Best thing since sliced bread

25th April 1997 at 01:00
The Meat in Your Sandwich

Video pack available free from The Meat and Livestock Commission, PO Box 44, Winterhill House, Snowdon Drive, Milton Keynes MK6 1AX. Tel 01908 677577

The commercial sandwich market is worth approximately Pounds 1.7 billion a year, and an estimated 68 per cent of this market is pre-packed. This represents more than 49 million sandwiches being sold every two weeks. Sandwiches are therefore big business in the food industry. The Meat in Your Sandwich video pack published by the Meat and Livestock Commission explores the sandwich production process. It is not a "let's make a sandwich for a child's party" resource, but motivates pupils to think about the principles of storage, manufacturing methods, quality assurance, hygiene and safety, packaging and distribution.

The resource, which is available free, one copy per school, contains one video and a choice of teacher's notes are available on request for food technology or GNVQ manufacturing.

The video is well produced, informative and well referenced to teacher notes and pupil sheets. This should allow teachers to discuss issues in more detail after viewing. A time line is used throughout the video to give a sense of time scale to the production process and final product shelf-life.

Many important aspects of manufacturing, such as quality assurance and hygiene, are featured prominently and clearly. Technical vocabulary is well explained and tricky concepts, such as distribution networks, are represented graphically on screen.

Showing the whole production process from delivery and storage of raw ingredients to distribution and consumer purchase, should reveal the intricacies of the food business.

The notes have been prepared by practising teachers, and give suggestions for using the resource to enhance current teaching in schools, through a variety of courses. Curriculum mapping to the national curriculum is provided, with a brief mention of Scotland. The notes also provide information on the design process, key facts, costings and tasks, together with photocopiable worksheets. These include activities on writing product specifications and examining food safety.

The GNVQ teacher's notes are similar in content, addressing course elements, and give various activities for pupils. These are in greater depth, for example when considering the differences between quality control and quality assurance procedures.

The pack works well as a whole and should stimulate pupils. Its focus is narrow, but this adds to its appeal as it covers many of the key elements of the manufacturing process.

The simple sandwich is used as a vehicle to focus attention on methods of production and how to ensure product consistency and safety. Making a sandwich may never seem the same again.

Roy Ballam is education liaison officer at the British Nutrition Foundation

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