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High School Food Safety Lessons

Lesson 3 The 12 Most Unwanted Bacteria
National Health Education Standards
(grades 9-11) 1:1; 1:3; 3:1
Time: Two 45 minute class periods (one to study material and one for team presentations)
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 increase their knowledge of how to conduct research in the health and safety field.
  2. Students will learn that foodborne bacteria can have a major impact on public health, especially the "at risk" population—young children, pregnant women, elderly, and those with weakened immune systems.
  3. Students will learn the difference between "good" and "bad" bacteria.
  4. Students will learn about one pathogen in detail.
  5. Students will learn how to control the growth of at least one pathogen.
Required materials
  • USDA Fight Bac™ poster may be obtained through Kids First, (401) 751-4503 phone, (401) 421-0248 fax, kids1st@gis.net.
  • Reported cases of foodborne illness in your area are available from the Centers for Disease Control FoodNet at http://www.cdc.gov/foodnet/. FoodNet is a nationwide network that measures and lists the number of reported foodborne illnesses per 100,000 people. All cases are classified specific pathogen cases reported by the local Health Department.
  • NASCO micro viewers for each group of students (available through Kids First, (401) 751-4503 phone, (401) 421-0248 fax, kids1st@gis.net.)
  • One food pathogen poster (available through Aerotech Laboratories Inc., (800)651-4802, www.aerotechlabs.com)
  • Five of the Twelve Most Unwanted Bacteria material for each student.
  • Profile Questions for Bacterium for each student.
  • Provide each student with "12 Most Unwanted Bacteria" (Copy in color found on page 28 in Science and Our Food Supply: Teacher Guide for High School Science Classrooms.) .
  • Food Safety A to Z Reference Guide* (See the following terms—Bacteria, Farm-to-Table Continuum, Foodborne Illness, Four Steps to Food Safety, and Pathogen) Also refer to The 12 Most Unwanted Bacteria list and the individual pathogens found throughout the guide.
  • Science and Our Food Supply: Investigating Food Safety from Farm to Table; Teacher's Guide for High School Level Science Classrooms (2001)*
  • Dr. X and the Quest for Food Safety video, Module 1, Understanding Bacteria* (15 minutes)

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

Preparation
  • Obtain information related to reported cases of foodborne illness in your area From FoodNet.
  • Ask that your room be supplied with a VCR and monitor.
  • Copy the Five of the Twelve Most Unwanted Bacteria material for each student.
  • Copy Profile Questions for Bacterium material for each student.
  • Copy 12 Most Unwanted Bacteria for each student. (see Science and Our Food Supply: Teacher Guide for High School Science Classrooms after page 28)
teacher note

This lesson was drawn from the second module 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, (703)243-7100).

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 curricula that you will be using includes two laboratory lessons and five public health lessons. In different formats, these lessons are 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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