Bacteria Busters

Bacteria Busters

Learning about how and where bacteria grow in the kitchen and how to reduce the risk of this happening.

45 mimutes - 1 hour

CfE Experiences and Outcomes

  • HWB 3-33a - I can apply food safety principles when buying, storing, preparing, cooking and consuming food.

  • HWB 4-33a - Having explored the conditions for bacterial growth, I can use this knowledge to inform my practice and control food safety risks.

Learning intentions / Success criteria

  • Identify the four things bacteria need to grow
  • Suggest ways to reduce the likelihood of bad bacteria being found


Setting up

  • Prepare kitchen interactive scene on whiteboard


  • Split pupils into small groups
  • Working together, pupils look at the interactive kitchen scene and think about where they feel bacteria might be found in the kitchen scene and note it down, e.g:
    • in fridge (bacterial growth on ready-to-eat foods if temperature not maintained below 5°C)
    • in fridge (cross contamination of bacteria between raw and ready-to-eat foods, e.g. salmonella and/or E. coli)
    • in oven (chicken not cooked thoroughly - risk of campylobacter poisoning)
    • milk (bacterial growth due to time spent out of refrigerator at increased temperature)
    • worktop (bacterial contamination from pets)
    • sink (bacterial cross contamination originating from raw meat or unwashed fruit and vegetables and transferred via dirty tea towels, unclean plates and worktops and foods not stored correctly)
    • chopping board (cross contamination between raw and ready-to-eat foods, e.g. salmonella or E. coli).
    • Cooked meats (bacterial growth, e.g. listeria due to time spent out of refrigerator at increased temperature)
    • Carrot and peppers (bacterial cross contamination from unwashed fresh produce e.g. E. coli from soil)
  • Groups feed back to the rest of the class where they thought bacteria might be found by a representative from the group clicking on the place on the interactive whiteboard.
  • Challenge pupils to explain why they think bacteria might be found in these places – list reasons on board
  • Look together at list of reasons for finding bacteria, can pupils suggest headings that we could group reasons into?
  • Link this to the things bacteria need to grow and where bacterial cross contamination can come from:
    – Food
    – Moisture
    – Temperature
    – Time
  • Going back into group, pupils look again at their notes for the kitchen scene and where they have placed bacteria and discuss if it was correct or if they missed any

Write a suggestion for each place to reduce the likelihood of bacteria being found there, which can then be fed back to the rest of the class.

Cross-Curricular links

Literacy and English-Listening and Talking

Assessment Opportunities

SAY – Identifying the four things bacteria need grow

WRITE – Write suggestions to remove bacteria


  • Lists the conditions for bacterial growth
  • Applies food safety principles from purchanse to consumption and when preparing or cooking food



  • When thinking of suggestions for reducing likelihood of finding bacteria, pupils can be referred back to the four things bacteria need to go and encouraged to think about how to take away these things – e.g. Bacteria needs warmth to grow, so I will put my food in the fridge.


  • Pupils could research in more detail food bacteria (campylobacter, salmonella, E. coli and listeria) and how they can spread and cause food poisoning.
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