The Food-Safe Schools Action Guide • The National Coalition for Food-Safe Schools

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Student Superhero

Food Safety for Students

On the front line for food safety

Students need to do your part to stay healthy. You can help yourself and others stay safe from foodborne illness. The Food-Safe Schools Action Guide urges students to follow these simple but critical recommendations. Details, tips, and resources to help implement each recommendation are outlined in the Action Guide’s in-depth modules.

  1. Learn the causes and symptoms of foodborne illness. Causes include bacteria such as E. coli, viruses such as hepatitis A, parasites, and toxins. Symptoms range from slight discomfort to more serious symptoms such as diarrhea, fever, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and dehydration. Left untreated, some types of foodborne illness can be fatal. Seek medical attention if you suspect you have a foodborne illness.
  2. Wash your hands before and after meals and after using the restroom. Wash your hands. Scrub them with soap for 20 seconds and then rinse in warm water. Dry with a paper towel. Wash before you eat, before you make a meal—even if you’re just popping mac and cheese in the microwave—and after you use the restroom. And remind your friends to wash up, too.
  3. Advocate for Food-Safe School efforts. Have a food safety or foodborne illness expert speak at school. Use student newsletters, student newspapers, or the school access channel to highlight food safety procedures or special food safety events or to seek changes to handwashing or bathroom facilities. Get trained on food safety basics to educate peers. Ask the student government to sponsor a Food-Safe School week. Get the word out about food safety by creating food safety bulletin boards or posters to place in classrooms, restrooms, and the school cafeteria. Brief the school board on the importance of food safety in schools to get support and resources.

The Fight Bac!® Partnership for Food Safety Education has information and resources at

New Team Member Resource Available! Check Out the Team Member In-Depth Modules

Learn more about your role in ensuring a food-safe school and find useful tips and resources to help you implement these recommendations. Check out the special families and students how to section (Word document).

Check out the Web sites below for more great resources.



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