Agriculture a career for everyone: Primary school resources

Page last updated: Tuesday, 12 September 2017 - 1:31pm

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Food storage and handling

Lesson overview

Students will investigate the importance of food handling and storage quality controls in the packing and processing of fresh produce.

Australian Curriculum: Science and Technologies

Science Inquiry Skills

  • Year 4 - With guidance, identify questions in familiar contexts that can be investigated scientifically and predict what might happen based on prior knowledge (ACSIS064)
  • Year 5 and 6 - With guidance, pose questions to clarify practical problems or inform a scientific investigation, and predict what the findings of an investigation might be (ACSIS231)

Design and Technologies

  • Year 5 and 6 -  Investigate the role of food preparation in maintaining good health and the importance of food safety and hygiene (ACTDEK022)]


  • Glitter
  • Moisturiser
  • Antibacterial hand wash
  • Snap lock bags
  • Sliced bread
  • Digital camera
  • Misting bottle
  • Assorted fresh vegetables
  • Activity worksheets

Tuning in

Mix glitter and moisturiser and ask one student to put it on their hands. They then shake hands with another student and pick up an apple.  Students to observe the transfer of ‘glitter germs’ and think about the impact handwashing would have on this interaction.

Whole class introduction

Food can be stored and handled many times between leaving the paddock and landing on your plate. Quality assurance and food safety are very important to the food industry as consumers want to be sure their food is fresh, has been handled in a hygienic manner and is healthy. 

Germs are very easily transferred from hands to produce and hygienic handwashing practices are important to assure quality and ensure food is safe to eat. Handwashing is one of the most basic food safety practices and it is important at all the stages of the production system. Handwashing practices reduce the amount of harmful bacteria that are transferred onto your food. 

Storage methods are also important to ensure optimal freshness, limit food spoilage and ensure a quality product. Correct storage of food also ensures that the nutrient content of food is maintained. Not all fruits and vegetables need to be stored in the refrigerator as different fruits and vegetables require different storage methods. These methods are followed in shops and by us at home to ensure our food stays fresh for as long as possible.


Nikki Poulish