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Young students learn food safety

Posted: November 20, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: November 20, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Newhall Elementary School students in the Nutritional Advisory Council learn about food safety and use an ultraviolet light to deter "glo-germs" during the class.


“When in doubt, throw it out!” — with these words, the Nutrition Advisory Council, which is comprised of students from Newhall Elementary, summarized the food safety and sanitation lesson for the month of November.

The students, members of Newhall’s Nutrition Advisory Council, are the “Student Voices for Healthy Choices” at their school.

As representatives of their classes, the 14 Nutrition Advisory Council students are responsible for bringing back the messages about healthy eating and physical activity from each session to share with their classmates.

Knowing the basics of food safety is critical to keeping their families healthy over the upcoming holiday season.

The Nutrition Advisory Council students recited four simple phrases to remind themselves how to avoid food poisoning: “Keep cold foods cold,” “Keep hot foods hot,” “When in doubt, throw it out” and “Two hours” is the longest time that food should be left out at room temperature (between 40 and 140 degrees).

A hand-washing experiment using Glo-germs and an ultraviolet light concluded the noontime session. The students tried washing the Glo-germs off their hands using cold water only, cold water with soap, and finally washing their hands for 20 seconds with warm water and soap.

The ultraviolet light told the story. Cold water was not enough to get rid of the “germs.”

The students learned that an easy way to remember the how long to wash your hands is to sing happy birthday two times while using soap and warm water.

The students were well armed with information to take back to their classmates to share.

The food safety lesson was designed to teach the students that “no one wants to spend the holidays sick with a tummy ache due to food poisoning that could easily have been avoided.”

The Network for a Healthy California, Santa Clarita Valley School Food Services Agency, funds the Nutrition Advisory Council program at five local elementary school sites.


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