Healthy Schools! Healthy Kids! logo Rhode Island Food Safety Lessons
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     Pre/Post Test
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  Lesson 2
     Pre/Post Test
  Lesson 3
     Pre/Post Test
     Ultra High    Pressure    Treatment
  Lesson 4
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     Supermarket    Smarts    Questions
     4Cs of Retail    Bakery Dept.
  Lesson 5
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     Family Letter
     Whip Around
     Campylobacter    Letter
  Teacher Evaluation

Middle School Food Safety Lessons

Lesson 3 High PressureBAC Phooey Treatment
National Health Education Standards
(grades 5-8) 1:1; 4:3; 6:3
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 various ways that have been used to preserve food over the ages.
  2. Students will learn about techniques used to process food today. They will hypothesize about methods scientists may use in the future to safely process food.
  3. Students will conduct a simulation of high pressure treatment to discover how it destroys bacteria without crushing food.
  4. Student will understand the relationships between the 4Cs of food safety and food preservation, thus reinforcing their understanding of why the 4Cs are important in keeping food safe.
Required Materials
  • Two empty plastic soda bottles (not rigid bottles)
  • Two grapes
  • A variety of foods, preserved in different ways:
    • Tomatoes, fresh, sundried, canned
    • Fish, salted, fresh, canned
    • Herbs, fresh, dried

Teacher note: Middle school students probably may be able to bring in some of these items making the lesson more meaningful and supplying a wide array of favorites.

  • Dr. X and the Quest for Food Safety video, Module 3, Processing and Transportation (7 minutes).*
  • Food Safety A to Z Reference Guide* ( See the following items: Bacteria, Canning, Freezing, Pasteurization, Pathogen, Preservation, Ultra-high Pressure Treatment. See pages 54-63.
  • Science and Our Food Supply: Investigating Food Safety from Farm to Table: Teacher's Guide for Middle Level Science Classroom *
  • Teacher Resource Video Questions

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

  • Be sure to ask students to help provide a variety of foods before the day the lesson is taught.
  • Review Ultra High Pressure Treatment from page 47 of Science and Our Food Supply Teacher's Guide for Middle Level Science Classroom
  • Request a video tape recorder and monitor.
  • The video should be stopped before the presentation on “Cold Chain.”
  • Copy the Teacher Resource Video Review Questions.
Teacher note: Students should not consume any food used in this lesson. Students should not share any food with each other.
teacher note
This lesson was drawn from the third 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.

*Permission has been granted in advance for the reproduction of these print materials in their entirety.
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