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High School Food Safety Lessons

Lesson 1 Understanding Bacteria
National Health Education Standards
(grades 9-11) 1:1; 3:1; 6:3
Time: 45 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 four activities.
Student Learning Objectives
  1. Students will develop an awareness that bacteria are everywhere.
  2. Students will learn where bacteria live and what bacteria need to grow, survive, and reproduce.
  3. Students will understand how to control bacteria in food.
  4. Students will learn an estimate of the number of people affected with foodborne illnesses in the United States.
  5. Students will understand that it's everyone's responsibility to control the spread of bacteria—from the farmer, food processor, persons who transports the food, people who work in markets and restaurants, to the consumer.
Required materials
  • Food Safety A to Z Reference Guide * (See the following terms—Bacteria, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Deoxyribonucleic Acid, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Farm-to-Table Continuum, Foodborne Illness, Four Steps to Food Safety, Pathogen, pH.) Also see the 4Cs section beginning on page 54.
  • Science and Our Food Supply: Investigating Food Safety from Farm to Table: Teacher's Guide for High School Level Science Classrooms (2001)*
  • Food Safety Farm to Table* for each student from Food Safety A to Z Reference Guide* (http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/a2z-toc.html).
  • Dr. X and the Quest for Food Safety video, Module 1, Understanding Bacteria*

*Publications and videos listed above may be obtained from the National Science Teacher's Association, (703)243-7100), www.nsta.org.

Preparation
  • Copy pages 12, 13, and 14 from Science and Our Food Supply: Investigating Food Safety from Farm to Table: Teacher's Guide for High School Level Science Classrooms (2001)* for distribution to four teams of students.
  • Place this information of the black board:
    Foodborne Illness in the U.S. (1999 estimates)
    76 million illnesses
    325,000 hospitalizations
    5,000 deaths
    (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • Ask that a video tape recorder and monitor be placed in your room.
teacher note

This lesson was drawn from module 1 in Science and Our Food Supply: Investigating Food Safety from Farm to Table: Teacher's Guide for High School Science Classroom (National Science Teacher's Association).

This innovative and supplemental curriculum introduces students to the fundamentals of microbiology while at the same time imparting important public health information.

The curricula found in Science Our Food Supply were developed in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The curriculum that you will be using draws only from public health lessons—not laboratory lessons—which are also available in Science and Our Food Supply. The lessons have all been tested by an experienced team of middle level teachers and meet National Science Education Standards.

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