Fifty Minute Classroom

Jun 17, 2019, 18:25
Fifty-Minute Classroom: Food Safety Basics
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Fifty-Minute Classroom: Food Safety Basics

08 August 2016

Instructors learn how to teach basic food safety in one 50-minute session with the help of a video, power point presentation and word search.

By Chef Adam Weiner, CFSE

Several years ago at CAFÉ’s Leadership Conference, I was leading a round table discussion about classroom problems. One teacher stated that about a third of her class dropped out before the end of the first month. It turned out that she loaded all of the course’s academics into the first month before she let anyone into the kitchen. “Let’s face it,” I said, “our students are probably not the serious academic type. You have to get them into the kitchen within a few days or they will lose interest.” Her response, “But it takes at least two weeks to cover food safety.” I replied that the basics of food safety could be taught within one 50-minute class period.

I gave a presentation at the June 2016 CAFÉ Leadership Conference titled “Teaching Basic Food Safety in 50 Minutes.” The purpose of the class was to show how high school teachers could teach the basics of food safety in one class period. I decided to give my presentation not as if it was directed to high school teachers but to do the presentation as if I were giving it to high school students themselves.

Please take a glance at the Power Point presentation for the lecture that was turned into a Gold Medal Classroom Lesson Plan: Food Safety. Then, take a look at the video filmed at the Leadership Conference.

Here’s how I suggest you might teach a Food Safety class:

  1. Give your students a copy of a word puzzle warmup. Click here for the PDF.
  2. Have your students watch my online video or give your own version based on the Power Point.

(Note, the video and the Power Point refer to sex in the context of how bacteria reproduce. I state that bacteria reproduce based on how they split over time and in the right temperature zone. I state that they do not reproduce by sex. If this phraseology is a concern, you can delete the reference from the Power Point and either edit out from the video or teach it yourself.)

Finally, there were a record number of presenters at the 2016 Leadership Conference. I gave my presentation on Food Safety. Other high school presenters were Lincoln Marquis from Louisa County in Virginia, Bob Brassard from Shawnee Mission School District in Kansas, and Sarah Waller from Kent Career Technical Center in Michigan. Now, it’s your turn.

The 2017 Conference will be held June 22 to 24, 2017, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Proposals for presentations will be due to CAFÉ by April 1, 2017. Please consider submitting a proposal for a presentation. No one knows how to give a useful and interesting presentation to a high school teachers better than a high school teacher.


Chef Adam Weiner, CFSE, teaches a 20-week Introduction to Cooking program for JobTrain on the San Francisco Peninsula, and is a frequent presenter at CAFÉ events throughout the nation.

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