Hygiene and safety

This area covers: food poisoning and food safety awareness; good personal hygiene; safe storage, preparation and cooking of food; use of date marks and food labels and allergen and food intolerance awareness.

Hygiene and safety

Good food safety and hygiene practices are essential to reduce the risk of food poisoning. 

It is vital that pupils understand the importance of good food safety and that they can use what they have learnt to store, prepare and cook food safely and hygienically. Good food hygiene and safety practices should underpin all practical activities and should be regularly consolidated throughout a pupil’s time at school.

Pupils should be able to describe the causes of food poisoning and apply their knowledge effectively to reduce the risk of contamination and illness.

This area covers:

  • food poisoning and food safety awareness;
  • good personal hygiene;
  • safe storage, preparation and cooking of food;
  • use of date marks and food labels;
  • allergen and food intolerance awareness.

Food poisoning and food safety awareness

  • As an introduction to food hygiene and safety, show the Food Standard Agency’s Bacteria Bites Business video which demonstrates the importance of good food hygiene, focusing on the 4 Cs (Cleaning, Cooking, Chilling and Cross-contamination).
  • Food poisoning can be caused by bacterial, physical or chemical contamination of food and equipment. However, bacterial contamination is the most common cause of food poisoning. To explain how bacterial multiplication occurs along with ways to prevent it, show the Food poisoning presentation. Task the pupils to complete the Food poisoning worksheet.
  • To highlight the sources, signs and symptoms of bacterial food poisoning, show the Food poisoning – sources, signs and symptoms presentation. Task the pupils to create a poster which can be displayed in the classroom which explains what they have learnt about the sources, signs and symptoms of food poisoning.
  • To reiterate the importance of good food hygiene and safety in the classroom and at home, organise The Dirty Sandwich Café activity with your class. The activity requires you to demonstrate making a sandwich in an unhygienic manner, with food that has been made to look mouldy and in a dirty kitchen area. The pupils should identify what has been done incorrectly and how they could do it better using The Dirty Sandwich Café worksheet. Pupils could then write up their experiences of the Café as a newspaper article or online blog.
  • Encourage the pupils to demonstrate their knowledge of food poisoning bacteria by completing the Food poisoning – life, growth and death activity. The activity requires the pupils to use their creativity and write a story or poem, draw a cartoon or story board or illustrate a thermometer or time line using the information provided.
11 - 14 YR
Food poisoning presentation

A presentation looking at food poisoning.

11 - 14 YR
Food poisoning worksheet

A worksheet looking at food poisoning.

11 - 14 YR
Food poisoning - sources, signs and symptoms presentation

A presentation looking at the sources, signs and symptoms of food poisoning.

11 - 14 YR
The dirty sandwich cafe activity

A worksheet looking at the food hygiene and safety involved in the making of...

11 - 14 YR
The dirty sandwich cafe information sheet

The accompanying information sheet for the dirty sandwich cafe worksheet.

11 - 14 YR
Food poisoning - life, growth and death activity

A worksheet looking at food poisoning.

Good personal hygiene

  • To introduce the importance good personal hygiene when preparing and cooking food, use the Personal hygiene presentation or watch the Getting ready to cook video .
  • Choose two pupils and ask one to be the teacher and one to be the pupil. Challenge the ‘teacher’ to give the pupil instructions about getting ready to cook. Ask the rest of the class to say whether the teacher has remembered everything.
  • For a quick starter activity, ask the pupils to decipher the code to find an important personal hygiene message Code breaking activity. Challenge them to produce another coded message for a different personal hygiene rule. Use dingbat fonts to produce the code.
11 - 14 YR
Personal hygiene presentation

A presentation exploring personal hygiene.

11 - 14 YR
Code breaking activity

A worksheet where deciphering the code gives an important food hygiene message.

