Skip main navigation

Food Bug Activities

Three examples of activities to teach groups about food bugs and hygiene.
e-Bug was developed for use in schools pre-COVID-19 and so some activities may require modification based on your school’s distancing guidelines. Please use your judgement and tell us how you have modified the activities, or if you would like to discuss some ideas, contact e-Bug@phe.gov.uk

Spot the mistake video (10-20 mins)

The above video is a new video that allows educators to play a short clip of a chef making a chicken stir fry.
Students need to spot key food hygiene mistakes. A discussion tailored to specific age groups will foster learning specific to food hygiene and links to the national curriculum.
  • Younger students will discuss the food hygiene rules that were broken and how that might make them or others ill.
  • 11-14-year-old students (KS3) will start to group the mistakes into two categories:
    • Food hygiene mistakes in relation to safety of the food preparer.
    • Food hygiene mistakes in relation to safety of the customer, or whoever will be tasting the product.
  • Older students 15-18 year olds (KS4) will focus on content from the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point in their discussion.
After the discussion, the students will then watch the same scenario with no mistakes to reinforce good food hygiene practices.
A discussion sheet to be used with school and community groups can be found here. You will also find a link in the downloads section below.

Food sort (10-20 mins)

Suitable for KS2 and community groups
This activity will help participants identify that microbes can be useful or harmful. Participants are required to sort different foods according to whether they contain/are made with useful microbes, or contain harmful/food spoiling microbes.
A summary of instructions for both school and community groups can be found here. You will also find a link in the downloads section below.
Cartoon image asking 'which of the following foods have useful/harmless microbes and which have harmful microbes?' then images of fruit & veg, milk, yogurt, bread, chicken, and sausages.

How clean is your kitchen? (10-20 mins)

Suitable for KS1, KS2, and community groups
This is a practical demonstration or experiment that can be used to teach about cross-contamination, the danger zone, food hygiene and safety, as well as tool and hand hygiene. The participants make a chicken sandwich using play dough chicken, bread, salad and a toy oven. UV gel and a torch is used to show cross-contamination and how microbes have spread around the kitchen area.
A summary of instructions for both school and community groups can be found here. You will also find a link in the downloads section below.
Photo of 'how clean is your kitchen?' activity
If you are supporting home-learning or working with small groups of children, we have additional activities on food hygiene in our newly launched Antibiotic Guardian Youth Badge Leader and Volunteer Activity Pack. Click here to access this resource.
Have you carried out any activities which are similar to these?
Let us know your experiences in the comments below.
This article is from the free online

e-Bug Health Educator Training

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education