|Germs and Dirt|
|Clean Food Handling Practices|
|Food Storage at the Grocery, at Home, and in Restaurants|
In this series, the developmental skills in the preschool years are divided into three general levels:
2-3 years = naming and identifying
3-5 years = sorting and classifying
4-6 years = ordering, sequencing and comprehension
Germs are both good and bad. Some good germs live in the gastrointestinal tract of the body to help make vitamins. Good germs are also used to make some foods, such as pickles. Bad germs that make you sick are carried by dirt. Some bad germs eat sugar and decay teeth. Most germs need food, moisture, and warm temperatures to grow. Animal protein foods (milk, meat, fish, poultry, eggs) provide food and moisture for harmful bacteria to grow at warm temperatures in the danger zone from 40°-160°F (4°-71°C). Boiling temperatures kill most germs. Bacteria do not grow at cold temperatures, but they are not destroyed.
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Germs and Dirt
Name dirt and places where germs live and hide.
|Where do you find dirt?|
|ridges and crevices in skin, hair, fingernails|
|body fluids: runny nose, sneeze, cuts and scratches|
Use a microscope/magnifying glass to look for dirt where germs hide.
What do you do to prevent germs from spreading?
Tell about germs.
Locate stories/books about germs for the book area and story time.
What is a germ? a good germ? a bad germ?
4-6 yearsMake a germ squirm
Name unsafe habits that spread germs. Name safe habits that get rid of germs.
Cut out pictures or make label cards to discuss germs in these settings:
|handling money||changing diapers|
|petting an animal||finding food with a bite out of it|
|drinking from the family water jug||foods licked by pet|
|tasting from serving/cooking spoon/dish||sneezing on foods|
|food with ahir or bugs on it||finding food on floor, ground, or playground|
Why is each of the above unsafe? What would you do? Is licking a safe way to get things clean?
Make safety labels for food handling in the classroom and other environments.
What pictures or symbols mean safe or unsafe to you? to others?
Classify ways to fight germs when eating out.
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Name and demonstrate steps for washing hands, utensils, and food
What things are needed for washing hands? utensils? food?
What items are needed for hand washing at home? in a restaurant? on a trip?
Practice washing hands and foods.
Practice washing lettuce, potatoes, carrots.
foods must be washed?
can you do to be clean when working with food?
(Wash hands, wear hat and apron)
Name rules for cleaning up spills
Spilled water or crumbs on tables, counters, and floors can be cleaned up by children if the spill is manageable; but not if there is broken glass; hot grease; or sticky mess.
Give children sponges, brushes, squirt bottles, dust pans, brooms and mops to practice cleaning floor, walls, counter, and tabletops in the classroom at snack and at meal time. Use label cards for clean/dirty, floor/table equipment. Praise them for their attempts even if an adult must clean again.
spills can kids clean up? adults?
(Use label cards for child, for adult)
Safe practices for food safety and cleaning supplies
Learn symbols such as "Mr. Yuk" for poison identification in the kitchen; in the bathroom.
Permission to use the Mr. Yuk poison warning symbol given by Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, 1992.
Why are some cleaning supplies for the floor? for the table? and others for food?
What pictures symbolize opposite concepts such as safe/unsafe? clean/dirty? hot/cold?
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3-5 yearsName places foods are stored/kept
What foods are stored in the cabinet? refrigerator? freezer?
How do these things get hot/cold?
Use thermometers to label/classify temperature of food storage places.
|summer time||room temperature||freezing|
|cooking temperatures||buying, transporting, preparing, eating||refrigerator|
Collect different kinds of thermometers and practice reading temperatures in various settings (outside the house, in refrigerator, in the sun, on ice).
At what temperature/place should foods be stored? Use examples from the food guide pyramid.
Name protein foods you eat
Most protein foods spoil easily at room temperature. (Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt -- keep them cold!)
Plan a classroom shopping trip to the play grocery with containers and bags.
Should frozen foods be bought first or last?
Should protein foods be bought first or last?
Where will each purchase be stored?
Collect food pictures or containers for play area.
Practice safe food storage in refrigerators and cabinets. Use pictures of real refrigerators and cabinets. Mix up containers and allow children to correct your "storage mistakes."
What foods spoil while shopping? during preparation? and during storage? How can you tell?
Never taste a food that looks bad (moldy, bruised, wilted, dirty) smells (putrid, sickening), or feels funny (slimy, dry).
What foods seem spoiled but are safe to eat? (mint with green center, limburger cheese, curdled gravy, sour cream, cottage cheese)
Look at, smell, and feel moldy bread or cheese or soured lunch meat or ground beef. Is this food safe to eat? Why or why not?
|apron; hat (hair covering)||trays|
|scrub cloth||kitchen utensils|
|mop and sponge||toy foods|
How do places in the community keep dishes clean?
Tour local kitchens, cafeterias, and restaurants. Look for ways food work areas and eating areas are kept clean. (scrape dishes, rinse dishes, hot water, soap, storage)
|Clean Dish Prop Box|
|plastic/metal tub(s)||stacking rack|
|rubber spatulas||unbreakable dishes|
|squirt bottles||play food|
|Prop Box/Carried Food/Picnic Safety|
|hard cooked eggs||cookies|
|peanut butter sandwiches||paper or plastic ware|
|ground or table covering|
Publication #: 348-653
A. Hertzler, Extension Specialist, Human Nutrition and Foods,
Karen DeBord, Extension Specialist, Family and Child Development, University of Missouri, Columbia.
Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder. More