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9 Kitchen Safety Teaching Ideas for Cooking with Students

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Kitchen Safety Worksheets for Culinary Arts and Life Skills

Did you know?  From foodborne illness, every year:

  • 1 in 6 Americans get sick
  • 128,000 are hospitalized
  • 3,000 die

Students don’t always want to start the year learning about safety but with this kitchen safety worksheet, they will have fun while learning essential skills! Creating a safe working environment takes time and classroom routines. Having your high school or middle school classroom clearly labeled with kitchen safety rules and kitchen jobs is a great way to start.  It is one of the most valuable concepts to teach because even if students do not go into the culinary industry, they will need a basic understanding of kitchen safety and food safety beyond just common sense.

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1- Classroom Decor as Reminders– Here is a free download of important kitchen job posters that you can use in your cooking classroom. These can help cut safety hazards and help create safe young chefs out of your students!

2- Kitchen Safety Crime Scene– We love to use these kitchen crime scene worksheets to introduce common kitchen hazards and kitchen accidents. Students love to find clues in the pictures, and it’s a fun way to review or introduce the topic!

kitchen safety crime scene

They go over topics such as food-borne illnesses, fire safety, avoiding long sleeves and using pot holders while cooking, and more. This activity can be done independently or in small groups, and if you review the answers when the groups are finished, you can elaborate on the answers!

The worksheets not only work for family consumer sciences and culinary classes but they work great for special education life skills classes because they are very visual and the information is “chunked” and includes basic reading. 

3- Food and Kitchen Safety Board Game– Easy to set up and fun for students to play in groups! Click here to learn more about this activity.

Food Safety Worksheets

food safety activity for middle school culinary arts and family consumer science
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4- Food Safety Crime Scene– With kitchen safety comes food safety because a lot of the systems you put into place in the kitchen is to prevent people from getting sick!

Check out a similar activity for food safety that is a printable worksheet packet or in Google version that goes over basic food safety. It can be a great addition to your safety and sanitation lesson plan. These cooking safety worksheets also include an answer key for easy grading or for sub plans!

kitchen safety crime scene

​Full Food Safety Unit Lesson Plans

5- A Full Kitchen Safety Unit- Are you looking for a more comprehensive unit that includes editable lesson plans? This complete kitchen safety unit also includes activities that your entire class will love, assessments, and more! This includes the worksheets mentioned above, digital escape rooms, and review activities. Read more about using digital escape rooms in the secondary classroom. If an administrator is observing you during this unit, you will be prepared, and they will be impressed that you are taking these safety measures. 

kitchen safety worksheets and activities
kitchen safety unit plan for high school

Why Teach Kitchen Safety?

Teaching kitchen safety is crucial because it empowers students with the knowledge and skills to protect themselves and others from potential hazards in the kitchen. Kitchen accidents can be severe and sometimes fatal, and students must understand how to use kitchen tools and equipment safely. Kitchen safety education promotes good hygiene practices and fosters responsible food handling and preparation attitudes. By teaching kitchen safety, teachers can help their students develop essential life skills they can use both in and out of the kitchen, promoting a safer and healthier lifestyle. Understanding kitchen safety is important because it helps by:

  1. Preventing accidents: Cooking can involve sharp objects, hot surfaces, and open flames. Teaching kitchen safety rules and procedures can prevent accidents, injuries, and burns, which could lead to hospitalization, scarring, or long-term disabilities.
  2. Promoting healthy habits: Kitchen safety also involves food hygiene, such as washing hands, properly storing food, and avoiding cross-contamination. Teaching these habits can prevent foodborne illnesses and food poisoning and promote healthy eating practices.
  3. Developing life skills: Cooking is an essential life skill that everyone should learn. By teaching kitchen safety, teachers can help students gain confidence and independence in the kitchen, which they can carry with them throughout their lives.
  4. Fostering teamwork and communication: Cooking often involves working in groups or pairs, which requires clear communication and teamwork. Teaching kitchen safety rules can promote effective communication and collaboration among students, which are valuable skills both in and out of the kitchen.

Common Kitchen Hazards:

Here are some of the most common kitchen hazards that can cause accidents or injuries:

  1. Burns and scalds: Hot surfaces, liquids, and steam can cause burns and scalds. This can happen while cooking or taking food out of the oven or microwave.
  2. Cuts and lacerations: Knives, graters, and other sharp tools can cause cuts and lacerations. Improper handling or storage of these tools can also lead to injuries.
  3. Slip and fall accidents: Wet or greasy floors, cluttered countertops, and poor lighting can cause slip and fall accidents in the kitchen.
  4. Electrical hazards: Electrical appliances such as blenders, toasters, and microwaves can pose electrical hazards if improper use. Frayed cords, damaged plugs, and using electrical appliances with wet hands can lead to electrical shock.
  5. Fire hazards: Open flames, such as those from gas stoves or candles, can cause fires if not used properly. Overheating or leaving food unattended on the stove or in the oven can also cause fires.

6- Show a Kitchen Safety Video– the video questions are included in the full unit above.

This is a fun video to help teach the concept of kitchen safety.

Other Kitchen Safety Teaching Resources

7- Show Your Students Their Germy Hands!- Try a 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 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!

8- Investigate kitchen hazards using Flipgrid– Kim Graybill of has an engaging kitchen hazards activity in which students are assigned a kitchen hazard topic and create a Flipgrid video about it. As a project-based learning activity, students are engaged and learning from one another!

kitchen safety activities
Do a fun experiment with your students to show the germs on their hands!

9- Create Webquests on Kitchen Safety– Here are some websites that provide resources for teaching kitchen safety that you can use to have students dig around for information:

  1. The Partnership for Food Safety Education provides free resources for educators, including lesson plans, activities, and videos on food safety. Its “Fight BAC!” campaign focuses on safe food handling and storage practices and includes resources for teaching kitchen safety to children and teens.
  2. provides food safety resources for consumers, educators, and food industry professionals. Its “Kitchen Companion” booklet includes tips for preventing foodborne illness and safe cooking practices. The website also includes a section on food safety for kids, with interactive games and activities.
  3. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Home Food Safety website provides safe food handling, cooking, and storage information. It includes educational resources, such as lesson plans, activities, and handouts for teaching kitchen safety to students of all ages.
  4. The American Red Cross offers a “Babysitting and Child Care” course that includes information on kitchen safety. The course covers safe food handling, fire safety, and choking hazards and targets teenagers and young adults
  5. The USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service offers a “Cooking with Kids” curriculum that includes lessons on kitchen safety. The curriculum is designed for educators working with children in grades K-12 and includes activities, recipes, and tips for teaching safe cooking practices.

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