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Safe and Sanitary Work Habits - Level I

Main Core Tie

Food And Nutrition
Strand 1 Standard 2


Utah LessonPlans


Safe and sanitary work habits.

Background for Teachers

If students employ safe and sanitary work habits they will prevent accidents and food-borne illnesses.

  1. An understanding of proper safety procedures in the lab or at home will encourage students to be more cautious in their lab experiences. If students practice safety procedures they will better understand their meaning and be able to use them on a daily basis. Falls, cuts, burns, poisoning, and electric shock can be prevented with safe work habits.

A number of work habits will prevent falls:

  • Don't leave objects or spills on the floor.
  • Use a step ladder rather than a chair.
  • Rugs must have non-skid backing.

First aid for falls:

  • Don't move a person with broken bones unless necessary.
  • Call medical help if head ache, dizziness, vomiting, or speech impairment occur following a head injury.
  • Mild bruises/sprains need ice bags or cold water/cloths and elevation.

A number of work habits will prevent cuts:

  • Keep knives sharp so you don't have to push as hard.
  • Never catch a falling knife in mid-air.
  • Wash knives separately.
  • Keep knives in a rack or separate from other equipment.
  • Don't use knives for anything but cutting.
  • Keep fingers away from mixer blades.
  • Cut lids completely off cans and throw them out.
  • Sweep up rather than pick up broken glass and wipe up tiny pieces with several thicknesses of damp paper towel.
  • When a glass breaks in the kitchen sink, let the water out using several paper towels; then wipe out pieces with paper towels.

First Aid for Cuts:

  • Stop severe bleeding with the pressure of a thick cloth; get medical help
  • For minor cuts - wash with soap and water, blot dry and bandage.

A Number of Work Habits Will Prevent Fire and Burns:

  • Don't put flammable materials near hot appliances.
  • Avoid loose clothing with long sleeves.
  • Use dry pot holders not towels.
  • Store flammable materials away from heat.
  • Wipe off the range after each use to avoid grease build up.
  • To light a gas range, light the match first before turning on the gas.
  • If you smell gas, don't turn on any appliances--ventilate the room and call the gas company.
  • Turn pan handles in toward the back of range.
  • Remove pan lids so steam escapes away from you.
  • Keep appliance cords out of the way.
  • Use both hands to remove a pan from the oven.
  • Turn off appliances/oven when cooking is finished.
  • Lower food into fat with a spoon - not fingers.

In Case of Fire:

  • Turn off the appliance.
  • Use baking soda instead of water to extinguish a fire.
  • Use a fire extinguisher.
  • If clothing catches on fire, drop to the ground and roll.
  • Crawl on the ground to get out of a smoke-filled room.

First Aid for Burns:

  • Cool it with cold water; prolonged contact to ice will freeze tissue.
  • Avoid ointments, grease and oil (they contribute to the cooking process of the burn).

First Aid for Choking:

  • If person can speak, cough or breath do nothing. Do the abdominal thrust procedure.

A Number of Work Habits Will Prevent Poisoning:

  • Use original containers with their labels.
  • Securely close and lock cabinets.
  • Store chemicals on a high shelf away from food containers.
  • Follow antidote directions in a well ventilated area if poisoning occurs.
  • Never mix compounds such as bleach and ammonia.
  • Use charcoal/hibachi grills outside only; they give off carbon monoxide.

First Aid for Poisons:

  • Call for medical help and, if possible, use the antidote on the label.
  • If there are fumes, the get person to a well ventilated area.
  • If eyes are irritated, flush them with water.

A number of work habits will prevent electric shock:

  • Keep water away from electrical appliances.
  • Don't place electric cords near hot objects.
  • Avoid octopus outlets (one outlet with many cords).
  • Use heavy duty extension cords.
  • Disconnect appliances before cleaning them.
  • Don't immerse electric appliances in liquid.
  • Connect detachable cords to the appliances first then plug them in;
  • Don't use damaged appliances.
  • Use only a wet/dry vacuum on a wet floor.
  • Keep metal away from the working parts of an appliance (don't use a fork to pull bread out of a toaster).