Safe storage, preparation and cooking of food

  • To introduce food hygiene and safety in the practical room, provide the class with a list of hygiene and safety rules. Give each pupil some sticky notes and ask them to identify potential hazards in the classroom. They should then write a safety rule to add to the list already provided. Discuss these with the class.
  • To stimulate discussion, task the pupils to complete the Spot the hazards activity sheet in small groups. After five minutes each group should state a hazard they spotted and then explain why it may be an issue and what could be done to prevent it or reduce the risk of causing harm.
  • To introduce the general topic of food hygiene and safety, show the Food hygiene presentation and task the pupils to complete the Food hygiene worksheet.
  • To demonstrate an understanding of preventing cross-contamination, ask the pupils to complete the Cross-contamination checklist.
  • To encourage independent working, give each pupil a Food hygiene card and task them to research the image and find out two relevant food hygiene facts. Ask each pupil to explain what they have found out to the rest of the class. This could be completed as an activity during class time or for homework.
  • To demonstrate the importance of safe food storage, print out the Food cards – fridge and freezer activity, cut out the cards and attach some sticky tac to the back. Draw the inside of a fridge freezer on a white board and ask the pupils to place the foods in the correct place:
    • Top shelf – ready to eat foods such as dairy products, yogurt and cream;
    • Middle shelf - ready to eat foods such as cream cakes, butter, cooked meats, left-over food and packaged foods;
    • Bottom shelf – raw meat and poultry;
    • Salad drawer – salad, fruit and vegetables;
    • Freezer – wrapped or bagged fish, meat, vegetables, fruit, dairy.

Alternatively, use the Safe storage activity sheet.

  • To help pupils visualise good food safety practices in action, task them to create a poster highlighting the top tips for ensuring food is safe to eat. Some pupils may like to use images from the internet or magazines, some may wish to draw freehand and others may want to use the Hygiene sketches
  • Ask the pupils to complete the Food hygiene thinking map or the Food hygiene and safety worksheet to determine their understanding of food hygiene and safety.
  • To consolidate knowledge, put the class into teams and ask the questions from the Food hygiene and safety questions pack. Use a timer to add an extra element of competition. Alternatively, play ‘pass the bomb’ using a soft ball – stand the pupils in a circle and ask one pupil to throw the ball to another, the pupil catching the ball must answer a question and then throw the ball to another pupil. If they get the answer wrong, they are out of the game. The pack contains a range of questions so the most appropriate ones can be chosen for the particular class and their experience and knowledge.
  • To check understanding, use the Food hygiene bingo game presentation and Food hygiene bingo game activity sheet. Task the pupils to choose nine images from the bingo game presentation and write what they represent on the bingo board. They should then cross out the images when they appear on the slide. When they have three in a row (diagonal, up and down or across) they should shout Bingo! Follow up the bingo game with the extension task.
  • To help pupils apply their knowledge and prepare for a upcoming practical lesson, task them to complete the Stripy salad pot risk assessment activity. This activity, which can be adapted to suit other recipes) challenges the pupils to consider the actions required to ensure the safe production and storage of a dish.
  • Producing a time plan for the making of a dish enables pupils to think carefully about the order in which tasks need to be done, especially simultaneous tasks, to ensure that all elements of the dish, meal or menu are ready at the right time. Food hygiene and safety points can also be highlighted to ensure that the finished dish is safe to eat. The Time plan activity can be used to plan the making of a dish in detail. If more than one dish is being made, pupils can practice the activity of dovetailing by producing a plan for each dish (perhaps in a different colour). They should then cut out each step and then stick them in the order they are required to be done to ensure everthing comes together at the right time. For example, when making cottage pie the potatoes should be prepared and put onto boil before the meat layer is made so that the cooked potatoes can be mashed and ready for the time the mince is cooked.
  • In preparation for future practical tasks, ask the pupils to produce sticky labels for their storage containers. The labels should include the pupil’s name, form (if appropriate), the date the dish was made, the name of the dish, storage instructions and cooking and/or reheating instructions (if appropriate). The label should also identify any allergens in the dish. Labelling pupil’s storage containers encourages good fridge management in the practical room, e.g. food can be discarded if not collected after 48 hours, and also enables pupils and their families to store and cook/reheat the food made safely which reduces the risk of food poisoning and illness.  Ensure that the pupils know that food should be eaten withn 48 hours of when it was made (24 hours for rice dishes) and that it should be reaheated only once. Editable examples of storage container labels include Beef casserole, Lamb Rogan josh and burgers.  There is also a sheet of Mixed storage labels for a further twelve dishes which can be adapted.
11 - 14 YR
Spot the hazards activity sheet

A worksheet which contains various hazards to be identified.

