Food Safety Lesson Plans
From foodborne illness, every year:
- 1 in 6 Americans get sick
- 128,000 are hospitalized
- 3,000 die
In an effort to teach students the basics, we use some fun food safety activities as well as kitchen safety activities to keep them engaged while learning.
1- Present slideshow about food safety– I know that many dislike the idea of presenting information to students but if the material is engaging, it is one of the best ways to introduce information to students. We like to use guided notes to help to keep students engaged as they learn new material. If you are in the routine of setting lessons up like this, students get used to it and actually prefer the structure.
2- Kitchen Safety Crime Scene- This activity can also include food safety. Some people set up an actual crime scene in the kitchen. Students find the “crimes” and record them on paper. We have these printable “crime scenes” that cover both food safety and kitchen safety. They are fun to use in groups or if you need sub plans, they are a great review to assign in Google Classroom.
Kids enjoy this activity because they can be detectives. If you would rather use it digitally, there is a digital version included in the resource on TPT. It is one of our most popular activities and we get lots of positive feedback about it!
3- ServSafe Food Handler– this program provides food safety training, exams, and educational materials to food service managers. As a culinary instructor, you should get certified in ServSafe. A test can be ordered for your students and they can also become certified in ServSafe. The workbooks are easy to use and are a great reference for the entire school year. We have fun doodle notes food safety worksheets that help to make it fun and keep the students engaged.
4- Glogerm Kit– These kits are such a fun way to show kids how their hands are full of germs! It is a powder that you shake on their hands, tell them to shake hands, and then go to their desks and work during the class. Toward the end of the class, turn the lights off and shine the light that comes with the kit and show them one by one the items in the room such as the computer, their desks, and then their hands. The more germs, the brighter and more glowing the area! The kids laugh about the number of germs in the classroom but it is a great introduction to hand washing!
Other Food Safety Teaching Ideas
Food allergies are a part of teaching food safety and are important especially nowadays with so many different food allergies and sensitivities. Kids can relate to this more than we did as children because so many have peanut allergies. We have a free food allergy lesson plan that can help you get started and provide some great background knowledge about food allergens.
After these activities and many reminders including classroom posters, students will hopefully be well-trained and ready to cook safely in your classroom!