First Aid for Electric Shock:

  • Don't touch a person connected to electricity.
  • Turn off the power, pull the plug, or pull the person away with a cloth loop.
  • Administer CPR, if qualified, and call for medical help.
  1. Understanding what causes food-borne illness will encourage students to be more alert to the proper care of food. Stress the four Fs that spread disease: Food, Fungus, Flies, Fleas

Symptoms of food poisoning: NDVs: Nausea, Diarrhea, Vomiting

If possible show specimens of flukes and tape worms (from the science department). Food poisoning is preventable by the use of good hygiene, keeping the lab sanitary and preparing, serving, and storing food properly. Show #1 and #2 of the filmstrips "THE ABC'S OF FOOD POISONING" (see Cleanliness concept.)

Personal cleanliness involves the following:

  • Wash hands before food preparation; after sneezing, coughing, using the rest room, and touching the face or hair.
  • Keep hair away from the face.
  • Wear clean clothes/apron (dirty clothing has bacteria).
  • Don't handle food if you have an open cut or sore (staph).
  • Don't cook and taste food with the same spoon; licking fingers is prohibited.
  • Wash hands after handling raw meat and eggs.

Kitchen cleanliness involves the following:

  • Wipe up spills and remove dirty utensils.
  • Wash the cutting board used for meat before cutting anything else on it.
  • Don't wipe hands on dish towels; use separate towels so dishes don't get bacteria.
  • Don't flip each other with dish towels or use a dish towel or dish cloth that has been dropped on the floor. (The floor is an excellent place for staphylococcus to grow.)
  • Wash/dust off cans.
  • Wash surfaces and cutting boards with bleach periodically.
  • DON'T feed pets or allow them to wander around in the kitchen; wash their bowls separately.
  • Use hot soapy water on dishes.
  • Don't store food under the sink - it becomes damp.

Sanitation in food preparation and storage involves:

  • Keep food hot (above 135 degrees F) or cold (below 41 degrees F).
  • Check the temperature in the refrigerator and freezer periodically; the freezer should be at zero degrees or below.
  • Clean the refrigerator often.
  • Use freezer wrap; wrap meat loosely for refrigerator storage. Leftovers should be stored using tight covers.
  • Thaw frozen foods in the refrigerator not on the counter.
  • Put foods away promptly.
  • Refrigerate desserts made with dairy products.
  • Never taste questionable food.
  1. Bacteria and dirt can be carried on clothing as well as hands and hair. To minimize bacterial contamination, FACS teachers and students should wear lab coats or aprons whenever they work with food or food products in the laboratory. (Discuss why clothing worn in other classrooms can carry soil. Also point out that the lab coat or apron protects regular clothing from spills and damage). Explain where lab coats or aprons are stored and procedures for getting them out, wearing them, and putting them away.
  2. When student performance is objectively evaluated, the teacher and the student will be able to determine where learning has not taken place and plan for remediation in that area.

Instructional Procedures


  1. Prepare a transparency of the handout FIND THE HAZARDS. Display the overhead transparency of hazards in the kitchen and direct the students to study it carefully. Then, divide the class into groups. Each group will brainstorm an exhaustive list of hazards pictured in the transparency. Then, have the students categorize the hazards.
  2. Set up a safety hazards kitchen and have students identify problems. Let students brainstorm other problems. Show bulging cans of food if available.
  3. Show the filmstrip "The Unwanted Four" if available, or use a comparable one on dishwashing.
  4. Direct the students to develop a checklist that could be used by an inspector to evaluate a FACS foods laboratory. Post the checklists in the room.
  5. In small groups have the students complete the mystery game DISH WASHING DILEMMA. Identify with the class the reasoning behind the correct dish washing technique or use posters above sink.
  6. Distribute the SAFETY handout and go over the safety rules with the class. The handout could be laminated and posted in every unit for quick reference. Have students put the handout in their assignment journals.
  7. The teacher will demonstrate the PIG IN A BLANKET recipe. Students will complete the student section of the PIG IN A BLANKET EVALUATION. Students will follow proper lab and safety procedures while preparing their recipe. The teacher will complete the teacher portion of the evaluation form, not grading the product but the procedures followed.
  8. The teacher will evaluate students in the following manner:
    1. questions from students
    2. lab sheets
    3. worksheets
    4. quizzes and tests given during the unit


  • Content on safety and sanitation from Food for Today by Kowtaluk and Kopan. Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, 1990.
  • "Find the Hazards" from Corning Ware
  • "Safety in the Kitchen" filmstrip
  • "The Unwanted Four" filmstrip
  • "Dishwashing Dilemma" mystery game

Created: 06/20/1997
Updated: 02/05/2018