11 - 14 YR
Food hygiene presentation

A presentation exploring food hygiene.

11 - 14 YR
Food hygiene worksheet

A worksheet exploring food hygiene.

11 - 14 YR
Cross-contamination checklist

A worksheet investigating different ways of preventing cross-contamination.

11 - 14 YR
Safe storage activity sheet

A worksheet looking at safely storing foods in a fridge or freezer.

11 - 14 YR
Hygiene sketches

A sheet of sketches showing different aspects of food hygiene.

11 - 14 YR
Food hygiene thinking map

A worksheet looking at food hygiene.

11 - 14 YR
Food hygiene and safety questions pack

Quiz questions about food hygiene and safety.

11 - 14 YR
Food hygiene bingo game activity sheet

A worksheet to accompany the food hygiene bingo game.

11 - 14 YR
Food hygiene bingo game

A presentation of the food hygiene bingo game.

11 - 14 YR
Stripy salad pot risk assessment activity

A worksheet of a risk assessment for a stripy salad pot recipe.

11 - 14 YR
Time plan activity

A worksheet looking at a time plan to be safe and hygienic when cooking.

11 - 14 YR
Lamb rogan labels

Labels for a Lamb rogan josh recipe

11 - 14 YR
Burger labels

Labels for a burger recipe.

11 - 14 YR
Casserole labels

Labels for a casserole.

11 - 14 YR
Example food labels

Example food labels.

11 - 14 YR
Food hygiene cards

Food hygiene cards.

11 - 14 YR
Food cards - fridge/freezer activity

Cards to go with the fridge-freezer activity.

Use of date marks and food labels

  • To introduce the concept of date marks and food labels, show the Food labels presentation. Task the pupils to complete the Food labels worksheet. Check pupil’s knowledge with the Food labelling Kahoot quiz and Food labelling Kahoot quiz answers.
  • Provide the class with a variety of clean food packaging with labels. In small groups, ask the pupils to identify the information on the food label that relates to food hygiene (date mark, storage, allergens). Task them to apply their knowledge to identify why certain information appears on different types of food, e.g. use by date on high risk or perishable foods, best before date on canned, bottled or boxed foods.
  • Unpackaged foods, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, do not have date-marks or storage instructions. Ask the pupils to describe how they would store these items and know when they are safe to eat.
  • In order to apply their knowledge following a practical activity, task the pupils to complete the Food labelling worksheet using the Food labelling supplementary sheet.
  • Using a Blank packaging net ask the pupils to produce a food label for a dish they have made. Ensure that the label includes the information required by law that relates to food hygiene and safety, i.e. a date mark, ingredient list (with allergens identified) and storage instructions.
11 - 14 YR
Food labeling worksheet

A worksheet exploring food labeling.

11 - 14 YR
Food labeling supplementary sheet

The supplementary sheet to accompany the Food labeling worksheet.

11 - 14 YR
Blank packaging net

A blank packaging net.

Allergen and food intolerance awareness

  • To explain the importance of understanding allergies to food and food intolerances, use the Unpleasant reactions to food presentation and Unpleasant reactions to food worksheet. Check understanding with the Unpleasant reactions to food Kahoot quiz and answers.
11 - 14 YR
Unpleasant reactions to food presentation

A presentation exploring unpleasant reactions to food.

11 - 14 YR
Unpleasant reactions to food worksheet

A worksheet exploring unpleasant reactions to food.

11 - 14 YR
Unpleasant reactions to food quiz

A quiz about unpleasant reactions to food.

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