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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
  
introduction
If possible, connect this lesson with Lesson 1 in this unit by reminding students to check their notebooks and read again Food Safety Farm-to-Table, page 52-53, and Food Safety A to Z Reference Guide.
  1. Ask your students if the first lesson on food safety had any influence on their behavior. Hopefully, more hand washing and cleaning counters at home may be elicited. In any case, refresh students learning by placing on the board the following words:
    • Clean
    • Cook
    • Combat Cross-Contamination
    • Chill
  2. State:
    “I would like to share with you our Fight Bac poster contents.” (Discuss the poster contents. Display the poster.)
  3. State:
    “You will note I have foods set out from a variety of food groups. Today we are going to look at how these different foods got to us—how the foods came along the Food-to-Table Continuum or path.”
  4. Ask:
    “What do you think could happen to food along that trip that could affect the safety of these foods for eating?”
  5. List answers on board.
  6. Indicate:
    “Today we are going to have a busy schedule tracing the path of food along its trip from farm-to-table. We will discover some ways the food can become contaminated. Then we will present strategies for preventing the contamination.”
activity 1
  1. State:
    “Time to tune in again to Dr. X and the Quest for Food Safety (Module 2, Farm).”
  2. State:
    “While watching this module, keep these questions in mind” (Distribute handout with the following questions, see Teacher Resource)
  • Would you feed a baby chick bacteria?
    Why or why not?
  • What is compost? How is it relevant to
    food safety?
activity 2
1. Ask:
  • “Why did Dr. Elsasser feed a baby chick bacteria?” (Good bacteria are fed to baby chicks so there is no room left for the bad bacteria to grow.)
  • “What did you find interesting about Dr. Elsasser’s job?”
  1. State:
    “We also met Dr. Patricia Millner, another scientist who conducts research for keeping our food safe on the farm. What did she say about compost, and how is it relevant to food safety on the farm?” (It’s heat, again. If enough heat can be generated from the compost, it will kill harmful bacteria, especially E.coli O157:H7. The compost is then safe to use on crops we will eat.)
  2. Ask:
    “How does Dr. Millner’s research benefit us?” (It will keep our food safe.)
activity 3
  1. Indicate:
    “I am assigning a specific food to each student (hot dog, bun, cheese, relish, and banana).” (Use the Food Safety Farm to Table illustration provided and make notes on your copy.)
  2. Challenge each student by saying:
    “As you trace your food from farm to table, be sure to include all the people involved at each step (e.g., farmers, produce pickers, milkers, truckers, grocery workers, shelf stockers, restaurant workers, etc.).”
  3. Remind the students:
    “For each person you identify, you must include what that person does to help control the spread of bacteria. You should label all the places where contamination of their food may occur, then write a strategy for preventing that particular contamination. Use the 4Cs to help develop the strategy. For example, in the video you learned about the potential contamination of crops at the farm—the compost must reach at least 131?F (55?C) to ensure that the compost doesn’t contaminate the crops. One suggestion could be to develop ways for compost to reach high enough temperatures to kill pathogenic bacteria and to make the compost safe.”

    Teacher note: Put the video suggestion on the board for five minutes and then remove.
  4. Remind your students:
    “The student(s) who trace the banana or a food from a county other than our own should also address the global issue.”
  5. Ask students:
    “What do these foods have in common? Where do the similarities and differences occur along the Farm-to-Table Continuum?”
  6. Direct the students:
    “Each of you should add up the number of people they identified. Which food had the most people involved in the Farm-to-Table Continuum? Why?”
closure
Summarize by saying:
“Everyone along the Farm-to-Table Continuum plays a role in keeping our food safe from harmful bacteria. If a link in this continuum is broken, the safety of our nation’s food supply is at risk. There are food safety precautions, including the 4Cs of Food Safety that help prevent contamination of food at each step. Let’s state in unison the 4Cs: Clean, Cook, Combat Cross-Contamination, and Chill.”
integration ideas
Ask the students to:
  • Visit the Economic Research Service web site at www.ers.usda.gov/db/fatus, find their favorite food, and see how many different countries it comes from. Or, select a country and see how many foods we get from that country.
  • Using the web site above, look on a map and calculate how many miles your favorite food traveled from one of the countries to your state. For example, how many miles did the banana travel from where it was grown to your state?
  • See real-life scientists in action by going to www.foodsafety.gov/~fsg/teach.html.
  • Interview a person who is responsible for food safety (i.e., farmer, grocery storeowner, meat counter personnel, etc.) Write a report discussing exactly what each does to keep food safe.
  • Form five teams. Using poster board, have each team trace their food from the farm to the table. This will serve as the “first draft” of their food journey chart. Remind students that some foods are imported from other countries, so be sure to trace them from their origin. (Students can find out where a variety of foods come from by visiting the Economic Research site at www.ers.usda.gov/db/fatus.) Ask the teams to post the charts around the classroom and keep them up during the unit. As the teams learn more about the continuum, they can add to or change the information.

 

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