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Middle School Food Safety Lessons

Lesson 2 Chain of FoodBAC gardening
National Health Education Standards
(grades 5-8)
1:1; 1:5; 1:8; 3:1; 4:3
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 three activities.
Student Learning Objectives
  1. Students will explore the path food takes along the Farm-to-Table Continuum.
  2. Teams of students will identify how food can become contaminated along the continuum.
  3. Students will learn strategies to prevent contamination along the continuum or path.
Required Materials

Teacher note: Please use food for this lesson that is specific to your region or to the tastes of your students. (Be aware of ethnic food choices.) Just make sure that a variety of food groups and types are represented — meat, dairy, fruits or vegetables, fresh, processed, cooked, local products. (You need at least five foods — or the number of groups into which you will divide your class.)

Food needed:

  • You might want to consider a cooked hot dog on a bun, grated cheese, relish, banana

Supplies needed:

  • a paper plate or two (for foods)
  • poster board
  • markers

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

  • Obtain the hot dog or other meat from your school food service, as well as the other foods and set these out so the students will see them when they enter the classroom.
  • If only using this lesson, copy “Food Safety from Farm to Table,” pages 52-53, for each student (found in Food Safety A-Z Reference Guide).
  • Write the following questions on the board for Activity 1:
    1. Would you feed a baby chick bacteria? Why or why not?
    2. What is compost? How is it relevant to food safety?
teacher note
This lesson was drawn from the second lesson in Science and Our Food Supply: Investigating Food Safety from Farm to Table: Teacher's Guide for Middle Level 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 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.

Teacher note: Students should not consume any food used in this lesson.
*Permission has been granted in advance for the reproduction of these print materials in their entirety.

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