Food Safety is FIRST in preventing foodbourne illness; Food Safety FIRST
Food Science Inquiry Resources Science Education Standards Teaching Critical Thinking
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Food Handling is a Risky Business -

Through this distance learning module you will learn the scientific principles behind bacterial growth in foods and how that growth can be controlled to keep food safe to eat. While investigating the 4Cs of food safety you will increase your knowledge of bacteriology and food microbiology and practice basic food safety concepts and skills that you can use in your classroom, home and community.

Upon completion of this module you will

1) meet these Learning Objectives:

  • investigate and plan to apply the principles of inquiry-based learning in their classrooms.
  • increase their knowledge of bacteriology and food microbiology.
  • use the internet to increase their knowledge of food safety principles and resources while gaining skills in critical evaluation of food safety information.
  • investigate and plan to apply safe laboratory practices in their classroom.
  • investigate and plan to apply basic laboratory procedures in food microbiology in their classrooms.
  • plan to use food safety principles and laboratory techniques as tools to teach their students about the scientific method.
  • relate the lessons learned in this module to the National Science Education Standards.
  • plan to apply knowledge, attitudes, and skills learned in this module in their classroom, the workplace and in their personal lives.

2) experience Inquiry Based Learning to:

  • engage in activities such as "Find the Food Safety Mistakes" in a home kitchen situation, using the "Microbial Growth Simulation Program" to investigate bacterial growth at various temperatures, pH levels, and salt concentrations, and looking online at "How to Size up a Restaurant."
  • explore concepts of
    • basic lab techniques and safety practices with video demonstrations, posters and PowerPoint presentation.
    • microbial growth through a USDA bacterial growth modeling program, a hands-on laboratory experiment “Cooking Right Temperature Investigation,” and a PowerPoint presentation “Microbial Growth in Foods.”
    • safe food handling practices in the “The 4 C’s of Food Safety” PowerPoint presentation and a hands-on investigation using a thermometer that comes free in your lab kit.
  • explain understanding of these concepts through online investigations of resources and asynchronous discussions with fellow teachers and practitioners
  • elaborate on how skills and strategies learned in this module can be applied to individual classroom settings through online discussions.
  • evaluate the usefulness of individual activities and this learning experience through discussion groups and program evaluation.

3) be awarded a certificate of completion that can be used to document 15 hours of Professional Development. 1.5 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are also available to those who request it.

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Developed by UMass Extension Nutrition Education Program in cooperation with National Science Teachers Association, UMass Amherst Departments of Nutrition and Food Science, STEM Education Institute and the Department of Computer Science, copyright 2004. UMass Extension and the United States Department of Agriculture cooperating. UMass Extension provides equal opportunity in programs and employment. This project is funded in part by USDA CSREES Grant Number 2002-51110-01501.
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