National Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix
Supermarket Smarts (6-8th Grade)
6 - 8
Two 45-minute class periods
In this activity, students will develop an awareness of the importance of food safety in retail food establishments. They will be challenged to design and manage their own food-safe supermarket department using the 4 Cs of Food Safety. At the end of this activity, each team will present its findings in an innovative presentation.
- Assorted materials for students to prepare class presentations
- Grocery bag
- Dr. X and the Quest for Food Safety video, Module 4 — Retail and Home
- Write the names of each supermarket department on a separate piece of paper. (These departments offer a good variety of food safety principles.)
- Employee break area
- Place the papers in a grocery bag, and place the bag on your desk.
food safety: a scientific discipline describing handling, preparation, and storage of food in ways that prevent foodborne illness
Background Agricultural Connections
Interest Approach – Engagement
- Engage the students by saying, "I have a challenge for you! Today we’re going to take on the role of managing specific departments in a supermarket. But before we begin, let’s find out what Dr. X and Tracy have to say about food safety at the supermarket and in restaurants."
- Here are some questions to think about while you’re watching the video:
- How do supermarkets practice the 4 Cs?
- How are supermarkets a link in the cold chain?
- What does Dr. X mean when he says, “The responsibility for food safety is literally in your hands”
- Show video Module 4, Part 1 — Retail (Time: 3 minutes).
- Divide the class into 5 teams.
- Have a member from each team select a department from the grocery bag. Tell the teams, "Today, you’ll be the manager of your supermarket department. Your challenge is to reduce the opportunity for foodborne pathogens to grow or spread. Work with your teammates to create a food safety program for your department."
- Have each team develop a plan for ensuring that the food in their department is safe, and prepare an innovative presentation to present their plan. Students can consider the following actions:
- Research the food safety needs of the department by using the Internet and/or interviewing a store manager.
- Research local, state, and federal regulations to find out what procedures the store personnel must follow.
- Design the department so that it follows the 4 Cs of Food Safety.
- Analyze the role of the 4 Cs of Food Safety within the department.
- How does the cold chain come into play in the department?
- Include handwashing recommendations for the employees.
- Present the department design to the class, and show how food safety was incorporated into the department. Make a PowerPoint® presentation, blog post, web page, poster, advertisement, poem, song, play, or 3-D model. Or, come up with another original idea.
- Have the class compare the food safety needs found in each of the five departments. Ask students: What are the similarities and differences?
Concept Elaboration and Evaluation
- Dr. X told us that supermarkets are “major 4 C territory.” What did he mean by that?
- Clean — Employees in restaurants and food stores must clean their hands. Storage areas and display cases must be kept clean as well.
- Cook — Temperature probes should be used to make sure that food is cooked to the right temperature.
- Chill — Foods need to be chilled or frozen to stay fresh.
- Combat Cross-Contamination (Separate) — Food-preparation areas must be kept clean to avoid cross-contamination. There are separate departments for raw meat, fish, poultry, and produce to avoid cross-contamination.
- Dr. X discussed the “cold chain.” What is it? (The cold chain is a series of actions that maintain the temperature of food as it travels from the farm to the table.) How does the cold chain come into play in the supermarket? (Supermarkets are a link in the cold chain. Storage areas and display cases are kept at safe temperatures to keep food frozen or chilled.)
- What does Dr. X mean when he says, “The responsibility for food safety is literally in your hands”? (Handwashing is critical to keeping food safe. Contamination can occur when someone doesn’t wash his/her hands and then prepares or serves food. Employees must follow strict handwashing guidelines, and customers should wash their hands before they eat the food, and before preparing and eating food at home.)
We welcome your feedback! Please take a minute to tell us how to make this lesson better or to give us a few gold stars!
Interview a local supermarket manager and find out how he or she ensures food safety.
Create an FBI Case scenario about what happens to the food between the time you take it out of the supermarket and get it home. Build in at least three 4 C violations. You can also try to identify the violations and then propose a plan for minimizing the risk.
Trace a food through the supermarket. How is it kept safe until you purchase it? How many times is it touched, and by whom? Is there a way to ensure that all those who touch the food have clean hands? Report your findings.
Suggested Companion Resources
- Beef Blasters (Activity)
- Lose a Million Bacteria The Game (Activity)
- The 12 Most Unwanted Bacteria (Activity)
- Virtual Food Safety Labs (Multimedia)
- Antimicrobial Wash for Fresh Produce (Website)
- Fight Bac! Food Safety Education (Website)
- Food Safety A to Z Reference Guide (Website)
Agricultural Literacy Outcomes
Food, Health, and Lifestyle
- Demonstrate safe methods for food handling, preparation, and storage in the home. (T3.6-8.a)
- Identify forms and sources of food contamination relative to personal health and safety (T3.6-8.h)
Education Content Standards
Food Products and Processing Systems Career Pathway
FPP.03.01Implement selection, evaluation and inspection techniques to ensure safe and quality food products.
FPP.03.02Design and apply techniques of food processing, preservation, packaging and presentation for distribution and consumption of food products.
FPP.03.03Create food distribution plans and procedures to ensure safe delivery of food products.
Health Standard 1: Comprehend concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention to enhance health.
1.8.3Analyze how the environment affects personal health.
Health Standard 7: Demonstrate the ability to practice health-enhancing behaviors and avoid or reduce health risks.
7.8.2Demonstrate healthy practices and behaviors that will maintain or improve the health of self and others.
Common Core Connections
Speaking and Listening: Anchor Standards
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.1Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.2Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.4Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Language: Anchor Standards
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.L.6Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when encountering an unknown term important to comprehension or expression.