BAC Fighter Field Reports

School Starts with Food Safety

BAC Fighter Stephanie Castillo plans a packed Food Safety Education Month for Kansas Students

School Starts with Food Safety

Stephanie Castillo, a BAC Fighter from the Kansas Family Nutrition Program, always kicks off her work in elementary schools with Food Safety Education Month. Last September, Stephanie taught hand washing and food safety to 614 students!

Here are some of the tactics she used to make sure her elementary students got the most out of Food Safety Education Month:

  • Interactive tools  

Stephanie used a thermometer, ice pack, strainer, scrub brush, and two separate cutting boards to teach students how to practice the four core food safety steps.

  • Story time

The He’s BAC Storybook and BAC himself turned story time into food safety time. Stephanie also read Germs! Germs! Germs! and Oh! The Things You Can Do That Are Good For You to teach kids all about staying healthy.

  • Pass the germ game

Stephanie crocheted “germs” that the students could pass around. They passed them around in a circle until instructed to stop. Students left holding the germs were out of the game.

  • Eating germs!

Yuck - not that kind of germ! This one is made of crackers, cream cheese, and pretzels. Get the recipe here.  

  • Glo Germ machine booths

To teach the important of hand washing, Stephanie set up an interactive Glo Germ booth. Students were able to see where they needed to work on proper hand washing techniques.

We can’t imagine many more fun ways to teach kids about food safety and hand hygiene! Keep up the good work, Stephanie!

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Food Safety Gets Poetic

New York Students capture essence of 4 core food safety practices with haiku

Food Safety Gets Poetic

BAC Fighter Tara Mateo looked beyond the typical learning tools of worksheets and quizzes for a way to teach food safety – poetry!

After learning all about the four core messages, Tara’s students weren’t given an everyday quiz. Instead, they were instructed to write haikus. Short, simple, and reflective, these poems are the perfect way to convey food safety steps.

Learning didn’t stop in the classroom! Tara’s students hung their finished haikus around the rest of the school so that other students could learn about food safety too.

Please take a moment to browse through these wonderfully creative food safety haikus! Thank you Tara and students for spreading these messages! 


3 Cs and an S                 4 Safety Steps
 Cook Food Right            Fight BAC Haiku
 Haihand            Haiklean
 Handwashing Haiku            Handwashing
Sanitation           The Haiku of Fighting BAC Page 1
Washing Hands Haiku           Washing Hands Page 1

Shoppers Break for Food Safety at the Micronesia Mall

Shoppers took food safety knowledge home along with purchases

Shoppers Break for Food Safety at the Micronesia Mall

Food safety was probably not on shoppers’ minds when they entered the Micronesia Mall in Guam last September. But they certainly left with it thanks to BAC Fighters from the Preventive Medicine Department of Guam’s United States Naval Hospital. 

For Food Safety Education Month, the Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services planned a fair at the Micronesia mall to educate residents about proper food handling and the foodborne illnesses that can result from improper practices. A team of dedicated BAC Fighters was on site to educate residents with a popular interactive booth.

Lieutenant Junior Grade Richelle Magalhaes and Hospital Corpsmen Mounts, Felan, Josephbrooks, and Stege set up booths to interact with kids and adults. Adults chose from informative pamphlets, booklets, and magnets while the kids had fun with food safety coloring sheets.

The shoppers of Micronesia Mall didn’t mind taking a break from shopping to stop by and learn about food safety!

And we’re certainly glad they did! Thank you LTJG Richelle Magalhaes and team for planning the exhibit.

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Kansas Students Take on Food Safety Bad Guy

BAC! Fighter Becky Reid reaches kids with an interactive puppet show

Kansas Students Take on Food Safety Bad Guy

Teaching pre-school and early elementary children about healthy habits can be challenging.  In Cowley County, Kansas, I engage children with a puppet show, hand washing activity, and taste test at “Dinosaur Diner.”  During the 30 minute presentation, students learn about the benefits of eating a variety of foods, the importance of food safety, and personal hygiene.

The program features “Dino,” an alligator puppet who loves dinosaurs.  “Dino” is concerned that his fellow alligators might someday be extinct because they do not eat a variety of foods.  Dino’s goal is to open a restaurant and invite all alligators to be customers.  

The children also meet “Chef,” who greets participants with a handshake while reviewing expectations for food safety. However, “Chef” informs the children there is a “bad guy” in the room! The “bad guy” (the BAC Puppet from the Partnership for Food Safety Education) uses a spooky voice to talk about germs and how bacteria will make the students feel “ucky and yucky!”

Students get rid of the “bad guy” by pretending to wash their hands and counting to 20.  “Dino” praises the children for their hand washing skills but reminds them they must use real soap and water to kill germs.  I utilize UV disclosing lotion and a black light to demonstrate the effectiveness of their real hand washing skills.

The final activity is a taste test of dinosaur dip with a slice of raw sweet potato. “Chef” has participants give a thumbs-up (they like it) or thumbs-to-the-side (please change the recipe) after the taste test.  No “thumbs-down” are accepted because if might make “Chef” cry!


              Closing Photo                            

The presentation has been offered for PreK-2nd grade classrooms for the past three years.  Last year, I visited 558 students (30 classrooms) with “Dino,” “Chef” and the “bad guy.”  Some students request to see the "bad guy" again, but I explain that we wash our hands to get rid of the "bad guy" so we can be healthy!  Teachers respond that the students demonstrate improved hand washing skills following their “Dinosaur Diner” experience.

Becky Reid is the Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agent for Kansas State University Research and Extension in Cowley County, Kansas.  She can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 620)221-5450.  Follow her on Twitter @TechieHomeckie.

Visit for food safety information, downloads, and tools you can use to educate people about protecting their health through safe food handling.

Government Resources

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Contact Us

Partnership for Food Safety Education
2345 Crystal Drive, Suite 800
Arlington, VA 22202
(p): 202-220-0651
(f): 202-220-0873
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