Hygiene and safety (5-7 Years)

It is important to store, prepare and cook food safely and hygienically.

Hygiene and safety

Activity 1 - Different foods need to be stored differently.

Discuss where different food is stored:

  • in a fridge;
  • in a cupboard (i.e. room temperature).

Can the children suggest other places where food might be stored? E.g. freezer.

Question the children about why foods need to be stored in different places. Explain that, most importantly, to keep food safe to eat but also, so it tastes at its best.

Discuss how packaging also helps keep food safe to eat. Ask children to name different types of packaging.  Show some examples:

  • Foil bags (crisps);
  • Vacuum packs (cheese);
  • Cans (fruit, vegetables, fish, meat);
  • Bottles (sauce);
  • Jar (jam, pickle, sauce).

Use the Where should food be stored? presentation organise the foods into a cupboard or fridge.  They should be placed as follows:


  • Bread;
  • Lentils;
  • Oil;
  • Onion;
  • Biscuits/crackers;
  • Pasta;
  • Dried apricots;
  • Canned sardines.


  • Top shelf - cheese and yogurt;
  • Bottom shelf – beef mince, eggs, uncooked chicken and uncooked salmon.
  • Salad drawer - lettuce and broccoli.

This task offers lots of opportunity for discussion. For example:

  • it should be pointed out the food in the fridge and cupboard should be covered;
  • onions can be stored in either place;
  • if the cake was a fresh cream cake, it would be stored in the fridge;
  • if the canned fish was open, it should be transferred to a container, covered and stored in the fridge.

Get the children to cut out the foods on the Food worksheet and stick them where they belong on the Storing food worksheet.  With younger or less able children you might like to divide the Food worksheet to reduce the amount of cutting for each child.


Activity 2 - There are hygiene and safety rules which need to be followed before, during and after cooking.

As children will have already been briefed with some hygiene rules earlier in this module, question them to see what they can remember and record their responses.

  • What do you need to do before you begin any work with food?

For example:

  • Make sure the cooking area is tidy and clean;
  • Tie back long hair;
  • Remove jewellery;
  • Wash hands;
  • Put on an apron.

Look through the Hygiene presentation and at the Let’s get ready to cook poster and see if the children have remembered all of the rules.  Have they managed to think of anything in addition?

Display the poster as a reminder of what to do before cooking. 

Talk about hygiene rules which must be followed during food work. (See the ‘Setting up a cooking session guide’.)
Make some notes or illustrations on the board.

Read out the Scenario cards to the children and see if they can explain what should be done, e.g. somebody wants to sneeze while they are in the middle of peeling a carrot, what should they do?  A scenario worksheet is also available with the cards if you prefer the children to record their answers.

Talk to the children about what should be done after cooking is finished:

  • Wash equipment in warm water and washing up liquid and dry it thoroughly;
  • Clean down surfaces;
  • Put ingredients or food away appropriately, e.g. wrap, seal, refrigerate.

Make some notes or illustrations on the board.

Talk with the children briefly about why it is important to follow these rules, e.g. so food is safe to eat.

Split the class into 3 groups and get each group to design a poster to remind everyone about the hygiene and safety rules which should be followed at one of the 3 stages when cooking work takes place:

  • before;
  • during;
  • after.

The Let’s get ready to cook poster and notes/illustrations you made earlier, should help the children remember key points.


Further activities

  • Sort the Food cards into where they should be stored, cupboard or fridge.
  • Recap on the beforeduring and after hygiene rules.
  • Get children to cut foods out of a magazine and stick them in the right place on the Storing food worksheet.  This will challenge children to apply their understanding of what foods need to be stored where with these different foods.
5 - 7 YR
Food worksheet

A selection of food to cut out and sort into where it should be stored.

5 - 7 YR
Storing food worksheet

An outline of a fridge and cupboard to which food images can be placed.

5 - 7 YR
Hygiene presentation

A presentation introducing the get ready to cook steps.

Let's get ready to cook!

A poster about getting ready to cook.

Setting up a cooking session

A guide to support setting up a cooking session.

5 - 7 YR
Scenario cards

A set of cards outlining scenarios that could occur during cooking activities.

Food photo cards

A set of food photo cards.

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