Healthy Schools! Healthy Kids! logo Rhode Island Food Safety Lessons
  Lesson 1
     Pre/Post Test
  Lesson 1A Laboratory
     Pre/Post Test
     Lab Outline
     Data Table
  Lesson 1B Laboratory
     Pre/Post Test
     Data Table
  Lesson 2
     Pre/Post Test
     Case Sheet
     Updates &    Clues
     5 "Ws" and    the "How"
     Scientist Tools
  Lesson 3
     Pre/Post Test
     5 of the Most    Wanted
  Lesson 4
     Pre/Post Test
     Web Quest 
     Points of    Controversy
  Lesson 5
     Pre/Post Test
     Role Play
     Regulations &    Inspectors 
  Teacher Evaluation

High School Food Safety Lessons

Lesson 5 Food Safety in Retail Food Services
National Health Education Standards
(grades 9-11) 1:1, 4:
Introduce this lesson:
“Today we bring practicality to food safety study by gaining an understanding of the complexities of keeping the food safe in retail food establishments. For those of you who have never been ‘behind the scenes’ in a retail food service, you will probably be surprised to learn about all the rules and regulations these services must follow to stay in business. You will probably not be surprised to learn that the 4Cs of Food Safety are prominent in keeping food establishments safe:
  • Cleaning removes bacteria from hands and surfaces.
  • Cooking (heat) kills bacteria by breaking down their cell walls.
  • Chilling slow down the bacteria’s metabolism, thus slowing their growth.
  • Combatting Cross-Contamination prevents the spread of bacteria from one object to another."
activity 1
  1. State:
    “I would like your suggestions of the different types of places in which you have eaten in the past week.”
  2. List:
    List the places on the board (encourage students to think of the school cafeteria, fast-food restaurants, street vendors, sporting event eating, salad bars, delis, etc.).
  3. Ask the students:
    “How do you think food service places make sure food is safe to eat?”
activity 2
  1. Share with students:
    “We will now take a look at scenes from fast food eateries and supermarkets found in our video. You will see many examples of how restaurants and supermarkets practice the 4Cs of Food Safety: Clean, Cook, Chill, Combat Cross-Contamination.”
  2. State:
    “Now we will see Module 4, Part 1, from Dr. X.”
  3. Ask the students:
  • “Did you see examples of how restaurants practice the 4Cs?”
  • “What does Dr. X imply when he says ‘The responsibility for food safety is literally in your hands?’” (Hand washing is critical to keeping food safe. Contamination can occur when someone does not wash his/her hands and then prepares or serves food. Employees must follow strict hand washing guidelines and customers must wash their hands before eating.)
  • “Do you have any other comments or questions about what you saw on the video?”
activity 3
(Prior to this activity, set out large unlabeled containers with sugar and dish detergent. Supply the actors with flashlight or apron.)

Activity 3 is a role-play that provides the information needed to answer the questionnaire related to health regulations and inspectors.

Please provide each student with About Regulations and Inspectors in Food Establishments. Two people are needed for the role play; the teacher and a teacher assistant. One takes the role of the inspector and carries a flashlight; the other role of the general manager and wears an apron. (see Role Play Related to Health Regulations and Inspectors)

1. Share with the students:
“My assistant and I are going to provide you with the answers to the questions you find on the sheet I have provided for you by acting in a brief playlet. I’ll give you a minute to read the questions. After the playlet, you’ll be given time to complete the questionnaire.”

activity 4
  1. Provide each student with Food Safety Checklist for Students Working in Food Service Establishments.
  2. Give students 5-8 minutes to answer the four questions on About Regulations and Inspectors in Food Service Establishments.
  3. Bring the lesson to semi-closure by asking students if they have comments or questions related to the questionnaire.
  4. Ask the students to place their names on questionnaire and collect them. These will provide the teacher with an authentic evaluation of learning in this lesson.
  5. Provide each student with a Matcor Global refrigerator thermometer and the USDA Danger Information card, with appropriate comments to assist students to use at their homes.
(This closure is optional depending on how many lessons have been taught.)
“This has proven to be a highly informative series on food safety. We have learned that bacteria are everywhere, and that bacteria can spread from surface to surface, person to person, and food to food. The simple rules to remember are Clean, Cook, Chill, Combat Cross-Contamination—the 4Cs.

We studied the 12 most unwanted bacterium, or pathogens—a microorganism that is infectious and causes disease. Remember it is the elderly, the young, those who are pregnant, or have a lowered immune system that are most likely to get ill from the 12 most unwanted bacterium. We discovered that irradiation is a safe way to preserve certain foods and that, is spite of 40 years of evaluation and approval by the FDA, there are still questions by those who do not understand what is involved in irradiation. Lucky for you, you understand that is safe and how to know if the beef you are buying is irradiated.

We had an exciting lesson on inspectors in retail food establishments and the important role every employee plays in keeping food safe. And we, as consumers, have an important role also. We must remember the 4Cs in our own home and the hand washing rules—wash your hands before preparing food and eating food. Stay well—each of you!”

Integration ideas
  • Suggest to the English or Social Studies departments that students in your class have discovered, through original research, important data about food safety that can be shared orally or in written form in their classes.
  • The science department may wish to invite local health department officials and/or health inspectors to speak in science classes to discuss how science provides the basis for their work.
  • The Art Education department may find students in this class eager to share knowledge about the 4Cs, which would provide background copy for a series of posters for the halls, or for hand washing posters to be placed in the high school, middle school, or elementary school bathrooms.


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