Kids Building Safe Recipes Online Activity!

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Kid Cooks Master Food Safety

Research shows that people who follow recipes with food safety instructions are more likely to practice food safety behaviors.* Consistently practicing food safety behaviors will help reduce the risk of foodborne illness.

When handwashing instructions are included in recipes, handwashing increases from 59% to 90%. Additionally, adding food thermometer instructions improves food thermometer use from 20% to 86%.

Isn’t that amazing? Recipes that include food safety steps help Fight BAC (harmful bacteria) because people follow them!

Right now, families are preparing more food at home. Parents support food safety education for their children. Middle school students are excited about food safety, but they have only basic food safety knowledge.**

Now, you can give students the tools and knowledge to create their own safe recipes!

The Safe Recipe Activity for Middle School Students incorporates ideas from the Safe Recipe Style Guide. The exact wording of the Style Guide was created under the guidance of food safety experts and adjusted with the direction of leading food journalists. It focuses on the areas where food safety practice is most important:

  • Handwashing
  • Avoiding cross-contamination
  • Produce handling
  • Temperature


You can find the safe recipe activity online in an interactive format and as a printable download! These two formats making it ideal for students who are attending school in the classroom or at home. The activity takes very little preparation, so it’s also great for parents and after-school programs.

Here’s how the activity works:

  • Students review a handout of the Safe Recipe Style Guide.
  • They choose one of the five provided kid-friendly “basic” recipes. The basic recipes are correct, but lack food safety instructions. Students can choose from the following delicious recipes: Vegetarian Lasagna, Breakfast Quiche, Turkey Burgers, Chicken Pepper Bake, and Pesto Salmon & Veggies.
  • Students use information in the Safe Recipe Style Guide to turn the basic recipe into a safe recipe.
  • Students take an online quiz to test how safe their recipe really is. The quiz explains the answer for each question, regardless of correctness. The students will finish the activity with a recipe that is not only tasty, but also safe.


The Safe Recipe Activity for Middle School Students meets several National Health Education and National Science Education requirements.

Virtual or in-person, this is a great activity to help middle school students learn about the science of food safety and create safe recipes!

Have a fun and safe school year!

*Journal of Food Protection **Journal of Food Science Education

Carly Gomez is a National Science Foundation graduate fellow pursuing both an M.S. and Ph.D. in Biosystems Engineering at Michigan State University. She served as an intern with PFSE during Summer 2020.