Permission has been granted in advance for the reproduction of these print materials in their entirety.
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