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

Home | Assess | Assemble Team | Take Action | Action Guide Tools | Search

Teacher Superhero

Food Safety for Teachers

Give students a lesson for life

Teachers at all grade levels and in all subjects can prevent foodborne illness by doing what they do best: educating students. The Food- Safe Schools Action Guide urges teachers 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. Encourage handwashing, particularly after students use the restroom and before eating.
  2. Monitor student behavior in the cafeteria to ensure that food safety practices are used, and reward good behavior with praise.
  3. Allow time for handwashing before and after lunch.
  4. Model proper food preparation and handling skills if preparing or serving foods in the classroom—use the opportunity as a teachable moment for food safety.
  5. Participate in food safety training.
  6. Encourage family involvement in food safety education.
  7. Integrate food safety into existing curricula.

Sample lesson plans for integrating food safety into health education curriculum

SNAP—the School Network for Absenteeism Prevention—helps middle schools promote handwashing through its toolkit at

Go to to find curricula for all age ranges, from daycare through high school, community activities, and a kids-only section.

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 teachers how to section (Word document).

Check out the Web sites below for more great resources.

  • Action Guide Resources for Teachers

  • Science and Our Food Supply
  • Food and Drug Administration and the National Science Teachers Association
    Free curriculum for middle and high school science educators to teach students about food safety and food science careers. Site also includes the Food Safety A to Z Reference Guide, Lose a Million Bacteria game and profiles of professionals working in the food safety field.

  • Resources for Kids, Teens & Educators
    Government resources for children and educators.



Home | Assess | Assemble Team | Take Action | Action Guide Tools | Contact Us