BSE and GM crops may by seen as the current bogey men of the culinary world but when it comes to food health we should be much more concerned about general food hygiene.
In 2000, there were 65,209 confirmed cases of food poisoning. In 2001 the Public Health Laboratory Service received 85,581 food poisoning notifications. The Food Standards Agency believes that food poisoning cases are under reported and puts the true figure closer to 5.5 million cases a year.
In January this year, three men died of salmonella poisoning at Glasgow's Victoria Infirmary. In Lanarkshire in 1996-97, 21 elderly people died after eating meat infected with E Coli.
Hygiene should be the number one food concern but it still remains low on the list of priorities. The aim of National Food Safety Week (June 10-16) is to put food hygiene at the top of the agenda and there's no shortage of resources suitable for use in schools.
The Food and Drink Federation is the main sponsor behind Foodlink, which runs National Food Safety Week. Foodlink is currently running a poster campaign for schools and provides free resources and activity ideas for raising awareness of good hygiene practices. It has an excellent website with an A-Z of food safety, downloadable fact files about food poisoning, food storage, preparation and hygiene.
Tel: 020 7836 2460
Food Standards Agency
The FSA is an independent body that represents public and consumer interests by monitoring food standards and safety.
England tel: 020 7276 8000
Scotland tel: 01224 285100
Wales tel: 029 20 6789 189
Northern Ireland tel: 02890 417711
Trends In Food Technology (six titles) by Anne Barnet and Hazel King
www.heinemann.co.uklibrary Price: pound;11.25 each
Tel: 01865 314091
The attraction of this series is that the ever-growing subject of food technology has been broken down into manageable portions aimed at GCSE students. Designing and Making Food provides an overview of the series, some aspects of which might be more suited to key stages 3 or GCSE Foundation level. Food and Consumers offers a useful start to the design process through its exploration of consumer needs, target groups and social trends affecting food choices. Food Processing and Food Ingredients provide valuable reference points for students involved in individual coursework, researching food materials with specific physical, nutritional or sensory properties and extending their knowledge of equipment, processes, additives and flavourings. The two remaining titles are about how designs translate into an industrial setting. The Food Industry includes explanations of types of production, and Safe Food gives a comprehensive coverage of the theory of food spoilage and controls within the food industry.
Design and Make It!
Food Technology revised edition Series Editor: Tristram Shepard www.nelsonthornes.com
Tel: 01242 267100
GCSE Design and Technology Edexcel: Food Technology
Belinda Campbell, Barbara Clapton, Catherine Tipton www.heinemann.co.uk
Price: pound;12.99 Tel: 01865 888058
Both of these excellent resources pack in a tremendous amount of information to take students through the new GCSE specifications for the revised national curriculum. Design and Make It!, while retaining the successful layout of the first edition, now includes additional ICTCAD-CAM content and a greater focus on industrial processes, bringing the content right up to date. The Edexcel book, again with a strong emphasis on the food industry, would be a valuable resource for any food technology course. The layout is easy to follow including examination questions at Foundation and Higher levels. Particularly useful is the coursework guidance at the back of the book although this could be daunting for less able students. With a Teacher's Resource file due out this month, this new resource is a must for anyone following the Edexel GCSE.
Why Should I Eat Well?
Although intended for use within the PSHE non-statutory framework at KS1, this delightful book would also make an excellent starting point for simple food-based design work such as healthy sandwiches or salads. Children will be drawn to the lively illustrations and the straightforward explanations of new girl Rachel, with her clear skin, shiny hair, energy and zing, as she tells Monica where she is going wrong with her repetitive fast food, high sugar choices. Through Rachel's clear advice about the pitfalls of too many fizzy drinks and the avoidance of fruit and vegetables, children are given the knowledge they need to start making healthy food choices. At the same time, however, the overriding message of the book is to celebrate food and enjoy its variety, with treats included now and then.
Educational packs Organic Experience Primary Education Pack Soil Association Tel: 0117 929 0661 www.soilassociation.org
The Organic Experience is one of several education packs available from the campaigning organisation. This pack includes information sheets on a range of food and agricultural subjects, including animals, the countryside, composting and recycling and food and health. A video is included with the pack.
