Middle School Food Safety Lessons
2 Chain of Food
National Health Education Standards
1:1; 1:5; 1:8; 3:1; 4:3
|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.
- 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
learning by placing on the board the following words:
• Combat Cross-Contamination
“I would like to share with you our
Fight Bac poster contents.” (Discuss
the poster contents. Display the poster.)
“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
the foods came along the Food-to-Table Continuum or path.”
“What do you think could happen to
food along that trip that could affect the safety of these foods
- List answers on board.
“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.”
“Time to tune in again to Dr. X and
the Quest for Food Safety (Module 2, Farm).”
“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
- “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
“We also met Dr. Patricia Millner, another scientist who
conducts research for keeping our food safe on the farm. What did
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.)
“How does Dr. Millner’s research benefit us?” (It will
keep our food safe.)
“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.)
- 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
- 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
pathogenic bacteria and to make the compost safe.”
Teacher note: Put the video suggestion on the board for five
minutes and then remove.
- 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.”
- Ask students:
“What do these foods have in common?
Where do the similarities and differences occur along the Farm-to-Table
- 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?
|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,
|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
- Using the web site above, look on a map and calculate
how many miles your favorite food traveled from one of the countries
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
- 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
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
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