What's bugging you?

What are consumer control points:

What are
Where is the
Who is
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These food safety lessons were developed by the Food Safety Project at Iowa State University Extension to provide consumers and future consumers with the tools they need to help minimize their risk from harmful pathogens in the food supply. They will help participants understand how knowledge about pathogen reduction, time and temperature abuse, and cleanliness will help decrease their incidence of foodborne illness.

Based on experience with teachers and students who have taken these lessons in the past, we have learned the Web is an effective method for delivering food safety education and assessing student comprehension. We hope you will agree.

These lessons are available for anyone interested in learning more about food safety.


There are four lessons:

Lesson 1: What's bugging you?

Lesson 2: What are Consumer Control Points?

Lesson 3: Where is the Danger Zone?

Lesson 4: Who is Fat Tom?



To help consumers and future consumers understand their role in keeping food safe, we offer four lessons. These lessons teach students the relationship between germs and foodborne illness, critical control points--from purchasing through handling leftovers--when foods may become contaminated, and the importance of handwashing and personal cleanliness. These lessons will help students understand that handwashing is a critical control point for reducing their chance for foodborne illness.


Consumers and students may take a computer-scored quiz after each lesson. The "Submit" button at the end of each quiz sends your answers for grading.

Participants receive immediate feedback that helps you assess your understanding of the food safety concepts taught.

Lesson 1: What's bugging you?
Students will get an overview of the importance of food safety and become familiar with common foodborne pathogens. Topics in this lesson include:
  • What is foodborne illness?
  • Who is at risk?
  • How does food become hazardous?
  • Why are microorganisms important?
  • What is the greatest threat to food safety?
  • What conditions encourage bacteria to grow?
  • What are the most common foodborne pathogens?
  • How can I handle food safely?


Lesson 2: What are Consumer Control Points?
This lesson focuses on the application of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles to prevent foodborne illness in the home. Students learn the "Consumer Control Points" from purchase through preparation by working their way through the Consumer Control Point Kitchen.
  • Purchasing
  • Storage
  • Preparation
  • Cooking
  • Serving
  • Handling leftovers

Four jingles in this lesson use the RealAudio player, available for download at the bottom of this page.

Bookmarks with clever slogans about the Consumer Control Points are available from the Iowa State University Extension Online Store. Search for EDC 111 and order them today!

Lesson 3: Where is the Danger Zone?

A hypothetical situation using cartoon characters explains the importance of time and temperature in keeping food safe.


Lesson 4: Who is FAT TOM?
An animated turkey, FAT TOM, explains the importance of factors affecting the growth of foodborne pathogens. Students learn the importance of these terms as they relate to food safety:
  • Food
  • Acidity
  • Time
  • Temperature
  • Oxygen
  • Moisture


Glossary of Food Safety Terms
Over forty food safety terms are defined, with links to more Web-based information.

Start Lesson One


G2 Player
Get the free RealAudio plug-in to hear the jingles!

Lesson One |  Lesson Two |  Lesson Three | Lesson Four | Introduction |  Glossary |  References  | Contact | Food Safety Project

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