Focus on Food Tel: 01422 383191 www.waitrose.comfocusonfood
Run by the RSA and supported by Waitrose, the Focus on Food campaign promotes food education in the primary and secondary curriculum. It runs regular workshops and produces the free termly magazine, Cook School.
British Meat Education Service Tel: 01908 844 188 www.bmesonline.org.uk
Part of the Meat and Livestock Commission, BMES produces the twice-yearly Meat Video Magazine which is free to schools.
CD-Roms Teaching Food Safety British Nutrition Foundation Target audience: Primary Teachers on teacher training courses Price: free to ITT education establishments System requirements: Windows 95, 98 Tel: 020 7404 6504 www.nutrition.org.uk
The Teaching Food Safety CD-Rom is an excellent resource. It takes you through one step at a time with clear instructions in a manner which makes you want to work through the tasks. The points are made clear and concise, using different styles of presentation - short video clips, diagrams and question and answer sessions.
The training manual uses good graphics and the opening page in the style of a personal organiser enables you to navigate the CD easily.
Enter the training manual and you'll be asked to undertake a pre-test before working on the modules. You are asked five questions related to the topic. On completing the short test marks are awarded and, depending on the score, you are advised to either follow the overview or detailed mode. After completing each module a post test appears, in the same format as before.
Within the topics section there is an encyclopaedia, glossary, an excellent collection of related clipart, and a weblink which takes you directly to the BNF website which has more related links and information. This CD-Rom is excellent, not only as a training medium for primary teachers but for all those who teach food. Having the basic knowledge of clean hands, correct cutting board and a recipe for chocolate crispies is not enough. All schools should have access to this training.
Healthy Kids - Inside Outside Learning and Teaching Scotland Key stage 2 Price: Single user pound;29.95 (plus VAT), pound;89.95 Tel: 01382 443 600 www.ltscotland.com
Healthy Kids has a section dedicated to maintaining healthy bodies. With the cartoon characters Mia and Kes, primary pupils can take part in a number of virtual activities including choosing a balanced meal, writing a shopping list and prepare and cook food.
LEFT:Campylobacter bacterium: found in the human intestinal and reproductive tracts
THE YUCK FACTS
Number of people infected: 50,733
Main food sources: Under cooked poultry, unpasteurised milk, red meat and untreated water.
Number of people infected: 13,122
Main food sources: Eggs, dairy products, unpasteurised milk, red and white meat
E Coli 0157
Number of people infected: 1,035
Main food sources: Beef products, particularly minced meat, poorly pasteurised milk
Number of people infected: 166
Main food sources: Cooked meats and poultry products
Number of people infected: 113
Main food sources: Soft cheese and pates
Colonies of rod-like bacteria, probably Salmonella, on roast beef as a result of a housefly's visit
Lesson plans, activity sheets and teachers' notes on food choices, plant anatomy, basic nutrients and sources of food energy, healthy eating information, and the social and cultural values of food. Activities encourage children to create a food chain mobile, invent a new plant, design a new salad and devise a protein rich vegetarian meal.
Suitable for KS2-KS4 groups seeking information, activities and teachers notes relating to the fishing industry, food processing and seafood nutrition. Quizzes, recipes, wordsearches and interactive games aim to provide activity, involvement and fun.
National Farmers Union
Launched to co-incide with the Food and Farming Roadshow, which is visiting agricultural shows and festivals throughout the summer, the Friendly Farm Club website is a graphics-packed site aimed at KS2. It features quizzes, factfiles, games and activity ideas with food and farming themes.
Find out the scientific facts behind food safety issues, then browse food poisoning horror stories, a cooking and food hygiene quiz, profiles of people who work in the food industry, recipes, games, competitions, screensavers and a teachers' zone.
This will whet pupils' appetites. Nutritional information and calorie counter (a Quarterpounder with cheese and regular fries provides 722 calories) plus a downloadable pdf covering all aspects of McDonald's products could be useful for a KS4 food technology project.